Farmers' Market Tour & Hands-On Cooking Class

Cultivate your Senses

Tuesdays-Napa Farmers' Market Tour and Cooking Class
Fridays-St. Helena Farmers' Market Tour and Cooking Class

May 3 through October 29
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Step off the beaten path --join Julie for an insider's tour of Napa Valley's culinary scene. You will be introduced to the culinary treasures of Napa Valley. You'll learn how to select, store and prepare the market produce. Enjoy a day with Julie on an intimate tour of the farmer's market, followed by a cooking class and three-course mid-day meal featuring the seasonal food we gathered at the market prior to the class accompanied with wine.

Watch a video about the farmers market tour and class.

As the sun rises over the Napa Valley and the morning the fog slowly recedes we will begin exploring the hidden treasures at Napa’s farmers market. Savor the morning market discovering new varietals of locally harvested vegetables and fruits. Meet the farmers, browse, and sample your way through the stalls of fresh produce with Julie. You will find produce--fragrant, pristine and bursting with flavor. As you explore the market your senses are filled with the fresh smells, and tastes from the produce, herbs, and flowers. We'll get our hands dirty searching for just the right ingredients for our mid-day meal.

St. Helena and Napa farmer's markets, offer the season's finest and freshest local produce, fish, meat, and other artisan products. We chat with the farmers to learn about interesting varietals; talk with them about their favorite way of preparing their produce. We'll select vegetables from fava beans to torpedo onions and fruit (cherries, peaches, figs and more) representing the best of the season. Learn strategies to get the best from your local farmers market. You'll also have time to shop for gifts to bring home or for a picnic during your stay in Napa. Then on to the kitchen, where we don our aprons and turn our bounty into a wonderful wine country feast. In the kitchen you learn cooking theory, technique, tips and tricks to make you a better cook. Afterwards you enjoy a 3 -course lunch featuring Napa Valley's legendary food and wine.

You will enjoy a relaxed experience filled with inspiration; great foods paired with fine wine and have fun while developing your skills and techniques.
"I was in one of your farmer’s market classes and you mentioned asking the vendors for damaged tomatoes. Since your class, I have been taking gazpacho soup for my lunches and sure enough, the farmers always have a box of bruised tomatoes under their table. They are more than happy to sell them to me for $1-$2 per pound rather than the usual $3-$5 per pound for tomatoes. Often they will want to sell me more than I need!" Susan D.

Book a Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class

Sample Menus

Spring Menu
Risotto Primavera
Halibut Poached in Olive Oil with Lentil Caviar and Olive Crust
Cherry Gelato
Spring Menu
Fresh Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Cream
Grilled Tri-tip with Garlic and Herbs
Pan Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
Individual Pavlova's with Berries in Basil Syrup
Summer Menu
Zucchini Blossom Tart with a Polenta Crust
Sauteed Ling Cod with Leeks and Chard
Peach and Black Berry Galette with Lemon Verbena Whipped Cream
Summer Menu
Grilled Figs with Almond Picada and Prosciutto
Grilled Steak with Mediterranean Herb Rub and Arugula Salad
Buttermilk and Mascarpone Ice Cream with Fresh Peaches
Autumn Menu
Seafood Canapés Fried Capers
Basque-Style Pork with Sweet Peppers
Oven Baked Polenta
Persimmon Clafouti
Crème Fraîche Chantilly

"There is no better way to get to the heart of any city than through its cuisine. And that means not just eating it, but shopping for it, cooking it and beginning to understand it." Taylor Holliday, New York Times.

Please note that accommodations for special food needs may not be possible.

More Information:

  • Farmer's Market Tour classes are offered May through October on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Check the Cooking Classes/Calendar page for available dates.
  • The St. Helena and Napa classes start at 8:00 a.m. and end about 2:30 p.m.
  • The fee includes tour of market, tuition, hands-on cooking class, 3-course lunch paired with California wines, as well as a Cooking with Julie logo apron, and recipe booklet. There's plenty of free parking at the market and the kitchen.
  • If you wish to have someone join the meal with you but is not able to attend the class the fee is $100.
  • Transportation between the various locations is not included. If you need transportation contact Julie to make arrangements.
  • Class size is limited.

Meeting location for Napa and St. Helena Farmers Markets:

8:00 a.m. Tuesday- Napa Farmers Market:
195 Gasser Drive, Napa.

8:00 a.m. Friday- St. Helena Farmers Market:
Crane Park (enter on Crane Avenue)

(707) 227-5036