Camp Walnut 2018

California Walnuts
Nov 15, 2018
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A select group of industry chefs and foodservice media members were invited to join us in September for the 2018 California walnut harvest and the first annual Camp Walnut event. This one-of-a-kind educational chef experience was fashioned to replicate a traditional overnight summer camp that allowed the group to learn all about California walnuts in a truly unique platform. The VIP “glamping” style trip took place among the northern California redwoods at AutoCamp Russian River in beautiful Sonoma County, California.


Campers flew in from all over the country representing organizations including Protein Bar, Wholefoods, Freshly, Nordstrom, Restaurant Business Magazine, and the University of Southern California. Four chefs who had attended a California Walnut Chef Summit previously acted as “camp counselors”.


The three-day, outdoor action-packed event included a multitude of opportunities to taste, learn, and explore California walnuts. There were activities ranging from multi-coursed walnut-centric meals, to time spent working in a built-out alfresco kitchen. And last but not least, you can’t forget the camp games and s’mores around the campfire where chefs swapped horror stories of their worst Yelp reviews.


On the first day, campers got a first-hand look into the walnut harvest at Cilker Orchards. They not only saw the harvesting process from start to finish, but some were brave enough to jump into the mechanical shakers to lend a hand in shaking walnuts from the trees. The tour concluded with a family style luncheon set in the middle of the orchard amongst the trees.


The following day began with some morning California Walnut classroom time and some cool camp counselor cooking demos. California Walnut Board’s Nutrition Consultant Carol Berg-Sloan was on hand to speak about the nutritional benefits of walnuts and the advantages of adding them to a menu all while meeting consumer demand. Afterward, the chefs and editors put their newfound walnut wisdom to the test during a “Hunting/Gathering” challenge where they created various new dishes incorporating walnuts in original and innovative ways. Team Green took the prize with their Crispy California Walnut-Honey Shrimp Noodle Salad. Stay tuned for the recipes in an upcoming e-newsletter.


For more information about this event or if you would like to be considered for the next Camp Walnut, please email and tell us why you should be invited to attend Camp Walnut.

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