By Tanya Henry
One of the many perks of living in Marin is the fact that communing with nature is easy. Whether it’s hiking in the Marin Headlands, running the Dipsea Trail, or camping at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, there are countless ways for us to become one with the outdoors. Many of these favorite spots fall under the jurisdiction of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area (GGNRA), which encompasses more than 30 national parks. Eight years ago, the GGNRA also brought Marin its first luxury resort.
Just like so many things in this county, Cavallo Point Lodge is not your typical resort. Situated at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito’s Fort Baker, the one-time military base now boasts an upscale restaurant, bar, wellness spa, lodging and one of the most charming cooking schools in the Bay Area.
Perhaps the thing that I like most about Cavallo is that it offers so many options. I can order a glass of wine from Farley’s impressive list (their cellar boasts 2,000 choices) and plop down in an overstuffed chair, or take in the vistas from the chilly outdoor terrace (blankets are provided). Lodging can be contemporary/modern or refurbished turn-of-the-century officer’s barracks. Murray Circle restaurant offers up an uber seasonal California menu with plenty of charcuterie options that chef Justin Everett prepares downstairs in his own makeshift curing chamber. And now, just in time for spring, the lodge is holding its second annual Lexus Culinary Classic—a three-day extravaganza featuring cooking classes, celebrity chefs, premier wine tasting and more.
On Friday, March 11, the celebration kicks off with an opening reception and multi-course dinner prepared by four different chefs, including the James Beard award-winning Michelle Bernstein from Miami, Post Ranch Inn’s John Cox, Boston’s Mauricio Luna (XV Beacon) and the host, Cavallo’s own Justin Everett.
A master mixologist will lead guests through a re-crafting of classic cocktails, and a hands-on cooking class will be led by visiting chefs and the cooking school’s culinary director, Jayne Reichert. Of course the class will culminate in a four-course dinner, prepared by the guests, for everyone to enjoy.
A sparkling wine pairing demo and truffle dinner are also in the mix, and the event wraps with a Grand Tasting on Sunday, March 13 from 12pm to 3pm. Twenty wineries from Marin, Sonoma and Napa, along with the partnering chefs will likely offer plenty of locally inspired nibbles and sips.
Though this event will draw a mixed, food-loving crowd, the lodge’s national park ethos keeps Cavallo Point real and continues to make it an infinitely appealing option—right here in our own backyard.
2016 Lexus Culinary Classic, March 11-13, Cavallo Point Lodge, 601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito; lexusculinaryclassic.com.