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Host: Ray

Napa, United States

USD
$72 per person

Seasonal California cuisine in the heart of Napa Valley

Host offerings
  • House
  • Professional cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Ray

Ray has been cooking professionally since he was 16 years old. He has traveled the world, cooking tasting and learning as he goes, which has resulted in a vast repertoire of recipes and techniques from nearly every cuisine imaginable, including a chocolate apprenticeship in Switzerland. For 40+ years, Ray has worked with a variety of restaurants catering companies, including the Semester at Sea program as well as many other cruise ships worldwide. Later, he ran his well-known restaurant and catering company in Kailua Hawaii, a Brazilian restaurant in Porto Seguro, Brazil and upon coming home to California, he opened another restaurant in Napa Valley. Now semi-retired, Ray feeds his passion for hospitality and cooking by hosting guests at his home. His annual 'Pig and Pinot' party attracts 200 guests, and his friends know they can stop in anytime for a delicious meal, lingering in his backyard over an excellent bottle of wine.

Ray can cook it all - Thai, Chinese, French, Indian, delicate patisserie, Italian, but his favorite way to eat is seasonal, unpretentious family-style dishes inspired by the bounty of ingredients available in California's Napa Valley. Ray lives on an acre of land that he shares with his brother. They each have a house on the property. Ray's home is a cozy, somewhat cluttered, art-filled one bedroom home that is filled to the brim with curios from his exotic travels, a collection of over 1,000 cookbooks, and a vast art collection. Join him at his rustic home for a memorable culinary experience in Napa.

Be sure to ask if you have special requests, Ray aims to please!

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

Cooking experience: (2-8 guests) Ray, a gentle soul with a big personality will welcome you into his home with a refreshing drink for your Napa cooking class. Ray will regale you with stories from his years at sea and at restaurants around the world. He may even pull out his stash of spices that he picked up on his latest latest travels! Start off with a tour of Ray’s garden, where you get to sniff a few herbs (from the exotic rau ram to sage and peppermint) and explore several varieties of chilies and tomatoes. Join him in the kitchen to learn to cook 2-3 dishes. Roll up your sleeves as you learn to chop, blanch and sauté seasonal vegetables and market-fresh ingredients. Ray is a professional chef who has trained several shipboard crews to serve hundreds of guests on cruise ships, and has run professional kitchens, restaurants and catering companies around the world. Be prepared to pick up a few tricks of the trade, from how to perfectly caramelize ingredients to how to add moisture and deglaze with homemade chicken stock. Ray’s calm demeanor will put you at ease as he teaches you the basic elements of cookery and he will instill confidence in you as he demonstrates just how easy it can be to put together a gourmet meal. Depending on your interests you will cook together for up to 1.5 hours in his utilitarian kitchen before sitting down to share the meal together. Join him at his outdoor dining table (weather dependent) and share a delightfully creative, seasonal meal of some of Ray’s favorite dishes over a glass of local wine. Ray is happy to customize the menu to your tastes, so just ask if you have special requests!

Notes: Wine is included in the cost of your experience.

Languages spoken: English

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • White bean and tuscan kale soup with smoked ham
  • Chef's baby lettuce salad with grilled strawberries and a balsamic-cilantro dressing
  • Butternut squash noodles and baby asparagus in a sauce of shallot, garlic, herbs and parmesan cheese
  • Grilled apple cider brined pork loin with herb roasted peppers and shallots in a maple-mustard glaze
  • Sliced fresh fruit with a warm white wine, honey, lemon drizzle
  • Freshly baked pear and fig galette scented with balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and star anise

Traveler reviews

We had the best day with Chef Ray. He went above and beyond to make our experience exceptional. I was impressed that he paid great attention to the finer details. Overall a lovely man who was extremely hospitable.
- Morgan August 30, 2019

We had the best day with Chef Ray. He went above and beyond to make our experience exceptional. I was impressed that he paid great attention to the finer details. Overall a lovely man who was extremely hospitable.
- Rae August 30, 2019

Ray was a fantastic host, and a great chef! He shared his fantastic garden, his extensive wine collection, as well as his knowledge of foods and cooking. He also has an amazing eclectic collection of art throughout his home. Since our time with him I have also been acutely aware of my knife skills :-) He has a great knowledge of using herbs/spices as opposed to salt/pepper for seasoning delicious fresh foods.
- Becky and Daniel August 26, 2019

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Ray

$72 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Credit card is not charged until the host confirms your booking
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $72 $72
Alcohol
$0 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $72 $72
Alcohol
$0 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:30am-2:30pm 6:00pm-9:00pm

