As the Research Chef Association regional contact for northern California- it is my job to organize parties that bring together chefs, scientists, food scientists and “culinologists” in the northern California region. There have been several successful events over the years held at local food manufacturers like Galaxy Desserts, Christopher Ranch and Culinary Farms-all local suppliers to the food and restaurant industry.
Despite October 31 being a major American holiday – we managed to convince almost 80 food industry professionals to show up at Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena, CA for a culinary extravaganza with food catered by Farmstead, cocktails by Charbay a slew of door prizes and goody bags contributed by all of the event sponsors. We chose St. Helena because many of the attendees were out of state foodies in town to attend the World of Flavor Conference.
Thanks to Chris Wilmouth-the R&D Chef from Lee Kum Kee we were able to raise almost $600 dollars for the RCA student scholarship foundation. Chris worked the floor and managed to get everyone to buy raffle tickets for this worthwhile cause. The raffle prizes were amazing and included spice racks from McCormick, a grill set from Fuch, a copy of Robert Danhi’s James Beard nominated book on Asian Flavors-that he personally signed, a gift basket from Christopher Ranch, some IPOD shuffles from T. Hasagawa, Chili Pepper Sauce set from Dave’s Gourmet, Wine and Flavors from Marshalls Flavor House, assorted cheeses from Sartori and a malt ball cookbook from SPI.
When everyone left they got a goody bag compliments of our goody bag sponsors and were able to take home Blommer chocolate bars, Pacific Spice seasonings, walnut snack packs, Sethness logo pens, and some beautiful vanilla extract from Virginia Dare.
The party went on for 4 hours as everyone showed up and got to network and mingle with old industry friends and meet up with new up and coming industry professionals like the students from the nearby Napa Valley culinary school. We had delicious food that included many walnut inspired dishes- thanks to the Walnut Board of California donating nuts and sponsoring our event.
The RCA would not be able to throw such amazing parties without the help from their generous sponsors. This year we had generous contributions from Kerry, Kagome Inc, Lee Kum Kee, Golden Country Foods, Culinary Farms, HB Specialty Foods, Giraffe Food and Beverages (they are Canadian and STILL contributed to our USA event-Thank you Giraffe!), and Boyd Brokerage. Don Boyd has been a regular attendee at all RCA events and It was great to see Don and Laurel Place again!
Stay tuned next year for our next RCA event that will take place the day before World of Flavors 2013. Check out PIX of the event here: