Kohler Food and Wine Festival Experience 2013
A few weeks ago I attended the Kohler Food and Wine Experience at The American Club resort in Kohler, Wisconsin. The four-day extravaganza was made up of spectacular food, wine, seminars, celebrity chef presentations, intimate wine tastings and evening celebrations. It all took place in the quaint little city full of sinks, toilets, faucets, and chocolate, which had so much pizazz and personality! It was a dream trip for me to be invited by Kohler Food & Wine, who sponsored my trip.
Other bloggers who came on the trip were Ali, Heidi, (me), Sommer, Dara, Amy and Amanda). And Sommer, who attended the Food and Wine Experience last year, brought us all together to be a part of this amazing experience.
We pulled up to The American Club Resort and were escorted into our fabulous rooms. (Photo credit: Dara)
The American Club, boasts the first and only Forbes Five-Star hotel property in Wisconsin, and world-renowned championship golf courses Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, in the birthplace of golf, St Andrews, Scotland, was acquired in 2004 and is a AA Five Red Star property, one of the most luxurious resorts in the world!
The room was classy!
The linen, towels, robes, faucets, tubs, and special turndown service each night spoiled us all for 3 incredible nights.
Each morning, I ordered a simple breakfast of eggs and fresh fruit from room service, and each morning, we were treated like queens and royalty by the staff. Each room had a unique Kohler faucet or water feature in the shower or tub.
My tub–the water came out of the ceiling!
I loved their little note card that said: We hope your time under our roof is filled with enjoyment, calm and rest.
The grounds were stunning. The weather was more than spectacular while we were there.
The Wisconsin colors were so vibrant, at times it seriously took my breath away! What a lovely time of year to host a wine festival.
We had the opportunity to tour the impressive Kohler Design Center and Musuem. The center is set up to display some of Kohler’s products, as well as to feature the history of the company and the Kohler family.
If the name Kohler sounds familiar to you, it’s because they make state-of-the-art products such as kitchen and bath products, furniture and tile, engines and generators, and are known for their golf and destination resorts. Keep reading to find out more about their chocolate, too. :)
And as we went through the Design Center, I have to say it was fascinating to see Kohler’s newest innovations in kitchens and bathrooms. Wow! (Bathroom envy! Some of the coolest showers and tubs! Silly, Ali.) :)
We snuck off to one of the bathrooms upstairs for a “social media break” (bloggers checking their Instagram) and a quick picture.
Later that day we stopped by Kohler’s Craverie Chocolatier Cafe to meet Chef Annette Righi DeFendi, Kohler’s head chocolatier. It was so fun to hang out with such a “sweet” and wonderful lady, who knew so much about chocolate. Be still my heart. (Photo credit: Sommer)
Chef Annette told us the story of Herb Kohler’s passion for fine chocolates, feeling that the world deserved a better turtle, spurring on the creation of their signature and original Terrapin. Funny how we made our way to the Chocolate Cafe several times on our trip, and tried everything from the chocolate terrapins to the fresh, gooey cookies right out of the oven. It’s tough being a food blogger. :)
Late afternoon, we attended a Special Guest Welcome Celebration hosted at the Stella Artois Beer Garden & Tent.
We now all know how to say, “Cidre,” and learned about beer pairing, had more sips of Cidre, and cheese, and Cidre … you get the point. :) Stella Artois Cidre is a crisp and refreshing European-style cider made from hand-picked apples. It has a taste of red apple and peach, with apricot accents that complement the subtle flavor of orange, giving it a refreshing taste. Delicious!
Our welcome dinner was hosted that evening at The American Club’s Immigrant Restaurant, which is arranged in a series of six rooms decorated in the European style of early Wisconsin settlers: French, Dutch, German, Normandy, Danish and English.
Our meal was another incredible experience, served by Chef Matthew Bauer.
In the evening, the 7 of us girls gathered in what we called “our fireside room,” where we sipped wine by the fire, ate some desserts, and visited with each other. One night we experimented with some new hair-dos. (Photo credit: Sommer’s tweet)
The next morning we relaxed at the Kohler Waters Spa, where we each received our own spa treatments. We were able to enjoy the rooftop deck whirlpool and Relaxation Pool and ordered lunch off of the spa menu. A real treat to get us going for the day!
The sessions held the next 2 days were mixed with America’s Test Kitchen, starring Christopher Kimball, Tony Mantuano, and a Jacques and Claudine Pepin Seminar – my favorite.
Later that night I had my iPhone in the right place, and caught Jacques giving our own Dara (Cookin’ Canuck) a little smooch on the cheek. Sweet! (Take a peek over at Dara’s.)
The signature evening event was held that night back in the Kohler Design Center for Taste of the Vine, where we munched on appetizers and sampled wines and beers, cheeses, desserts, chocolates.
Later the next morning was another surprise! After watching and participating in Cat Cora’s Fall Fit & Fabulous session–where she talked about cooking from the hip, and pulling meals together last minute–we were then able to have our own intimate gathering with Chef Cat, cookbook author and Food Network chef (the only female donning the white coat as an Iron Chef). We chatted about family, cooking, business, sports, and technology. We even taught her how to AirDrop pictures! :)
Later that night, after sipping, tasting, nibbling, and munching on more treats at the Festival, and celebrating many winemakers, we enjoyed an intimate dinner at the River Wildlife Lodge Restaurant, a rustic log cabin bordering a large hardwood forest, right on the river.
We walked down a trail to get there, and I love how our hostess, Sommer, sat at the head of the table, and her husband, Lt. Dan, at the other end. It was a beautiful way to end our time together, the perfect ending to an enchanting time together at the Kohler Food and Wine Experience.
It truly was an experience I will never forget.
One I hope to be able to revisit and experience again.
I stole this idea from Sommer, who was our blogging host on the trip, because I couldn’t have said it any better. Here’s a bucket list that everyone should have when visiting The Kohler Food and Wine Experience!
KOHLER BUCKET LIST:
Stay at the American Club
Relax at the Waters Spa
Play Golf at one of the Award-Winning Courses
Eat at the Immigrant Restaurant or the Horse & Plow, River Wildlife Lodge, and Cucina
Splurge at Craverie Chocolatier Cafe
Visit the Design Center (any plans for a remodel in your home?)
Plan for the Kohler Food & Wine Experience 2014!
HOT OFF THE PRESS: The American Club resort, a 2013 Forbes Five-Star Recipient and the Midwest’s only AAA Five-Diamond resort-hotel was named #3 Golf Resort in North America, by Golf Digest Magazine! Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin is the first and only Forbes Five-Star spa in Wisconsin and one of 38 spas worldwide to hold this distinction!
Disclosure: The American Club hosted me at this event. As always, all opinions are always my own!