BeautifulPlaces Custom Farm to Table Thanksgiving Dinners

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Home / BeautifulPlaces Custom Farm to Table Thanksgiving Dinners


Top Wine Country Chef Helps Villa Guests Create Dinners using local ingredients and specialties

[Sonoma, CA], September 2012 --With its abundance of artisan foods, organic farms, local market selections and of course wineries, Sonoma is the perfect place to create a custom Farm to Table Feast this Thanksgiving. This year BeautifulPlaces offers their villa guests three different ways to create a most memorable Farm to Table Thanksgiving:

  • Thanksgiving Foraging Excursion + Cooking with Vine Dining Chef Max Porter-Elliot
  • Serve It Yourself: Thanksgiving Dinner Prepared and Delivered ready to Cook
  • Do It Yourself: Thanksgiving Dinner Groceries and Recipes delivered to your villa

“A key element to the wine country villa experience is discovering the vast food sources in Sonoma and this year we’ve created three ways for our guests to create a very special Thanksgiving for family and friends,” noted Liza Graves, president and cofounder of BeautifulPlaces, the international villa hospitality company and winner of the 2012 Travel Weekly Magellan Gold Award. BeautifulPlaces (insert link to wine country homes) has a portfolio of more than 30 properties throughout the California Wine Country.

Thanksgiving Foraging Excursion: Spend the day with Max as you visit his favorite wine country food haunts and amass items for your dinner. Solve the Omnivores Dilemma at Tara Firma Farms (www.tarafirmafarms.com) for a humanely-raised turkey; stop for a loaf or two of incredible breads at Della Fattoria (www.dellafattoria.com) in Petaluma; tour the Cowgirl Creamery (www.cowgirlcreamery.com) , taste and select meal-complimenting cheeses; add some sweetness to your meal with honey made at Gipson’s (www.gipsonsgolden.com); along the way stop at local farms (like www.greenstringfarm.com) for the freshest fruits (local Gravenstein apples make a great pie) and vegetables and don’t forget some festive pumpkins and gourds to decorate the table. No meal is complete without wine, Max will arrange a tour of the biodynamic Littorai winery (www.littorai.com) where you’ll select wines to pair with your menu. Back home in the villa kitchen Chef Max will share recipes and get the cooking started. Thanksgiving is an excellent time for a culinary treasure hunt. I can't wait to share my insider secrets and introduce my guests to my amazing team of passionate local farmers and artisan food purveyors. This will be a Thanksgiving to remember," added Porter-Elliot.

Do It Yourself: If you like to cook but time is an issue Chef Max will do the shopping for you and BeautifulPlaces will have the groceries waiting for you in your villa kitchen. “Virtual Chef” Max will include a menu plan, cooking guide and favorite recipes too. You’ll have to opportunity to talk with Chef Max in advance so you can plan a custom menu.

Serve It Yourself: Want a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner ready to cook and serve, no problem. BeautifulPlaces’ guests can pick from an exciting menu that will be delivered to their villa ready to go including brioche duck laced stuffing, chardonnay cranberry sauce, Truffled mash potatoes, and Vine Dining famous apple and pumpkin pies. (see pie recipe below)

BeautifulPlaces has a portfolio of Wine Country homes and estates starting at $800/night for Le Jardin, a charming Provencal style home for six. Pricing on the Thanksgiving packages depends on itinerary; men and number of guests.

About Chef Max Porter-Elliot

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Max leads the Vine Dining team in creating custom culinary experiences including private dining; wine country excursions and side by side personal cooking classes. He is the former Executive Chef of The Reserve Room at Mayo Family Winery in Kenwood and worked at Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert's 3 star Michelin restaurant in New York City. www.winecountryvinedining.com

About BeautifulPlaces

Savor Life! BeautifulPlaces (www.beautiful-places.com) has created a new dimension in travel offering guests an authentic lifestyle experience in a variety of prime destinations around the world – the wine regions of Northern California, France and Italy…the resort areas of Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, …the winter playgrounds of Telluride, Snowmass and Aspen; the Caribbean islands of Mustique, Barbados and the US and British Virgin Islands….and the jet set hideaways of The Hamptons, Palm Beach and Nantucket.

In addition to a select portfolio of villa and estates rentals, BeautifulPlaces’ concierge department handles all personal arrangements; plans custom itineraries; creates exclusive experiences and hands on activities for guests; and provides insider tips about the destination.

For the sixth consecutive year, the editors of Condé Nast Traveler have named Liza Graves, president of BeautifulPlaces, one of the top villa agents in the world. ABC-TV’s The Bachelor selected one of BP’s Sonoma villas for their Wine Country Romance show in January 2012 and three of BP’s villas were showcased on HG-TV’s popular show, House Hunters on Vacation. Travel Weekly honored BeautifulPlaces with the 2012 Gold Magellan Award in the luxury resort category. BeautifulPlaces is headquartered in Sonoma, California. For more information, call 1.800.495.9961.

Vine Dining’s Apple Pie

Makes 2 Pies

8 cups sliced organic Gravenstein Apples
1 tablespoon organic butter
1/3 cup Apple Cider Syrup (available at the Fremont Diner or from the Philo Apple Farm)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Vanilla bean, inside scraped and saved, bean discarded
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, preferably freshly ground

In a large sauté pan on medium heat melt the butter and then lightly sauté half of the apples just until the begin to soften. Combine all ingredients except the apples in a bowl and stir to ensure everything is incorporated. Add the sautéed apples and the fresh apple and carefully toss all the ingredients until the apples are coated. Be sure not to over mix, you do not want the apples to break down too much.

Use your favorite pie crust, divide the filling in half and put each into its own pie shell. Cover with more dough either in a lattice or in a sheet with slits cut to allow some steam to escape while cooking. Finish by brushing the top with an egg wash and sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar.

Cook on a cookie sheet in a preheated 400F degree oven for approximately 1 hour.