Whether courtesy of grandparents, friends or a membership of your own, you’ve likely had the pleasure of throwing back cocktails within the mahogany walls of a private club. The trappings and experience all designed to optimize one’s desire to network, socialize and entertain clients. Typically this involves ordering a plethora of libations and fine fare from an artfully architected menu, then enjoying the cavalcade while firmly planted in a leather professor chair. Well, Garret Murphy has taken all of this and turned it on its head with his new private culinary club called Kitchen Collective.
Yes, there will still be bespoke cocktails, fine wine and an artful menu – except, you the members will be responsible for it. This is not about a “sit-back” club experience or traditional “member vs staff” delineation, or even neatly organized social circles for that matter. Kitchen Collective is a club for those who don’t just enjoy consuming remarkable food but those with a passion to cook it. For those of us who might get more excited about seeing a 6 burner Hestan range than a Tesla Model X. It’s also for those who prefer cultural crossings over homogeneity. This is the spirit that Garret embodies and wanted to translate into a club.
With this mission, Kitchen Collective is both a first of its kind and also a century old concept. The inspiration came to Garret from his time growing up in Europe and fond memories of the communal kitchens where families and friends would all come to cook their meals together. This same principle is what founded Kitchen Collective. As Garret affectionately says, “this is their house, the members – not mine”. There is a great truth to that statement, as the vibe of the club is more of a welcoming home than a formal club.
In a similar fashion, Kitchen Collective members come to the club to be in the kitchen, not just the dining room. Now, that’s not to say you can’t come and kick back. In fact that is half the fun, to come and see who might be there preparing some innovative feast. And that’s the draw of the club, to learn how to craft the cuisine you love with a talented and seasoned kitchen staff coaching you along the way. And yes, bussing and porters comprise the staff as well, so there is no cleaning required after your culinary magic is cooked and consumed. Instead, you can choose to enjoy some fireside aperitifs in one of the two lounges or the central open-air courtyard.
There’s also no shopping or schlepping involved. The kitchen is always stocked with a bounty of foodstuffs, equipment and your personal weapons of gastro construction. The only thing you’re responsible for is the primary protein for your dish and any other fanciful provision you might desire from a farmers market or gourmet vendor.
In addition to the member-prepared meals, there is also a steady flow of pop-up restaurant events with guest chefs from visionary eateries both local and afar. Likewise, guest bartenders and wine makers will make appearances as well. So members will never have to worry about running low on inspiration or acculturation.
Though aside from the “joy of cooking” there is also something very noble about Kitchen Collective – the preservation and socialization of legacy family recipes. Many of today’s foodie obsessions originated from a chef’s family recipes and thankfully live-on through their vocation. In the same way, the club is a unique venue for members to keep their generational cuisine alive along with learning a host of others. I suspect many talented grandmothers will rejoice.
Icing on the cake? You can bring guests to share in this wonder. Every membership affords multiple guests, so you can have your lucky partners in crime come experience communal cooking as well. There are two membership levels, one that is the “Full” membership with cooking privileges and the “Social” membership for those who prefer to sip while other stir. Full details are included at the link below. Both Garret and I hope to make and break bread with you in the future at this very special place.
1650 Soscol Ave, Napa CA 94558
-Mike Casey, The 29 Napa