With 37 years of cooking experience under his belt, Chef Michael Borges of Mill Creek Pub knows how to wine and dine his guests and give them a culinary treat they won’t soon forget. We are so excited and honored to have Michael and his team join us for a night of food, fun, and tasty memories!
Making our last and final stop for the 2016 Field to Vase Dinner Tour, we visit Holland America Flowers in Woodland, WA for a garden-inspired dinner fit for even the biggest floral-enthusiast.
Joining us for a night full of beautiful bulbs and flowery conversations, our featured florist Hilary Holmes of Emerald Petals will prepare a tablescape design to showcase local American Grown blooms from Holland America Flowers. Within her design, Hilary will be including tulips, lilies, freesia and roses which will highlight the bounty of Holland America Flowers’ locations in both California and Woodland.
Her story is one full of passion and persistence, as she began her career as a helper in a florist shop doing unglamorous tasks like washing buckets. Her deep-rooted love for flowers helped her work her way up to the top, leading to her now 18-year dedication to her floral passion.
Inspired by nature and the beauty of the seasons, Hilary often finds herself hiking in the wilderness for inspiration, which adds to her “texturally interesting and whimsical” creations.
Benno Dobbe of Holland America Flowers will host the Field to Vase Dinner Tour for an afternoon/evening of sweet memories and special surprises. On Sunday, November 6, F2V guests will explore his warehouses and greenhouses full of tulips at the beautiful Woodland property, Holland America Flowers.
We chatted with Benno about his humble beginnings, his contributions to the Woodland community, and how excited he is to welcome the Field to Vase Dinner Tour to his farm next month!
F2V: We are so excited to visit your farm next month. I’ve heard you have a pretty incredible story of how you started in the floral industry, could you tell me more about it?
Benno: In 1980, my wife and I immigrated to the United States with our three kids, 10 suitcases and just enough money to start a small farm. We didn’t know anyone in Woodland WA when we started a new life basically from scratch.
With my previous knowledge of the floral bulb industry, I knew farmers who were growing flower bulbs since the early 30s, but many weren’t in business anymore. I felt there was still a need to
Returning to California, the Field to Vase Dinner Tour joined Sunset Magazine for a night of fun in Sonoma! Hosted by the magazine’s garden editor Johanna Silver, 120 F2V guests experienced the grounds of Cornerstone Sonoma, home of Sunset Magazine’s *NEW* test garden.
#SundayFunday is all about food, flowers and #F2V! This weekend we are pleased to have Chef Kyle Kuklewski join us for an evening of celebration with beautiful American Grown Flowers designed by featured designer Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective and Sunset Magazine as they welcome our F2V guests to experience their *NEW* test garden at Cornerstone Sonoma.
With a crafted menu to delight our guests, Chef Kyle has prepared a dinner to not only showcase the talents of Ramekins Culinary School, but to highlight the bounty and beauty found in Sonoma. With the table set in the middle of California’s wine country, guests will enjoy
As the seasons, change, color palettes begin to shift. We say goodbye to our favorite vibrant patterns and make room for the welcoming of more subtle textures. When it comes to the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour series, we encourage our guests to have fun with their wardrobe and show off their interpretation of farm-chic.
With New York Fashion Week under-wraps, we’re sharing five of our favorite fall fashion trends that would light up the night at our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour in Sonoma! Each trend shares a sophisticated, farm-inspired look that you can tailor to fit your personality. With many great #F2V photo opportunities, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite farm-chic inspired looks courtesy of our special dinner guests. Take a peek and enjoy!
1. Fall Floral: Having dinner in the middle of a blooming American Grown Flower field like Holland America Flowers in Woodland, WA (on Sunday, November 6) or at the *NEW* test garden for Sunset Magazine in Sonoma, our favorite trend will forever be Fall floral. Diners who joined us at our stop in Portland, OR showed off their
The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour traveled to the east coast for a dinner unlike any other. Located in the heart of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, we visited world-renowned New York event designer turned American Grown flower farmer David Beahm and his floral oasis, Thistle Dew Farm.
Welcoming over 160 guests to experience a very special Field to Vase Dinner, David Beahm started the evening by inviting his guests to explore his historic property and to discover the beauty of his American Grown flower farm. Dinner-goers traveled far and wide, most notably American Grown peony farmer Rita Jo Shoultz hailing from Alaska, to attend this much-anticipated, dinner experience.
The work of Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective is untraditional and ‘big’ according to Sunset Magazine’s garden editor Johanna Silver, who says Field to Vase guests can expect to be ‘wowed’ next month.
Alethea will be wowing F2V guests at Cornerstone in Sonoma with beautiful floral arrangements designed from stunning blooms found in Sunset Magazine’s Test Garden, as well as from Certified American Grown flower farms.
Alethea’s passion and fascination for the natural world are apparent in her floral arrangements. We had the pleasure of chatting with Alethea this week to discuss her inspiration for our upcoming dinner and her involvement with Cornerstone in Sonoma. Check out the interview below!
