Ashland’s Culinary Festival – Nov. 8th – 11th 2019

We’ll head to one of our favorite places to take in their 13th Annual Culinary Festival… Ashland! Have you heard of the shows Chopped or Top Chef? Talented chiefs compete with one another testing their skills and competing for prizes. Many view their experience inside the ring as so integral to their development as professionals that they are now shepherding younger chefs and mixologists into the arena. Oh… and we’ll also take in some top-notch entertainment that Ashland is famous for!

Click here for a flyer – Ashland Culinary Festival

Day 1 – Friday November 8th – Home to Ashland
Our first stop is lunch at the Schmidt Family Vineyards. Owners Judy and Cal Schmidt began a life-long dream of farming the land. Cal’s great love and passion for wine and wine making made grapes the obvious crop. Cal grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas. A successful businessman, he began taking classes in viticulture and wine making in his spare time. In 2000, the old Bennett Ranch on the fertile Kubli Bench was purchased and became the setting for what is now the Schmidt Family Vineyards. Welcome to our home for the next 3 nights the Historic Ashland Springs Hotel… located in the heart of downtown Ashland. After a we “freshen up” we’ll head to our first event the Mixologist Competition… enjoy delicious bites and cocktail samples by local restaurants while 12 bartenders take stage to compete. One bartender with the highest score from each round will advances to the FINAL Round to become the “Wild Card Mixologist”. The festival has 30+ vendors on hand to sample taste and grab the perfect dinner. Ashland Springs Hotel (L)

Day 2 – Saturday November 9th – Local Touring  
This morning we’ll take in the Junior Chef Competition… four teams will be competing from local high school culinary programs. Junior chefs will be given a secret ingredient to complete much like the Top Chef Competition. The winning team of the Junior Chef Competition will have a chance to shadow the festival judges during the Top Chef Competition and will win a college scholarship. You’ll have some time to sip, sample, and taste as 30+ vendors will be on hand each day… Vendors included local wineries, chocolatiers, creameries, food artisans, chefs, cooking products and much more. Next, it’s the Top Chef Competition… 12 local chefs competing using ingredients from local farms and artisans. One chef with the highest score from each round will advance to the FINAL Round. The fourth position in the FINAL round will be a “Wild Card” Chef – selected by the judges. Last year, chefs were asked to create a warm salad with goat cheese and an entrée using venison, dried porcini mushrooms, either fresh or dried pears (Chef’s pick) and smoked bacon, a true Southern Oregon wintery pantry. In addition, EVERYTHING on their plates had to be GLUTEN-FREE. What will this year’s secret box contain? We’ll head back to the hotel to rest up before we head to the Cabaret Theater for their production of “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, a 1979 musical thriller based upon the book by Hugh Wheeler with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Ashland Springs Hotel (B, D)

Day 3 – Sunday November 10th – Local Touring
Your morning is free to explore the wonders of Ashland, and as Sunset Magazine says, “The town itself is the major attraction”. Visit 100-acre Lithia Park, an easy walk from our hotel. Explore the shops and eateries, enjoy a day spa, or just relax at the hotel. This afternoon we’ll head back to the Top Chef Competition to cheer on our favorite chef and learn who will advance to the final round and who will be crowned “Wild Card” Chef.  You’ll have a little time to rest up before we head to one of our favorite restaurants in town… Beasy’s on the Creek for a delicious dinner. Ashland Springs Hotel (B, D)

Day 4 – Monday November 11th – Ashland to Home
We’ll head home today but the fun isn’t over. First stop is Harry & David’s for a tour of their facilities. You will see delights come to life! From their entertaining tour guide, learn about the company’s rich history while you watch their dedicated culinary team create silky-smooth chocolate truffles, creamy cheesecakes, and baklava. See how they make their incredible Moose Munch Premium Popcorn, with buttery caramel, nuts, and chocolate. Watch their talented packaging teams hand assemble their gourmet gift towers and baskets and view their famous Royal Riviera Pears as they’re sorted and packed by hand. We’ll continue south to the Climate City Brewing in Grants Pass where a delicious lunch awaits! We head home with great memories and perhaps a few new recipes! (B, L)

$1,084 Double $1,278 Single

A $100 per person deposit will hold space; balance is due by September 8th, 2019