2018 DiRōNA Conference

Tuesday, September 4th – Thursday, September 6th 2018

The Westin Verasa – Napa, CA

  DiRōNA is proud to have held our 2018 Conference September 4th to 6th in beautiful Napa, California. Our event was hosted at the luxurious Westin Verasa. 
Three days of private wine tours and dinner with Napa most renowned winemakers, along with exquisite meals at the Culinary Institute of America, was concluded with a Gala Dinner prepared by DiRōNA Hall of Fame Member, Chef Ken Frank of La Toque.
Thank you to all of the participating wineries, The Oneida Group, Napa Valley Vintners Association, Chef Ken Frank of La Toque and to the Culinary Institute of America. The event could not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our Conference Chair, Chick Marshall.
2018 Conference Itinerary

Tuesday, September 4th

Evening – Welcome Reception at The Westin Verasa, participating wineries include: Conn Creek Winery, Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, Honig Vineyards & Winery, Jackson Family Wines, Lewis Cellars, Neyers Winery, Robert Biale Vineyards, and Robert Mondavi Winery



Wednesday, September 5th

Breakfast – The Westin Verasa


Morning – All About Truffles by Chef Ken Frank of La Toque


Lunch – The Culinary Institute of America at Copia, a hands-on cooking class in the Hestan Teaching Kitchen with wines provided by PEJU Province Winery and Vineyard.


Afternoon – Private Winery Tours – Cakebread Cellars, Pine Ridge Winery, Neyers Winery, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Shafer Vineyards and Trefethen Family Vineyard


Dinner – Private Dinner at Wineries with Winemakers 

(Conference attendees were divided into small groups for an intimate dinner with winemakers from the Napa Valley: Cakebread Cellars, Robert Mondavi Winery & Black Stallion Estate Winery)


Thursday, September 6th

Breakfast – The Westin Verasa


Morning – Private Winery Tour – Spottswoode Family Estate


Lunch – The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone with a presentation by The Oneida Group. Wines provided by Juslyn Vineyards, Lede Family Wines, Louis Martini, Rombauer Vineyards and Sodhani Vineyards. 


Afternoon – Oxbow Market – Personal tour and presentations by several food related vendors


Dinner – Gala Dinner by Chef Ken Frank at The Westin Verasath wines provided by J Vineyards Sparkling Wines and Rombauer Vineyards.



A Few Participating Wineries

Network with fellow DiRōNA Awarded Restaurateurs and Industry Experts


Visit Award Winning Wineries and tour Culinary Insitute of America Greystone and COPIA


Enjoy the all-suite Westin Verasa accommodations, walking distance to Downtown Napa


Highlights from our 2018 Reunion Luncheon in Chicago!

The Distinguished Restaurants of North America proudly held their annual reunion luncheon in the magnificent Crystal Room of the Union League of Chicago. Chef Michael Garbin prepared a delicious 5-course meal perfectly paired with wines from Freemark Abbey. Two renowned restaurateurs were inducted into the Hall of Fame, Chef Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White House and Richard Gonzmart of the Gonzmart Restaurant Group in Tampa, FL. These successful businessmen have given back to their community will philanthropy that is second to none. We are honored to have inducted both and have them in attendance for our reunion lunch. The Oneida Group received the 2018 DiRōNA Partner Award during the event. Sarah Landsman, Director of Marketing accepted the award on behalf of this outstanding partner whose support is greatly appreciated by DiRōNA. The afternoon concluded with a panel discussion focussed on Restaurants: The Family Business! Panel host Kimberly Winter Stern providing an exciting hour with panelists Chick Marshall, Ralph Brennan, Richard Gonzmart and Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr.