Richard Blais, Tyler Florence, Thomas Keller All Appearing This Weekend at Flavor! Napa Valley

The CIA Greystone campus.
The CIA Greystone campus.

The first annual Flavor! Napa Valley festival, benefiting the scholarship programs at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, kicks off Thursday with a series of tasting events, dinners, and chef demos from the likes of Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, and Top Chef All Stars champ Richard Blais. Those latter two events, as well as the big grand tasting event on Friday night, still have tickets available, as do a bunch of other things.

The CIA Greystone campus.

Alas, celebs like Keller and Morimoto have already attracted sold-out crowds. But if you have the means and you’re free this weekend, we’d recommend grabbing a seat at Blais’s or Chiarello’s demos, or this event about “the art of texture in food” from Michelin three-starred Meadowood chef Christopher Kostow. Or if you really have the means and want to contribute to the educations of future chefs, you can still get a seat for $1,000 per person at this closing night event called Napa Valley’s Ultimate Flavors, to be cooked by the chef team of Tyler Florence, Philippe Jeanty (Bistro Jeanty), Brandon Sharp (Solbar), Robert Curry (Auberge du Soleil), and Andrew Budnyj (FARM at the Carneros Inn).

Did we mention there will also be buckets of wine everywhere you turn?

It remains to be seen what the foodie-tourist demographic for the new event will be, or how it will compare to the mostly new-money, SoCal crowds that travel for Pebble Beach Food & Wine every year. We’ll surely let you know.

Flavor! Napa Valley [Official Site]

Richard Blais, Tyler Florence, Thomas Keller All Appearing This Weekend at