F2V: We are so excited to be back in California to celebrate American Grown Flowers next month at the beautiful Sunset Test Gardens at Cornerstone in Sonoma. Can you share with us the theme for the night? Why types of flowers will guests get to enjoy at the dinner table?
Alethea: The theme for the night will be “Garden-to-Table.” Within this overall look, I am planning on using wonderful flowers from local farms in the area and beautiful additions from my flower room, which is a part of Sunset’s Test Garden. Expect to see beautiful dahlias, garden roses, delphiniums, foxgloves, and more!
F2V: How important is it for you to use local American Grown Flowers in your arrangements?
Alethea: Honestly, all I use is local, American Grown Flowers. We do not always know about the sustainability practices of flowers grown overseas, nor do we know the working conditions. It is important for me to use American Grown Flowers in my arrangements because I want to have the best-looking product possible. Typically, flowers that are sold out of season are imported and they aren’t always the best quality. So if that means only using peonies when they are in season, then I won’t use them any other time of the year.
F2V: So we heard you designed Sunset Magazine’s new Test Garden at Cornerstone in Sonoma. Can you share any cool facts about it’s design?
Alethea: Sunset’s new Test Garden is 11,000 square feet. It houses five different rooms, which cater to their own unique audiences. The rooms include the Farm Garden, the Gathering Space, the Cocktail Garden, the Backyard Orchard, and the Flower Room. It’s exciting to see how the Field to Vase Dinner Tour will be added into this beautiful mix of floral wonders.
F2V: Can you give us some background on how you became a part of the floral industry?
Alethea: It all began 15-years ago when I was a florist working in San Francisco. I made the move to Seattle to begin working as an estate designer, which lead to the start of my business Studio Choo, which I started with my best friend. Studio Choo specializes in weddings, events, and we also teach classes. With myself being located 0n the West Coast and my business partner living on the East Coast, we have gone bi-coastal.
With Homestead, my business partner and I have always had the landscaper and florist team mindset. I do a lot of design work with the wonderful flowers and foliage found growing in home gardens. I do a lot of foraging and have a minimalist approach. I try to not use anything imported or that is considered wasteful within the floral industry. I will always choose to use items found around the garden, farmer’s markets or a local farm. It’s my new mission.
F2V: If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be?
Join us in welcoming Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective as our featured floral designer when the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner visits the new home of Sunset Magazine’s Test Garden at Cornerstone Sonoma on Sunday, October 16 in Sonoma, CA!
Tickets are going fast! Save your seat TODAY!
The Field to Vase Dinner Tour is making its way back to California to set the dinner table at one of our most anticipated stops yet! Joining us for a dinner located in California’s beautiful wine country, Sunset garden editor Johanna Silver will be our “farm host” of the night.
Johanna: I’m most excited to see Alethea’s arrangements! This will be our first time harvesting and designing directly with the bounty from our test garden. It has often been used for photographic purposes, so seeing the flowers and foliage in arrangements will be very exciting. I am a giant fan of Alethea’s work, and can’t wait to see what she whips up for the Field to Vase Dinner.
F2V: How exciting was it to design Sunset’s new test garden from the ground up?
Johanna: It was a huge relief to know that we were going to have a new garden for Sunset. For me, it was very important to have this garden since it adds true authenticity to the publication. As the garden editor, it’s important that I be able to get my hands in the dirt and try gardening tricks that we can pass on to our Sunset readers.
Designing our new test garden, we had new challenges to tackle. We decided to make our new garden public, so making sure more people can move through our garden comfortably was important. Another challenge we faced was choosing the right greenhouse manufacturer for our space. We are so excited to partner with a special manufacturer who creates beautiful northwest green panels that present the look of a unique and high-end greenhouse.
It has also been fun to shed some of the designing challenges we had with our previous garden, like our buff colored adobe wall. Before we were always shooting photos against this wall, but now we have begun shooting photos in the hedges of the garden, which has been a great start for a new look! This time around we definitely have a lot more space to play around with.
F2V: Why did the Sunset team pick Cornerstone as the location for their test garden?
Johanna: Honestly, they picked us. The owners of Cornerstone knew that we were losing our campus, so they wanted to bring the whole brand up to Cornerstone. Happily, we were able to partner with Cornerstone and received space for our outdoor kitchen as well as our new test garden. It was definitely a win-win for both Cornerstone and Sunset since there was now another reason for people to visit the beautiful property and for us to gain an amazing garden.
F2V: Why is it important for you to support local: CA GROWN & American Grown?
Johanna: There are so many reasons why I support local. There are the environmental and labor standards that don’t necessarily exist in other countries, and it is important to practice responsibly in those spheres. When it comes to supporting local, there is a quality of freshness you can’t deny.
As the garden editor of Sunset, I relish all of the farmers and growers I meet. They comprise all the stories I put together each year. They are amazing people who are growing amazing things and I want to support them.