Meet Ray

Ray has been cooking professionally since he was 16 years old. He has traveled the world, cooking tasting and learning as he goes, which has resulted in a vast repertoire of recipes and techniques from nearly every cuisine imaginable, including a chocolate apprenticeship in Switzerland. For 40+ years, Ray has worked with a variety of restaurants catering companies, including the Semester at Sea program as well as many other cruise ships worldwide. Later, he ran his well-known restaurant and catering company in Kailua Hawaii, a Brazilian restaurant in Porto Seguro, Brazil and upon coming home to California, he opened another restaurant in Napa Valley. Now semi-retired, Ray feeds his passion for hospitality and cooking by hosting guests at his home. His annual 'Pig and Pinot' party attracts 200 guests, and his friends know they can stop in anytime for a delicious meal, lingering in his backyard over an excellent bottle of wine.

Ray can cook it all - Thai, Chinese, French, Indian, delicate patisserie, Italian, but his favorite way to eat is seasonal, unpretentious family-style dishes inspired by the bounty of ingredients available in California's Napa Valley. Ray lives on an acre of land that he shares with his brother. They each have a house on the property. Ray's home is a cozy, somewhat cluttered, art-filled one bedroom home that is filled to the brim with curios from his exotic travels, a collection of over 1,000 cookbooks, and a vast art collection. Join him at his rustic home for a memorable culinary experience in Napa.

Be sure to ask if you have special requests, Ray aims to please!

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

Cooking experience: (2-8 guests) Ray, a gentle soul with a big personality will welcome you into his home with a refreshing drink for your Napa cooking class. Ray will regale you with stories from his years at sea and at restaurants around the world. He may even pull out his stash of spices that he picked up on his latest latest travels! Start off with a tour of Ray’s garden, where you get to sniff a few herbs (from the exotic rau ram to sage and peppermint) and explore several varieties of chilies and tomatoes. Join him in the kitchen to learn to cook 2-3 dishes. Roll up your sleeves as you learn to chop, blanch and sauté seasonal vegetables and market-fresh ingredients. Ray is a professional chef who has trained several shipboard crews to serve hundreds of guests on cruise ships, and has run professional kitchens, restaurants and catering companies around the world. Be prepared to pick up a few tricks of the trade, from how to perfectly caramelize ingredients to how to add moisture and deglaze with homemade chicken stock. Ray’s calm demeanor will put you at ease as he teaches you the basic elements of cookery and he will instill confidence in you as he demonstrates just how easy it can be to put together a gourmet meal. Depending on your interests you will cook together for up to 1.5 hours in his utilitarian kitchen before sitting down to share the meal together. Join him at his outdoor dining table (weather dependent) and share a delightfully creative, seasonal meal of some of Ray’s favorite dishes over a glass of local wine. Ray is happy to customize the menu to your tastes, so just ask if you have special requests!

Notes: Wine is included in the cost of your experience.

Languages spoken: English

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • White bean and tuscan kale soup with smoked ham
  • Chef's baby lettuce salad with grilled strawberries and a balsamic-cilantro dressing
  • Butternut squash noodles and baby asparagus in a sauce of shallot, garlic, herbs and parmesan cheese
  • Grilled apple cider brined pork loin with herb roasted peppers and shallots in a maple-mustard glaze
  • Sliced fresh fruit with a warm white wine, honey, lemon drizzle
  • Freshly baked pear and fig galette scented with balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and star anise

Traveler reviews

We had the best day with Chef Ray. He went above and beyond to make our experience exceptional. I was impressed that he paid great attention to the finer details. Overall a lovely man who was extremely hospitable.
- Morgan August 30, 2019

We had the best day with Chef Ray. He went above and beyond to make our experience exceptional. I was impressed that he paid great attention to the finer details. Overall a lovely man who was extremely hospitable.
- Rae August 30, 2019

Ray was a fantastic host, and a great chef! He shared his fantastic garden, his extensive wine collection, as well as his knowledge of foods and cooking. He also has an amazing eclectic collection of art throughout his home. Since our time with him I have also been acutely aware of my knife skills :-) He has a great knowledge of using herbs/spices as opposed to salt/pepper for seasoning delicious fresh foods.
- Becky and Daniel August 26, 2019

Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $72 $72
Alcohol
$0 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $72 $72
Alcohol
$0 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:30am-2:30pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

    You can cancel your reservation for free up until 48 hours before your experience. Experiences within 48 hours are not refundable.

    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Most of our Traveling Spoon experiences are incredibly family friendly and can accommodate infants and children. If a host is unable to accommodate children that will be noted in the “Notes” section of their profile. Our child pricing policy is children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.