Mark Estee visits Whitehall Lane

June 11th, 2012

Posted in Food & Friends

Mark Estee is a well-known chef and restaurant owner from the Reno-Tahoe area. He is most noted for the recently opened Italian restaurant in downtown Reno “Campo” but has also worked to bring “Moody’s” & “Burger Me” to the area.

He recently stopped by our winery to cook us some of his delicious food. Below are his thoughts & some pictures from the experience.

“When you own a restaurant people ask you for donations more than anyone could ever imagine.  This is nothing new and I am sure every chef, owner, corporation, has the same story about every event wanting food, services, gift cards, etc…It goes with the territory and I assume like we do here at Campo and Burger Me, we accommodate all we can.

But every once in a while you have the chance to help out and be a part of something that is really fun and special.  The idea, that by cooking a dinner for my great friends at Whitehall Lane Winery, I can drive down to St Helena, see some great friends, cook in the awesome new full service kitchen and hang with the Leonardini’s, is a chance I jumped at.

This family and winery has meant so much to me over the last 16 years.  When I first moved out here fromBoston in Jan. of 1996 and met Tom Sr. I did not even know Napa Valley existed.  He welcomed me over the years into his family:  All the holidays at the family house, to Cioppino Dinners, Bocce Matches and a very special wedding at the winery.  There is no way to repay the love that has been shown to me.

So, I cook.  I come down, have a blast and revel in the chance to repay the love that has been so freely given to me!  So funny, as I did not cook for the family, but was part of a dinner donation that they gave to the Napa Valley Vintners Wine Auction ……guess we can add wineries to the list of establishments being asked to help too!  So here are some pics of a fun and simple dinner with great wines, a great group and me surrounded by family!”