What do you do with foodies who don't like to cook? Plop them smack dab in the middle of Kitchen Collective and watch them change their minds. At least that was my experience. In the middle of Napa Valley, there's something of a revolution happening, and it's all thanks to Garret Murphy's vision of tying the threads of food, family, community, and history together in one genius concept that is the first private urban cooking club of its kind.
I was so lucky to be able to treat my beautiful family to an evening here, starting with a glass of wine by the fire as our dinner was 'prepped' for us by one of the many top notch chefs that cook alongside the members, assisting them in creating dishes I would have otherwise only dreamed to order from a menu. From the fully stocked kitchen (with only the best ingredients btw), to the impressive wine list, to the contagious air of comaraderie that wafted through each room alongside the incredible aromas, Kitchen Collective is a safe space where members can indulge in gastronomical exploration and creativity, and where good conversation is exchanged as readily as the seemingly never-ending sea of delicious morsels that continued throughout the entire night.
I could go on and on about the two kinds of risotto we made (one asparagus themed, the other lobster and both topped with more truffles that I thought possible), or the salad that I've already attempted to recreate, or the unique wines we perhaps sampled a little too much of. I could also go on and on about the gorgeous decor and the fabulous staff. But what really struck me, even more than the fact that I've suddenly rekindled a passion for creating things in the kitchen (Nikko, don't hold your breath though), was the essence of sharing.
This is a place where food is treated as a form of communication, from start to finish. Where strangers can connect over the slicing of tomatoes or a plate of Baklava. Where a mutual appreciation of life is celebrated, and where today's stories are as relevant as those of the decades before. Because to me, that's what truly sets a place apart and it's exactly what makes Kitchen Collective such a treasure.
And while I'm still salivating over the mousse that magically whipped itself up in the kitchen near the end of the night (things like this tend to happen regularly at Kitchen Collective), what I'm treasuring the most are the memories and moments a place like this can foster.
And while it may sound decadent to join a private cooking club, to be totally honest, I've spent more on a gym membership. And to be even more honest, I've probably used said gym membership less than I'd frequent Kitchen Collective... just don't tell my gym...