CONVERSATIONS OVER GRAVY: Keeping the Thanksgiving gravy free of lumps is pretty much among the most important of kitchen duties, and one that requires patience and dedication and the ability to talk on a range of subjects, the better to draw other people to you who will keep you occupied while you stir, stir, stir. Invariably the conversation turns to food, because, well, you're standing over a simmering pot of gravy, in a kitchen rife with biscuits and turkey and stuffing and pie, and that's what's on the meal-focused mind of both cooks and guests. Once you've exhausted what you'll soon dine on at the table, you can turn to other table-oriented news items of recent days, and one of the most delectable of those items will surely be the fact that tickets are now available for Flavor! Napa Valley, the multi-day confab that brings together a host of taste-makers, in all senses of the term, for a gustatory gathering at the Culinary Institute of American in St. Helena (the institute is the beneficiary).
MARCH 16-20, 2016... are the down-the-road dates, but not so down-the-road-y that you won't look around, surprised, when the beginning of March rolls around and you think "huh, maybe should have gotten a ticket." If you do get a ticket, and you get it before Dec. 1, and you employ the promotion code FNVEARLY, then you'll save 15 percent.
AS FOR EVENTS? And special appearances and such? Those'll roll out in the months to come, but you can look forward to happenings already on the calendar, like First Taste Napa -- The Downtown StrEAT Market at the CIA's Copia campus, a Napa Valley Wine Tour, a Brunch Party, and a bouquet of chef demos and meet-and-hellos. It's a full-hearted, full-fork'd weekend of foodie knowledge and foodie plate-cleaning/glass-sipping, and anticipating what you'll learn and what you'll quaff is part of the joy. So if you and your food-loving brother or cousin need to talk about edibles while you make Thanksgiving dinner, but would rather those edibles be something other than what you're cooking, here's your anticipation: March 2016, and its Napa-esque pleasures, is just a few months away.