a man and a woman wearing chef uniforms pose in a kitchen
Jun 18, 2014

FVCC Welcomes Napa Valley Chefs for Scholarship Benefit: Event to Feature Local Foods

Photos (L-R):  Napa Valley Chefs Penelope and Dominic Orsini
Photos (L-R): Napa Valley Chefs Penelope and Dominic Orsini

Napa Valley Chefs Dominic and Penelope Orsini will showcase their talents to the Flathead Valley July 3 at a special Napa Valley Summer Affair presented by the Flathead Valley Community College Foundation. The event will kick off the Foundation’s seventh annual Festival of Flavors benefit which raises money to support scholarships and programs at FVCC.


The event will feature an exquisite five-course meal prepared by the Orsinis with the help of students of The Culinary Institute of Montana (CIM) at FVCC and live music by blues guitarist and singer Kevin Van Dort. Each course will be paired with select Twomey and Silver Oak wines. To accentuate the elegance of the affair, the event will be held at the historic Eastside Kalispell home of Suzy Williams.


“We are excited to provide our students this tremendous opportunity to learn from two world-class chefs,” said Howard Karp, CIM executive chef.


Dominic and Penelope work for Silver Oak Cellars where Dominic serves as winery chef and Penelope designs pastries and desserts for events. Both chefs have a passion for earth-to-table cuisine, using only all natural ingredients at their peak of the season quality. The chefs will proudly support local and Montana farmers and ranchers by using locally-grown produce and Montana-raised meats for this special affair.


For Dominic, who honed his skills at restaurants in New York and Napa Valley prior to joining Silver Oak, the concept of regionality goes beyond securing fresh, seasonal ingredients from local purveyors. Drawing from the winery’s organic gardens and local sources, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park graduate creates many of the ingredients for Silver Oak’s menus himself. Ingredients include cheeses made from fresh local milk and house bread made from a levain he developed using Cabernet grapes. Dominic cures his own meats, including wild boar, buffalo and duck, makes his own balsamic vinegar and grinds locally-grown wheat to make flour for his pastas.


Penelope Jane Orsini has been baking professionally for over 12 years and received her training at The Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena.  Her industry experience started in Napa Valley and later took her to New York City where she worked in the kitchens of Grammercy Tavern, The River Cafe and the renowned St. Regis Hotel.  A former a wedding cake business owner, her work has been featured in Martha Stewart’s Weddings Magazine, Wine Country Weddings Magazine,, and


Tickets to the affair are $175 per person or $1,500 for a table of 10 and can be purchased by calling 756-3632 or online at