Chef's Notes

Elevate Your BBQ with Homemade Condiments

Ready for summer?  It’s time to get grilling! While hamburgers, hot dogs and other BBQ favorites tend to get the glory, they’re made even better by their flavor-enhancing counterpart: condiments. DIYing your condiments at home couldn’t be easier. We’ve got some simple, make at home condiment recipes for you to try.  Uplevel Your BBQ, Reduce Your […]

Chef's Notes

Simple but Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

For those of us still “hunkering down,” we’re sure we’re not alone in missing restaurant meals these days. If you’re lucky enough to be in the same household as mom, and grasping for ways to show your love without the usual offerings available, why not cook her brunch at home? […]

Chef's Notes

DIY your favorite, nostalgic guilty pleasures

Do you have a favorite processed food guilty pleasure? Go ahead, we won’t tell.   Let’s face it: even among enthusiastic home cooks, processed foods, especially nostalgic ones, do have a time and a place. There’s just something about a classic, nostalgic treat that brings you back – maybe it’s an old commercial jingle, or […]

Chef's Notes

The Joy of Baking Bread at Home

Baking bread at home is much easier than you think. First, don’t be afraid of making a mess or doing it wrong. Most great bakers have spent years making mistakes and are only great now because they’ve learned what not to do. Second, start with a no-knead method if you’re […]

Chef's Notes

Creative Reuse: Three Twists on Carrots

In celebration of Earth Day this week, we’re sharing recipes that bring to life simple ways we as individuals can help to be more Earth-friendly in our food choices and cooking, from plant-forward cooking, to creative reuse, to reducing food waste.  Among the simple ways you can help to reduce food waste (one of […]

Chef's Notes

How to Cook Delicious, Healthier, Comfort Foods

For me, loving vegetables is about loving flavor, especially here in Northern California. I’ve been a veggie enthusiast since I was a kid, so the concept of plant-forward eating comes easily to me. But I know we are not all so lucky, and in many cases, your children or those […]

Chef's Notes

Now is an Ideal Time to Plant Your Own “Victory Garden”

The “victory garden” movement began during World War I as a way to promote self-sufficiency by encouraging Americans to grow their own food. According to a recent New York Times story, so many people took the idea to heart that at one time home, school, and community gardens produced close to 40 percent of the country’s fresh gardens.  While […]

Chef's Notes

Cooking with Kids

Parents, this post is for you. Remember a couple of weeks ago when life was simpler? When your “only” responsibilities were holding down a job and caring for your children, without also running your very own home school?   Through our Sunday Family Fundays here at The CIA at Copia in downtown Napa (currently on pause […]

Chef's Notes

Food as Comfort in Uncertain Times

Particularly during challenging times, food can be a bright spot in our lives. While many of us find ourselves at home more than usual, cooking and mealtimes can be an opportunity to create normalcy and enjoy togetherness with family – a source of comfort and joy in an uncertain world.   We’ve heard from some of […]

Chef's Notes

Cooking from Your Pantry

Follow here for our best pantry-friendly recipes, using ingredients you hopefully already have on hand! We’ll continue to update this list, so check back if you’re in need of more inspiration. Cacio e Pepe—don’t get bogged down on the type of cheese here. Parm will work just fine. Quick and […]