Nayfeld with arms crossed, standing in his kitchen
Chef David Nayfeld in his kitchen at Che Fico (Photo/Christopher Michel)

Can’t get a table at Che Fico? Join chef David Nayfeld at ‘synagogue of the vintners’

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

If you can’t get a reservation at Che Fico, the wildly popular San Francisco Italian restaurant with a section on the menu devoted to Roman Jewish cuisine, there’s another way to try chef David Nayfeld’s food.

Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa is bringing back its celebration of Jewish vintners for the first time in over a decade, and Nayfeld’s food will be featured. The Oct. 27 event is a fundraiser for the synagogue’s youth programs.

Things will kick off at 4 p.m. with cheese expert Janet Fletcher pairing cheeses with wines in a walk around the synagogue’s garden. At 6:30 p.m., in a separately ticketed event, guests will sit at winemakers’ tables for a three-course family-style meal. Assisting Nayfeld with the dinner will be Israeli-born chef Itamar Abramovitch of Blossom Catering.

More than 16 wineries with Jewish involvement are scheduled to participate.

CBS Napa has been called the “Synagogue of the Vintners” because Jews have always been very involved in Napa Valley’s wine industry ever since they began arriving in the late 1840s, said Larry Kamer, a synagogue member who is promoting the event.

“Wine industry leaders were among the strongest supporters of the congregation when it was formally organized in 1953,” said Kamer.

“Our connection to the vineyards and to wine goes back to the very origins of our faith,” said Ellyn Elson, synagogue president. “It remains very meaningful in the context of our daily life here in the Napa Valley, as vintners and also as Jewish people, and we’re delighted that the community can join us in celebrating this important part of our lives.”

Admission to both events is $250. Tickets can be purchased separately for the walkaround tasting at $50, or dinner only at $225. Purchase tickets and learn more at the event page.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."