Pippin Hill Cooking Class – Kath Eats Real Food

My mother in law and I went to a Pippin Hill cooking class on Cali-style burritos and took a garden tour of the vineyard grounds. Here’s the recap!

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard is one of the best gems in Charlottesville

Popular for beautiful weddings, wine lunches, and special events, we love any chance to go to Pippin Hill! I’ve done a cooking class before: on my 34th birthday Thomas and I attended a seafood class. While that one was a gift from Pippin, this one we paid for as a gift forward to my mother in law!

When we were brainstorming ideas for my mother in law, Eileen’s, birthday, we settled on a buying her a Pippin Hill cooking class. She loves to cook and experiences are my favorite thing to gift! Our topic: Cali-style burritos. A little “cooler” than the usual cooking class topics and just as delicious!

Fun fact: Thomas grew up romping through these fields long before the winery opened. His parents live on the next ridge over, so not only was this fun for us to go to, but it was a 1 minute drive to get there. I even spent the night with Eileen and John so I wouldn’t have to drive back to Cville in the dark (and could be safe with drinking, too).

The Somerset dress makes another appearance! I ordered it again in my second Nuuly box!

Pippin Hill Garden Tour

We were greeted with the Blanc de Blanc and gifted beautiful denim aprons that perfectly matched my dress. Then we headed out to the gardens for a tour!

Executive Chef Ian Rynecki leads all of the cooking classes, and he was super knowledgeable about edible plants as well.

With a focus on “vineyard-to-table,” much of the food Pippin Hill serves is grown organically right in its gardens. They have herbs, lettuces, vegetables, pear and fig trees, and more. That’s the brand new greenhouse photographed below. They have a goal of starting most plants from seed right here on the property.

It should be great to be able to eat from this garden everyday!

That’s the hen house down the hill where pastured chickens provide eggs for the menus.

Spring peas!

And there are even beehives with about 300,000 bees who dine on the wildflowers that grow in the fields below the property.

Pippin Hill Cooking Class

After our tour, we refilled our wine glasses and learned all about Cali-style burritos! You can view the upcoming cooking school classes here.

Chef Ian, who lived in California for years, told us the secret to a Cali-style burrito is …… French fries !! Not unlike chips on a sandwich, they add a lovely crunch to every bite.

We were shown carne asada and tomatillo salsa recipes before chef taught us the perfect way to roll a burrito.

Then we prepared our own burritos making the carne asada on the flat-top grill and pico de gallo salsa.

Master tomato chopper!

The carne asada was out of this world!

Dinner is served

After we rolled our burritos, we headed back to the dining room where the chefs brought out gorgeous salads, grilled bok choy, piping hot sweet potato fries, and pickled vegetables. My burrito was DELISH, but those salads are what I kept going back for more. Must be the freshly picked herbs and greens!


And last but not least, we had this cinnamon chocolate cake. OMG. We went home very full and very happy!

Red Pump Kitchen Dinner

I also wanted to mention Pippin Hill’s sister restaurant on Charlottesville’s downtown mall, Red Pump Kitchen.

The restaurant closed for a while during covid and reopened with a new tasting menu. They invited me in for a treat, and Thomas and I enjoyed a delicious date night! In addition to the fancier tasting menu, you can walk in and order small plates and pizzas too.

I can’t wait to go back to both!

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