Extravagant Experiences for Foodie Fathers

Dad and berries

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Food experiences are on every serious eater’s mind these days—it’s not enough to simply go out to eat anymore. After all, why settle for drinking the wine when you can actually have a hand in making it? Or take buying bottle of whiskey. That’s easy, but knowing exactly what goes into making it will produce memories and insight to last a lifetime.  There’s also cooking, of course. The natural next step in enjoying good food is learning how to make it. In the spirit of experiencing rather than observing, we’ve rounded up some of the most special food experiences—from exploring cheese caves to dining under the shadow of Michelangelo’s David—to ensure your dad has the most delicious Father’s Day ever.

Photo Credit: Murray's Cheese

Cheese Boot Camp

Famed New York City cheesemonger Murray’s Cheese is offering a Cheese Boot Camp that will impress even a dyed-in-the-wool Frenchman. Offered in two series, one over an intensive weekend another on sequential Monday nights, this five session tutorial covers everything from milk chemistry to professional tips to beverage pairings. Participants will also get to explore Murray’s famous underground cheese cave, which sits below its iconic Bleecker Street store. After learning about all cheese styles, great cheese regions of the world, how to break down cheese wheels and performing many blind tastings, Dad will get to prepare and experience a full cheese and beverage tasting, complete with wine, beer and spirits. $850

Farm to Table
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Chef for a Day

Berkeley, California’s award-winning restaurant Chez Panisse can rightly be credited with ushering in the farm-to-table movement as we know it today. Owner and chef Alice Waters opened the restaurant in 1971 under the philosophy that our food economy should be, “good, clean and fair” and that restaurants have a direct responsibility to uphold that. The menus offered are intended to, “feature the finest sustainably-sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients including meat, fish and poultry.” If this sounds like your Dad, he’s invited into the Chez Panisse kitchen, where he’ll learn from the team to craft a four-course, farm-to-table menu using seasonal ingredients with classic culinary technique. Afterwards, he and a special plus one will get to enjoy dinner at the exclusive chef’s table, right in the heart of the kitchen. $5,000

Scott Conant
Photo Credit: Truly Experiences

Private Party

Celebrity Chef Scott Conant will host your father and 15 of his closest friends and family to his private loft in the downtown New York neighborhood of SoHo. Conant is best known nationally for his appearances on the Food Network, where he has been a frequent judge on Chopped, along with Bravo’s Top Chef. In New York, he’s at the helm of the lauded restaurant Scarpetta, which has won many awards and now has several locations. Not only will Dad help Chef Conant prepare a four-course meal, he’ll also get to join his friends for a fully-catered dinner with plenty of Chef-chosen wine on hand. If he’s more of an observer, he can also choose to watch the master in action and join his guests as he wishes. Guests will be treated to passed canapés, open bar, full wait staff with coat check, and décor highlighted by fresh florals. $28,275

Photo Credit: Clawhammer Supply

Home Distillery

If your father is a spirits aficionado, maybe it’s time for him to try making his own. Clawhammer Supply makes 100% copper stills, which includes an eight gallon 304 stainless steel boiler, a pre-built copper column with ½ inch thermometer input and safety pressure relief valve, which can’t be found on any other small-scale still on the market. Good enough for professional distilleries but sized for the home, the food-grade still is capable of distilling water, ethanol, essential oils, Bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, moonshine and most other spirits your Dad can think of. The company also sells all other accessories that might be necessary to make home-spirit making a reality. $525

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Private Dinner Inside the Galleria dell’Accademia

Tuscany is a food lover’s dream, so it’s no surprise one of the most luxurious food experiences can be found there. If your father has been to Florence before, surely he stopped by the Galleria dell’Accademia, one of the world’s most renowned art museums. Home to Michaelangelo’s David, this is also where many other famous works by Renaissance luminaries are kept. Gourmands and art lovers will embark on a private tour of the Galleria that includes exclusive viewings of Michelangelo’s Prisoners, a series of unfinished statues, rare paintings by Sandro Botticelli, and masterpieces from Bartolomeo Cristofori. The viewing ends with the David, sans the crowd, under which you’ll dine on Florentine steak, ribollita, schiacciata alla Fiorentina and other Tuscan delicacies prepared by a local chef.  If your father’s a more intimate kind of guy, this can be tailored for two people but if he wants to a make a party out of it, up to 20 people can be accommodated. $65,000

Santa Barbara
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Winemaker’s Apprentice

The documentary Somm made the world hip to the rigorous training regimen for the Master Sommelier designation, giving wine lovers another thing to swoon over. If your dad sounds like the kind of guy who would love nothing more than to drink wine for a living, spending a weekend with Master Sommelier Rajat Parr is the perfect gift for him. Not only a Master Somm, Parr owns a small production winery called Sandhi in the beautiful Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, California. Your father will get down in dirty where it all begins: in the soil and on the vines. Over many glasses of wine, in particular their well-loved Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, Parr will discuss the story of the land, guide him through all aspects of the wine-making process, which includes selecting grapes which will eventually be made into wine and bottled at Sandhi. Included is two days of tastings and tours, a suite for one night, lunch at the winery every day and transportation between the winery and the hotel. $6,500

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Eat the World

Travel and food are mutually exclusive: it’s hard to really know a place if you can’t eat its food. This gift is for the most discerning traveler and diner: around-the-world eating extravaganza. This trip will take your dad and a special someone to several destinations, all of which feature a restaurant highlighted on the San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best list. They’ll fly first class to Girona, Spain to dine at El Celler de Can Roca; Cape Town, South Africa for The Test Kitchen; Lima, Peru to experience Central; Yountville, California, where The French Laundry is located; Tokyo, Japan, home of Narisawa; and ending up finally in Melbourne, Australia, where the trip will be rounded out at Attica. Also included is four nights in top hotels and a concierge personal itinerary at each destination. $100,000

Jackie Bryant Jackie is the Lifestyle Editor at Her freelance work has appeared at, Harper's Bazaar, The Infatuation, and Locale Magazine. Her favorite vices are peaty alcohol, rich textiles, far-flung hotels, and all food from any part of the world that can be found in a dumpling-like format. She can usually be found hanging out in her current homes of San ...(Read More)

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