Feb 12, 2015

Napa in Bloom Opens 2015 FVCC Festival of Flavors: Proceeds support FVCC scholarships

Chef Dominic Orsini
Chef Dominic Orsini

Now in its eighth season, the Flathead Valley Community College Foundation’s Festival of Flavors will commence this spring with Napa in Bloom, an exquisite wine dinner featuring Silver Oak Cellars Chef Dominic Orsini and the students of The Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC, March 21. Proceeds from Napa in Bloom will support FVCC student scholarships.


The event will include a five-course dinner with wine pairings from Silver Oak Cellars and other award-winning California wines. The menu will feature a citrus salad, Northwest rivers’ steelhead trout, rabbit ragu and foraged mushrooms in a handmade garganelli pasta, braised lamb shank, chocolate and mint sorbet, fernet branca and chocolate ganache.


The students will assist Orsini with food preparation, plating and service as part of their catering internships for this event. The Foundation and staff will transform the campus’ large community room into a landscape of colors, fashioning the spring blossoms of Napa for a magical evening.


From his early love of food, Orsini aspired to be a chef, graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 1995. His talents and skills were honed in the kitchens of New York City, Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Orsini joined Silver Oak Cellars in 2008, where he now focuses on menus and recipes that “let the wine shine” and describes his style as “garden soulful.”


“A meal should be a snapshot in time…reflecting the weather, time of day, what’s fresh in the garden and the mood of the guests,” he explains.


Excluding a two-year stint as sous chef at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, Orsini has spent his career almost exclusively in the Napa Valley region.


“Wine was such a big part of my culinary education,” he said. “And for a chef, Wine Country is the place to be.”


Orsini has worked in a range of highly regarded Napa Valley kitchens, including Brannan’s Grill and Bar Vino in Calistoga, The Meritage Resort in Napa, where he served as banquet chef de cuisine, and at Roux Restaurant in St. Helena from 2002-2003, which was named one of the “Top 50 Restaurants” by the San Francisco Chronicle.


Last year’s Festival of Flavors, which included a spring event, summer event and nine days of fall events, netted $175,000, generating over 75 scholarships to help FVCC students continue or complete their education.


The Festival will continue July 8 with Claws for Celebration, a traditional New England Clambake, and September 25 through October 3, featuring private dinners, restaurant dinners and culminating with the Grand Wine Tasting and auction at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell.


For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call 756-3632.