For a true farm-to-table experience, visit Napa Valley’s Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead in St. Helena, Calif. The sustainable food, wine and agricultural center is a multi-use facility, including Farmstead restaurant, a winery, vegetable gardens, a seasonal farm stand, a floral design shop and unique event spaces.
At the center of the 650-acre organic ranch’s operations is Stephen Barber, director of culinary operations and executive chef of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Raised in Kentucky, Barber brings a touch of his Southern roots to the American farmhouse cooking style of Farmstead. The outdoor smoker is a clear indication of Barber’s barbecue-inspired influence. Each dish served, and likely expedited by Barber himself, incorporates the Ranch’s organic produce, grass-fed beef and lamb, eggs and olive oil, as well as other local artisanal products. All pair perfectly, of course, with the wines produced on site.
Working at a farm-to-table operation, Barber operates on the philosophy of allowing the gardens to tell him what to cook. Before joining Farmstead in 2011, Barber was chef at Fish Story in Napa and executive chef at MECCA in San Francisco, where he received three stars from The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2007, Barber opened BarbersQ in Napa. He began his career at City Grocery, a renowned Mississippi restaurant, under Chef John Currence before moving to Miami to work under Chef Norman Van Aken at his eponymous Norman’s. Van Aken later brought Barber on as opening chef de cuisine for Bambu restaurant.
In a food mecca like the Napa Valley, Barber and Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead manage to stand out among some of the finest in the country. Pairing the advantages of fresh, readily available ingredients with respect for the flavors and ingenuity, simple food finds a delicious balance.
What are three go-to ingredients you always have in your home kitchen?
I cook simply at home, always with a protein. On hand, we have chicken and grass-fed beef from Long Meadow Ranch. A roast chicken is a go-to. I always have an array of spices; these make things interesting, like vindaloo and berbere. With flour and egg in the kitchen, I can make fresh pasta, which is a favorite of my little guy.
What’s your favorite season for cooking, and why?
In Northern California, it has to be summer, with the abundance of fresh produce available. It’s such an exciting time, from the heirloom tomatoes and peaches to purple basil, apricots, fresh herbs and more.
Aside from your current position, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
Working as a line cook at Norman’s in Miami. As a young chef, I was coming up surrounded by serious food people, and I was able to hone and develop my techniques.
What’s the first meal you ever cooked?
I was young, and it was barbecued chicken, nothing too exciting, but prepared on a grill, as I was learning about charcoal cooking.
Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead
738 Main St.
St. Helena, CA 94574
tel 707 963 4555
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.