Napa: A Signature Experience
I was recently one of twenty-two lucky designers from across the country chosen to attend the inaugural designer event hosted by Signature Kitchen Suites located in Napa, CA. How exciting to have the opportunity to learn about this new luxury brand from global home appliance manufacturer LG Electronics and get a trip to beautiful Napa to boot!
Hungry for Innovation
“Signature Kitchen Suite embraces a new generation of forward-thinking cooks, combining their passion for food with their appreciation of innovation. We call them, Technicureans.™ and we are keeping them True to Food with the best built-in appliances, featuring leading-edge technology that provides more flexibility to prepare food in the best possible way.”
My “signature” experience in Napa began at the airport where I was met by a private driver. When I checked-in at the lovely Vista Collina Resort & Spa I was gifted a beautiful black cashmere wrap, compliments of SKS. The meals and California wines that followed were absolutely fabulous.
On our first night we all met up with our fearless leader and president of Modenus Media, Veronika Eagleson for orientation. Veronika reviewed the agenda for the week, introduced everyone and off we went to a roof top reception at the Vista Collina hosted by Signature Kitchen Suites.
Early the next morning we were driven to the Signature Kitchen Suites Experience & Design Center for brand immersion programs and a tour of their facility. The design center was very impressive. Upon entering the facility you pass the social media wall on your way to the extensive showroom displays, meeting/training rooms, private dining rooms and more. They truly thought of everything; they even have their very own pub called Zacks, named for the General Manager Zack Elkin!
We are True to Food
“Delivering performance, design and precision, we demonstrate a respect for food at every level. We hone the ones who are producing it, the ones preparing it, and most of all, the ones lucky enough to be enjoying it.”
After the amazing signature facility tour we were off to the Chuck Williams Museum tour and lunch at the Culinary Institute of America COPIA. The Chuck Williams Museum is a must visit, especially for avid bakers and cooks. My photos below represent just a fraction of the exhibit. SKS has a small kitchen area display in the museum where we were given a presentation on Signature Kitchen’s first integrated column wine refrigerator. Available in both 24” and 18” columns, they feature a range of technologies: ultimate vibration control, a sommelier app (how cool is that!), protect and display, independent temperature zones, unfinished wood shelves and optimal humidity preservation. Read more about Signature’s wine columns.
The warm hospitality and delicious lunch prepared by the talented CIA chefs-in-training was a welcome respite from the busy schedule.
Well, there was no rest for the weary. Our group was soon headed back to the Experience & Design Center for more learning. We attended a number of informative and engaging presentations including one by Carla Aston on Leveraging Pinterest for Site Traffic that was excellent and chock full of good information. Then, it was time for dinner in the private dining room! We were treated to a scrumptious dinner by the Signature Kitchen private chef, Nick. Much to our surprise, we learned that we would be participating in a wine tasting by the award winning vintner Larry Tsai of Moone-Tsai Winery. Larry was passionate as he spoke with pride about his special wines and his joy in sharing them with us.
Thursday was another jammed packed day full of training and demonstrations. Our first speaker was none other than the dynamic LuAnn Nigara who started the day with a spirited presentation on waking up your process. If you are not familiar with LuAnn, she has a fantastic podcast called A Well Designed Business - make sure to check it out. We then heard from Leslie Caruthers who is a dynamo in her own right with several businesses, including Savoir Partnership and last but not least my good friend, Claire Jefford spoke about vlogging your way to success. Check out Claire’s website!
After the presentations, we moved to the cooking presentation room where we were treated to a live demonstration of SKS’s 48” due-fuel Pro Range with Built-In Sous Vide. This range does it all! You must watch this video to truly appreciate how awesome it is. Oh, and did I mention their amazing warranty program? From their 24/7 Concierge Service to their industry-leading 3-year warranty with an unprecedented 5-day Repair or Replace Promise.
What is Sous Vide you ask? To be honest, I had never heard of Sous-Vide before this trip. Sous Vide is french for “under-vacuum.” Sous Vide (sue-veed) is a cooking technique where food is vacuum sealed and then submerged in water and slow-cooked at a constant precise temperature until it’s perfectly cooked. Learn more about the history of Sous Vide.
After our fabulous lunch we were off to the Artesa Winery for a winery tour. Although it was cloudy with sprinkles it was still a great tour and the view was lovely. California wines are unique and diverse. There is a wine for every taste!
Our final evening proved to be the cherry on top. My cohorts and I had a fantastic meal together at the amazing Auberge Du Soleil. I thorougly enjoyed meeting these extremely talented, lovely designers. Their joy for our profession and their fellowship is a gift of inspiration and gratitude I will carry forward on my journey!
I decided to stay an extra day to do a little sightseeing and shopping. I must say, I love the charming town of Napa and everything it has to offer. Napa will definitely be on my trip card again. Take a look at their fabulous shops and gardens.
A heartfelt thank you to Signature Kitchen Suites and Modenus Media for hosting such a fabulous event!