Monday, June 24, 2024

Top Chefs And Celebrities Light Up The Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock

The Culinary Stage powered by Williams Sonoma at this year’s BottleRock Napa Valley was one of our favorite parts of the festival experience. The up close and personal stage is one of the most popular attractions at BottleRock, where guests can see their favorite chefs and celebrities cook, bake, and drink together. 

The stage was hosted once again by radio & TV personality Liam Mayclem. He is best known as the host of Eye on the Bay on CBS 5 and as “The Foodie Chap” on KCBS Radio where he celebrates San Francisco Bay Area culinary stars.

We went to see as many culinary demonstrations as we could in between all the amazing musical acts. Here are some highlights from our experience:

Day 1 – Friday, May 24

Chef Aaron May and Patrick Hallahan, drummer of rock band My Morning Jacket cooked a juicy Beef Wellington. The USC Marching Band came out to accompany them with their signature Fleetwood Mac cover song, “Tusk.” Chef May and Hallahan discussed the similarities between making a dish and composing a song. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power were joined by rapper Nelly and influencer Tinx to make smash burgers. Once the burgers were made, the quartet all bit into the burgers, with Nelly giving a big thumbs up. Friends and business partners Diaz and Power also showed off their organic wine brand, Avaline which they paired with their smash burgers. Avaline is different from other wines; it is all organic with no additives or extra sugars.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Just in time for dinner on day 1, Chef Shota Nakajima, Former MLB player Hunter Pence, NBA player Domanatas Sabonis, NBA player Kevin Huerter, and radio producer Gary “Bababooey” Dell’Abate all joined together to make nori rice and tempura, creating a delicious sushi. The group then did a live wine tasting together, jokingly comparing their heights between sips of wine. All of the sports stars and Chef Nakajima lined up on the front of the stage, showcasing their height differences. Chef Nakajima stood on a stool just to be able to reach the height of the all-stars.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Chef Tyler Florence took over the stage with Mötley Crüe drummer and DJ Tommy Lee. Chef Florence walked Lee through the steps of open-fire cooking “tommyhawk steaks.” After cooking together, Tyler handed Lee a set of cow bones which he used to play a drum solo on a special drum-kit made of pots and pans for one of those moments that can only happen at BottleRock. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Day 2 – Saturday, May 25

South Carolina Chef Rodney Scott paired up with rapper T-Pain to cook up some pig. T-Pain recently released his own line of chicken wing spices that Chef Scott incorporated into his recipe. The wing rubs have names like Sugar Daddy, the Juice, and Straight Fire, all increasing in heat and intensity. Before cooking, T-Pain was asked what a song about his spices would sound like, to which he sang a funny tune: “Ring of fire, that booty hot.” 

Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

In the afternoon Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka took over the stage alongside Bianca Del Rio to bring one of the biggest highlights of the festival to the crowd. While David and Neil entertained the crowd with tips on how to “Napafy” party snacks, Bianca Del Rio transformed Chef Andrew Zimmern into a drag queen.

Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

One of the highlights of the day was when Chef José Andrés brought out NBA all-star Steph Curry and actor Bradley Cooper for a lot of goofing around, and some cooking in the background. Thousands of fans packed onto the lawn to catch a glimpse of their idols. Fans went wild for Steph Curry as he introduced his Gentleman’s Cut Bourbon to Chef Andrés. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Bradley Cooper joined them on stage with his new business partner Danny DiGiampietro from Philly’s famous cheesesteak spot Angelo’s. They brought a big box of foil-wrapped cheesesteaks which were then thrown into the crowd by the trio and excitedly captured in the air by guests. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Bradley talked about opening a new cheesesteak restaurant with DiGiampietro called Danny and Coop’s in NYC after the success of their food truck. After Bradley and Danny finished on stage they ran over to the Danny and Coop’s pop up in the festival and made cheesesteaks for the crowd for two hours.

Day 3 – Sunday, May 26

Chef Andrew Zimmern and rapper Action Bronson teamed up for a cooking demonstration of shawarma. The pair are friends outside of their professional lives and share their “bald man greeting” with the audience before starting their demonstration which entails them kissing each other’s bald heads. Their close friendship was evident in their chemistry on stage and love for cooking. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

TV personality and cook Alton Brown joined up with musicians Dexter Holland and Noodles from The Offspring, wheeling out a large makeshift frying machine on to the Culinary Stage. The group jet-fried some chicken wings while they playfully danced to Alicia Keys’ “Fire,” spinning the jet-frier. Brown also brought his wheel of hot sauce, which was spun around to decide the amount of heat on a level of 1-11 for the fried chicken wings. 

Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Chef Melissa King and all girl band, The Beaches had a lot of fun doing their demonstration. Chef King shared on Instagram that her culinary ideas for the evening were inspired by “The Beaches music and their rockstar down-for-anything energy.” The group was joined by Drag Queen Starya and Burlesque star Frankie Fictitious as the pair played with fire, turning up Chef King’s take on a flambéed Peking duck.

Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage At BottleRock
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

As the Culinary Stage gains popularity every year, we can only expect to see more great chefs and more legendary celebrities pair up for some tasty meals and summertime fun. We hope that the lineup for 2025 will be released soon. We can’t wait to see some more BottleRock Culinary Stage moments. 

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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