Cooking Class With Biale At The Culinary Institute of America at Copia
June 8, July 13, August 24, & October 5
Napa, California

(Photo credit: Bob McClenahan)

We are bringing back our Italian roots-C.I.A. Copia style! This summer we launched a new program for our Black Chicken Society Members, where they had the opportunity to learn from professional chefs and create a delicious family luncheon paired with Biale wines in downtown Napa.

Located on the second floor of the C.I.A. at Copia, are the beautiful Hestan Kitchens. They are state of the art, and a “playground” for the culinary kids in us all! Each class was unique and had 3 separate dishes that paired with our newest wine releases. One standard component in every class was the “blackened chicken”…how fitting right? Each menu was artfully crafted by Chef Sandy and her team at the Culinary Institute of America based on the fresh produce that was growing in their garden.

The “chefs in training” started their class by establishing the basics, such as knife skills. Then it was time to dive in! Guests had the opportunity to pick what station or part of the dish was best suited for them. Whether it was something like “how to poach an egg” that they may have always wanted to learn, or possibly making something to wow the crowd like homemade ricotta. All this being said, our goal was to make our members feel like they were cooking in the kitchen with their Nonna, even though the cooking took place in an industrial kitchen. After the prep came the best part, of course! That’s right, we enjoyed the “fruits of our labor” family style! Laughs were had and stomachs were happy as the group indulged in an intimate luncheon paired with Biale wines-an afternoon to remember with our beloved Black Chicken Society members!

We know many of you could not make it, so we have included a recipe from our first class: “Blackened Chicken with Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi” paired with our 2017 Black Chicken Zinfandel.

What makes the “Blackened Chicken with Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi” such a great pairing for our Black Chicken Zinfandel you may ask? Well it starts with the spice rub. One simple tip when pairing wines (that works 99% of the time) is to pair “like with like”. For example, in this case our Black Chicken Zinfandel has this great tart red fruit quality with the finish of dried herb and subtle notes of baking spice. The spice rub for the chicken in the recipe consists of similar flavors of the wine such as, cocoa, white pepper, thyme, and oregano. This combined with the acidity of the Black Chicken Zinfandel, helps to in turn cut through the fat content of the homemade ricotta as well. Give this recipe and pairing a shot! We promise you won’t be disappointed. Cheers!