F2V: As the garden editor of Sunset Magazine, what treats can we expect to see at this upcoming Field to Vase Dinner from our friends at Sunset?
Johanna: Just know that this Field to Vase Dinner won’t be anything traditional. When it comes to Alethea’s designs, I know she will be welcoming BIG installations, so expect to be wowed next month!
The location couldn’t be more perfect for a dinner in celebration of American Grown blooms. Join the Field to Vase Dinner Tour for a dinner to remember in Sonoma, CA on Sunday, October 16! Save your seats today!
In the midst of his second complete season, Chef Jim Gop is no stranger to putting his talent and passion in front of the fire to wow his guests. Focusing on the dining experience from start to finish, Jim and his team have a night of wonderful surprises in store for our guests.
Providing our #F2V guests with an experience unlike any other, Jim has prepared a menu fit for a king (or queen) at none other than world-renowned celebrity event designer turned American flower farmer, David Beahm’s farm, Thistle Dew Farm.
Recently, we had the chance to catch up with our featured chef to talk about everything from what inspires him as a chef and business owner, to his story of chasing dreams in California and the aesthetic he has established within his company, Heirloom Fire.
F2V: We are so excited to have you join us at David Beahm’s Thistle Dew Farm in Quakertown, PA as our featured Chef! What will we see during this upcoming dinner?
Jim: I am super excited to come along for the ride! It is important to pay attention to the aesthetic of the event, which happens to be much bigger than just the food. It’s the entire experience that we will be focusing on. To be able to work with the Field to Vase Dinner Tour and David Beahm to create this exclusive experience is beyond thrilling.
The menu we designed for the night will elaborate on that Pennsylvania feel. We will be roasting and cooking pigs in various ways, as well as serving handcrafted charcuterie, hearth baked breads, grilled summer vegetables, cast iron roasted lattice peach pies, fireside s’mores and more.
F2V: What is your story? How did you get started in the industry?
Jim: I have always been into art and loved expressing my vision through art. In my early years, I started drawing and eventually got really into special makeup effects, even working on sculpting prosthetics for faces. The attention to detail has always been my thing. Wanting to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, I went to California at the age of 17. Not breaking into the career I aimed for, I traveled back to the East Coast. I began to work for a grocer (similar to Whole Foods) in which I learned a lot about seasonality. It was that moment I began to fall in love with food. I attended the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and had the opportunity to learn hands-on through internships at high-end, white tablecloth restaurants. Eventually, I got burnt out from putting in long hours and often felt disconnected from who I was preparing a meal for within the restaurant scene.
Shortly after, I began working for my friend who did simple pig roasts and grilled vegetables. I couldn’t help but think how amazing this experience was to be outside and actually interact with the guests. I wanted to marry this artistic and higher-end background I had with the feeling of being outdoors. Sooner or later, Heirloom Fire was born. Believe it or not, this is our second full season as a business. It has been great!
F2V: If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be and why?
Jim: Captivating. We rely so much through display and exposure. When we set up for our events, we try to tuck ourselves away from the actual ceremony. Guests may visualize smoke in the air or see some fire flumes in the sky, but they eventually must turn a corner. For example, when you go to a baseball game, you purchase your tickets from the outside, come into the field, and it’s just an explosion of green. That’s the experience I want to provide my guests when they come around the corner from seeing the amazing smoke coming up from the flames, and the sounds of everything cooking.
F2V: As a chef, what inspires you?
Jim: I am always inspired by the local flavor of the locations we travel to. For this dinner, I want to highlight Pennsylvania with fresh summer ingredients grown locally on the East Coast. For me, summer is decided by peaches and melons that are so juicy, you want to stand over a bathtub while eating them!
Seasonality plays a huge factor in inspiration, which has captivated my love and appreciation for food but also the process of how a summer peach tastes different than a peach that would be shipped in from Chile or Argentina in January.
F2V: What makes you different compared to all the other Chefs we have featured in the past?
Jim: When it comes to our food, it is important to realize its more than just the taste, but also the presentation. We believe the overall experience is the most important factor. We are a fully exposed open-kitchen, conscious of reducing waste and focusing on the roots of cooking.
When we do events, we do not use any electricity. Everything is hand-driven. For refrigeration, we use our ice chests, which require large ice blocks. We have no plastic (anything) used in our kitchen. We use vintage copper and brass utensils, as well as kitchenware. From what I know, no one is doing it like us. People often stand near our set up and I want them to come closer – to give them a tour of our kitchen and explain our process for their meal. Our guests get to see the whole story being told by food. I want to capture your attention.
It is no secret that your FULL attention will be captivated ALL NIGHT through your eyes, nose, ears, and taste buds with Chef Jim in the house! Join the Field to Vase Dinner Tour for a dinner to remember in Quakertown, PA on Wednesday, September 14!
Save you seats today!