ABOUT SHERRY AND CULINARY GETAWAYS

Sherry grew up in rural Georgia, where she spent much of her time with her grandmother, Estelle Lawson. Her grandmother had wonderful vegetable gardens and orchards. By the age of five, Sherry was in the garden by 6am every morning. She spent her days planting, picking, canning, and cooking, and fondly remembers standing on a big, heavy chair at Grandma's stove, stirring a pot of wild blackberry jam. Sherry's experiences with growing up on the farm taught her to appreciate fresh, local, seasonal foods. Sherry eventually moved away and had a successful high-tech career with companies such as IBM, Novell and Macromedia. During the last 12 years of her career in technology, Sherry was SVP of Operations & Customer Care for Macromedia where she was responsible for about 300 employees worldwide. In 2005, Sherry retired from technology to start Culinary Getaways.


Culinary Getaways focuses on introducing guests to the riches of the Napa Valley, Paris, Provence, the French Riviera, Savannah and Tuscany through unique, carefully-crafted, food and wine experiences. An avid chef, Sherry has taken cooking classes all over the world, including Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons near Oxford , Le Cordon Bleu in London, and culinary weeks with Patricia Wells in both Paris and Provence. Sherry has also taken classes in Japan, Italy, and locally in California. In additional, she has completed a number of professional wine classes at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. She is passionate about cooking and entertaining and is thrilled about her second career in food and wine! Sherry is married to Bob Page and they have homes in Sausalito and Yountville, California.

INSPIRATION

My love of food is a family legacy: from my grandmothers, mother, and aunts, all terrific cooks; from my father and uncle, both serious gardeners. I had a special bond with my grandmother, Estelle Lawson. At the age of five, I moved in to "look after" her. She taught me to cook and to appreciate fine, fresh food. Our gardens grew peas, beans, corn, okra-to name a few! We had pigs, cows, and poultry. Each season brought new, delicious tastes. Down our dirt road was a wild berry patch where we'd pick buckets of blackberries for jam and cobblers. In my earliest memory, I'm standing on a chair at the stove, stirring a pot of jam, the flavors intense and perfect! Among our fruit trees, we had a pomegranate. A scraggly little bush, in Fall it bore amazing fruits-red balls with elegant jewels inside! My sister and I checked the fruit for weeks. When it ripened, we ceremoniously ate the seeds one by one. Grandma used the earthy juice in fruit salads. The seeds made meat and vegetable dishes seem exquisite. My grandmother died when I was 18 years old, but I feel she's with me still. In her memory I've planted a pomegranate - its ancient myth the perfect symbol for her love of great, seasonal food.

THE POMEGRANATE

Why did I choose the pomegranate as my logo? Glad you asked! In mythology, the pomegranate represents the seasons. Since my philosophy is all about cooking with what is fresh each season, it was the perfect symbol for Culinary Getaways. Please read below for a summary on the ancient story of the pomegranate. I hope you enjoy it! The pomegranate, a symbol of fertility, is the fruit that caused the cycle of the seasons, as told in the ancient myth of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter, the Greek goddess of fertility, makes the earth fruitful. She taught mankind to plow and sow, so they could end their nomadic existence. Demeter was the mother of Persephone, who was abducted by Hades, lord of the underworld. Distraught, Demeter wandered the earth searching for her lost child. While she searched, the earth became barren. Finally, Zeus took pity on mankind and ordered Hades to return Persephone to her mother. However, before she left the underworld, Hades gave Persephone a pomegranate and she ate three of its seeds. This bound her to leave her mother for three months of the year and return to her husband in the underworld. When Persephone leaves her mother to return to Hades, Demeter mourns, the earth is barren, and we have three months of winter. When Persephone returns, Demeter rejoices during the fruitful months of spring and summer. In autumn, Demeter again begins to mourn Persephone's departure for the underworld, and the earth begins to enter its winter sleep.

GUEST BOOK 

"Experiencing the local farmers markets and gardens was wonderful. I was so inspired that I am going to start my own edible garden. Don't worry I will use all the responsible methods for pest control, composting and fertilizers that we learned! I can't wait to share this with everyone back home. Everything was excellent, thank you for such a terrific experience." - MaryAnn Walsh, Oakland, CA

"Sherry, sea salt tasting? Olive oil tasting? Chocolate? Yes, yes and yes - and not to be missed!. I have a new outlook on cooking I learned a lot. Laughed a lot and felt such a warm bond with my culinary companions. You're the Queen of Cuisine and I can't wait to come back next season!" - Linda Page, Dallas, TX

"The wineries and private estate tastings were incredible, I have a passion for wine as you know and I loved the double wine pairing sessions. I am already enjoying the wines I added to my collection . It was very special to me and I am so happy to have been a part of one of your classes. I am looking forward to joining you again next season for another one." - Linda Grant, Portland, OR

"From the moment we arrived everything was just amazing; the whole week so personal to the last detail. We felt like royalty! And we learned so much during the hands on cooking You have given me a new confidence in avocado peeling - which really is what it's all about isn't it? Seriously, I am looking forward to throwing my next dinner party and your date recipe is going to be one of my starters!". - Erin Farrell, Boston, MA

"Sherry, ahh, nirvana...or as close to it as possible. The weekend was unbelievable - the most beautiful wineries, intimate meals, exquisite tastings - such attention to detail! I regularly visit Napa but have never experienced it at this level, You truly know the secrets to the region.. My sincere thanks to you for making the class such a terrific experience. I can't wait to start spreading the word about you and the business." Mora Chartrand, Portland, OR

"Sherry, what a wonderful week full of laughter, conversation, amazing food, wine, and great experiences. I think I am still full! I can't wait to make that roast for my husband - he will be so impressed!" - Kathleen Mott, Bolinas, CA

"Sherry, I went to the farmers market to shop as soon as I got back home. What a difference in flavor. LOVED every minute you planned for us and can't wait to go back for another getaway!" - Karyn Beaham, Orinda, CA

"Sherry, I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you again for the wonderful experience I had with Culinary Getaways. I felt warmly welcomed the minute I walked through the door, and the whole experience was a wonderful exercise in both culinary delight and team building. I know you worked extremely hard to make our time so enjoyable, and I'd like you to know that I appreciate it. I look forward to my next Culinary Getaway." - Klaus Hofmann, Pleasanton, CA

"Thanks so very very much for the absolutely awesome culinary adventure and wine tasting in Napa.  It was an absolutely delightful experience that I would recommend to anyone.  Napa Valley was absolutely stunning but the wine tasting, chocolate tasting, oil sampling and cooking classes were the ultimate in education, relaxation, inspiration and non-stop fun.  I love my recipes and will attempt to recreate some of the masterpieces that you taught us in cooking class." - Leslie Fleischer, Southern California