A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

Introducing: Healdsburg Tastemakers' Event Jan. 24-26th 2019

Almost everyone who lives and works in Healdsburg is both an artist and a farmer." – Brian Sommer, Les Mars Hotel GM

The Town of Healdsburg which rests at the outskirts of Alexander Valley, and cozies up to Dry Creek Valley, is the perfect spot for a weekend of luxury and leisure. On the weekend of January 24th -26th, the first ever Tastemakers' Weekend launches, and there is so much to experience and explore!

Thank you to Emily Martin Communications & Events and the Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District for putting together this preview event! All images by Kelsey Shaffor Photography.

Together Emily Martin and the Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District put together a preview itinerary for a group local and Bay Area content creators to explore this special Tastemakers' Weekend Event! Our first stop of the adventure: Mateo's Cocina Latina!

Located at 214 Healdsburg Ave, this Mateo's known for it's Yucatan cuisine, mezcal selection, and outdoor dining. Named after the head chef and owner, Chef Mateo is passionate about his ingredients. Mateo is brimming with stories and in-depth information about the culture of where his dishes come from - to speak with him is to gain a better understanding of his passion for both life and food.

Focusing on Yucatan cuisine, Chef Mateo has put his own unique spin on the dishes: a standout star being the pomegranate seed and olive oil topped guacamole, with pumpkin seed chips (highly recommended!). His South of the Boarder Culinary Class and Lunch is offered on Saturday, January 25th.

There are several incredible hotels and Bed and Breakfast options in the Town of Healdsburg, and I opted to spend my evening at the Grape Leaf Inn. A romantic Queen Anne-style home, the Grape Leaf Inn is just a few minutes walk to downtown Healdsburg and Square. Built in 1905, this bed and breakfast is comfortable luxury that feels both like home, and like a relaxing escape from the day-to-day activities. And - with a newly installed outdoor jacuzzi pool (as it is quite large), relaxing after a day of activities has become even easier!

One of my favorite things about staying at the Grape Leaf Inn (and there are several favorites), is Veronica. I look forward to seeing her whenever I stay on the property: she is warm and kind, and a truly genuine person. She makes each stay so special!! I truly appreciate her, and everything that she does for guests to make them feel welcome and comfortable.

In addition to Veronica (who likes go to by "Ve"), other major highlights at the Gape Leaf Inn are the incredible daily breakfasts made to order, the luxury mattresses and bedding, the beautiful rooms, and the secret bar (yes! There is a speakeasy!).  To book your stay at the Grape Leaf Inn, visit the link.

Looking for a full schedule of the weekend event offerings? Visit the Events Calendar.

Costeaux French Bakery in Healdsburg will also be offering fun, hands on classes for the Healdsburg Tastemakers' Weekend event: on Friday, January 24th, Costeaux will offer a 2.5 hour classic French puff pastry (pâte à choux) class. Lead by head pastry chef, Karah Williams, the class also includes a Costeaux apron (I chose the black option, so cute!), a champagne reception, and recipes to take home so you can impress your friends!

My favorite part of this class event was learning just how forgiving the pâte à choux mixture is; too weird of a shape? A little larger a shape than anticipated? Not to worry: it all works itself out in the oven! We created both sweet and savory pastries.

For dinner, we all gathered at Valette Restaurant. As a vegetarian, I feel completely at home here - there is nothing that Chef Dustin cannot do! I always have a spectacular meal here; if meat is not a part of your diet, or if you love to have it done well, you will be so happy here. I have dined several times at Valette and I leave so happy and wonderfully full each time! If you have any allergies be sure to call ahead so they may accommodate you.

On Saturday, January 25th, you will have the opportunity to start your day off right with the Healdsburg Running Company! Not a runner? Not to worry – you can walk too. Healdsburg has plenty to offer: wine and culinary experiences tend to steal the show, but there is so much natural beauty here too! Get out with HRC and explore the bounty of beauty that this area has to offer. On our early morning stroll we passed by  dormant vineyards and watched the fog slowly rise over the valley. Truly a beautiful way to start the day!

For Sunday morning brunch, our group rejoined at Journeyman Meat Co. at their salumeria and tasting bar. There we learned about their Salumi Club - a quarterly mail service that "delivers limited edition batches of our artisanal salumi to those who cherish it most". For those who really enjoy artisnal meats, this would make an excellent gift! While there, I was pleasantly surprised by their ability to accommodate my vegetarian diet: we were served delicious wood-oven pizzas! In addition to their salumi and sausage tastings, they offer wine pairings as well! Their salumi boards also offer cheese and vegetable options, and there is a side of veggies available as well. Be sure to visit them at 404 Center Street.

So, are you ready?! Of course you are! Grab your tickets and create your itinerary for the first ever Healdsburg Tastemakers' Event, January 24 - 26, 2020!

Stay in touch on Instagram: 

AMused Blog
Stay Healdsburg 
Grape Leaf Inn
Healdsburg Running Company
Costeaux Bakery
Mateo's Cocina Latina Healdsburg
Journeyman Meat Co

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