Fun for Foodies

Although we offer many very well known restaurants and diners in the valley, you may be missing a local gem. It’s my job to share these hidden treasures with you. Did you know that we have an Italian-trained and certified gelato master in town? Where do we locals go for sushi or biscuits and gravy? Have you ever had malfatti, which was created in the Napa Valley back in the 1940s? If not, you are way past due.

Helping you to find just the right brunch, lunch, snack or dinner is one of my favorite things to do. As a foodie, I understand the interest you may have in new discoveries.
Looking for a memorable “foodie” experience?

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Private Chef & Catering

If you are planning to reserve a private vacation home for your stay in the Valley, perhaps you would enjoy having a personal chef prepare some of your meals. I offer my "Let’s Go Cook Italian" services for the preparation of authentic and classic Italian dishes. My repitoire of recipes explores various regions of Italy, including the foods of Tuscany, Piemonte, Rome, Reggio Emilia and Florentine specialties.

Whether I am personally catering, and serving, a multi course celebratory dinner for you or simply delivering dishes you have selected from my more than 300 recipes, it’s a pleasure for me to share the traditions of the land I call my second home.

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Cooking Classes

Chef Diane approves

It’s a joy for me to offer private Italian cooking classes to you and your group of friends or family.

Whether we do a basic class focusing on antipasti, or a class preparing a three or four-course meal, it’s always an adventure. What we prepare in class is then served to you and your guests as a picnic, lunch or dinner. Classes range in length from two to three hours, based on your interest. Classes are appropriate for all ages and skill levels. All equipment and supplies are included.

Prices vary based on your budget and the type of classes and menu items we mutually select. My Italian family food history is Northern Italian peasant cuisine, but over the years while cooking in Italy, my offerings have increased to include a number of dishes featuring the cuisines of Tuscany, Florence, Reggio Emilia and Rome. The choice is always yours and classes are customized.A happy group

I utilize locally grown and produced seasonal products, as well as certain imported ingredients that may be key to the recipe being used.

It’s often fun to begin with an olive oil tasting party (please see separate information), as we do use a variety of local artisan oils in the dishes we create.

Should you be interested in local cooking classes that focus on other culinary themes I am happy to introduce you to some of the other very talented local chefs and cooks who offer a variety of classes to visitors.

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Olive Oil Tasting Parties

Did you know that just because it says “extra virgin” on the label, there is currently no guarantee that what is in the bottle is actually “extra virgin”? It’s sad but true.
For eight years I have been studying the world of extra virgin olive oil, aka EVOO, with Italian EVOO guru Paolo Pasqule, as well as specific studies at UC Davis and olive oil symposiums throughout Italy.

Paolo was the driving force behind the Oleoteca EVOO experience now being offered at the CIA Greystone in St. Helena. It was my pleasure to work with Paolo in establishing that the Napa Valley was the place to launch the sister oleoteca to his Tuscan-based Villa Campestri Oleoteca EVOO experience.

These oleotecas are now to be offered at many of the CIA campuses internationally.

You’d think that living in the Napa Valley might make me a wine snob. Not so. I am, however, a terrible EVOO snob. I feel it’s incredibly important to not only enjoy “true” EVOO’s but to educate the public in the ways of olive oil so that you can identify true oils and enjoy not only the health benefits, but the amazing flavor spectrum of the more than 400 cultivars used to produce artisan EVOO.

I use only local artisan oils, that meet the standards and criteria to be designated an “extra virgin” in my tasting parties. Parties are typically 60 - 90 minutes in length with a maximum of 12 persons of your choice.

Tasting are priced at $20 per person with all supplies, printed materials and accessories included.

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