Rutherford Cross estate becomes permanent home to historical culinary collection
RUTHERFORD, CA (October 26, 2022) – Boisset Collection today announced the opening of the Kathleen Thompson Hill Kitchen Memories Collection, a permanent exhibition of culinary relics, some dating as far back as the 1800s, that is among the largest collections of historical kitchen utensils on exhibit in the United States and the first of its kind at a California winery.
Kitchen Memories Collection perfectly intertwines themes of nostalgia, innovation, and culture seamlessly. The exhibit is now open to guests by appointment; reservations can be booked in advance on the Elizabeth Spencer website. Guests will experience the exhibit on a hosted progressive tour and wine tasting that begins at Elizabeth Spencer in the historic 1872 brick Post Office. The interactive multi-dimensional exhibit comes alive on a deeper level by linking each kitchen tool display to video interviews with Hill describing the origin, use and historical relevance of each tool.
“We are honored to be the stewards of this unprecedented collection of historical cooking tools,” said Jean-Charles Boisset, Proprietor of Boisset Collection. “Cooking tools are essential to the kitchen, and the kitchen is not only where we gather to create the food that nourishes our bodies; we also feed our souls through the memories we make when we prepare a meal. Everyone has a kitchen memory.”
Kathleen Thompson Hill has been collecting culinary tools for four decades. Many are from California, when she traveled inexpensively throughout the state with her husband Gerald Hill, and many others come from around the world, including France, England, Canada, Japan, the Philippines and more. Some pieces date as far back as the 1800s. Kathleen purchased each piece on a budget of $3, until the amount was increased to $8. Since then, Kathleen has amassed the largest collection of historical kitchen utensils on exhibit in the United States.
“I am excited to share my Kitchen Memories Collection, its history and the cooking culture it represents, and I thank Jean-Charles Boisset for making this possible,” stated Kathleen Thompson Hill. “Join us to explore your kitchen memories and possibly share them as well. Enjoy some giggles and maybe even some nostalgic tears, and have a great time,” she concluded.
Jean-Charles and Kathleen came to know one another when Buena Vista Winery became a part of the Boisset Collection in 2011. Kathleen personally toured Jean-Charles, his wife and his parents through Kitchen Memories when the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presented a temporary exhibition of part of her collection in 2013. Being deeply passionate about food, wine, history and preservation, Jean-Charles was inspired to preserve the collection and share it with others, and nearly a decade later acquired the entire collection and created a permanent home for it at Elizabeth Spencer.
Highlights of the exhibit include a collection of lithographs of Alice Louise Waters recipes from Chez Panisse restaurant featuring the artwork and calligraphy of David Lance Goines; a Toast-O-Lator (1948), a conveyor-belt toaster complete with a Spy-O-Lator window to watch your toast as it passes; and the first three American ice cream scoops. Homages to Julia Child, who brought French cuisine and taught it to the American public, and American food writer and essayist M.F.K. Fisher shine a light on intimate stories of Kathleen’s personal connection to them.
Since joining Boisset Collection last December, Elizabeth Spencer has undergone a number of improvements: legendary winemaker Heidi Barrett became Consulting Winemaker alongside long-time Winemaker Sarah Vandendriessche; new tasting experiences have been created; the estate gardens and tasting room have been renovated and more.
For more information, visit the Elizabeth Spencer website.
ABOUT ELIZABETH SPENCER
At the crossroads of Rutherford, the undisputed “heart” of Napa Valley, Rutherford, CA (Pop. 525), Elizabeth Spencer is a sought-after destination rooted in history, housed in a historic Post Office dating to 1872 strategically located on Hwy 29 between Yountville and St. Helena. Founders, and husband-and-wife team, Elizabeth Pressler and Spencer Graham each fell in love with wine independently and embarked on lifelong careers in the wine industry before ever meeting. After they married, they pursued their vision together and established their bonded winery in 1998, naming it after each of them—Elizabeth and Spencer—to reflect their committed partnership. Elizabeth Spencer Winery is the realization of their dream.
ABOUT BOISSET COLLECTION
Boisset is a family-owned collection of historic and unique wineries and lifestyle destinations bound together by a common cause: authentic, terroir-driven wines in harmony with their history, their future and the land and people essential to their existence. With more than twenty-six historical and prestigious still and sparkling wineries in the world’s preeminent terroirs, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, Jura, the Rhône Valley, the south of France, California’s Russian River Valley and the Napa Valley. Its California wineries include: DeLoach Vineyards, Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery, and JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset. Its French properties feature: Domaine de la Vougeraie, Jean-Claude Boisset, Bouchard Aîné et Fils, J. Moreau et Fils, Louis Bouillot, Domaine Maire, Fortant, and Bonpas. Each house retains its unique history, identity, and style, and all are united in the pursuit of fine wines expressive of their terroir. Wine is at the center of Boisset’s mission and is complemented by spirits, beer, gourmet foods, and luxury goods. Boisset has long championed certified sustainable, organic, and Biodynamic® practices at its estates in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, and France, and Elizabeth Spencer aligns with the same commitment. Both wineries equally champion the leadership of women in the world, respect for history, and commitment to conviviality as a core value. Boisset is well-regarded for being an advocate for American wine history including its restoration of Buena Vista Winery, Oakville Grocery, and the Calistoga Depot, in addition to its two museums celebrating the history of wine – at Buena Vista Winery and the 1881 Napa Museum at the Oakville Wine Merchant.
To learn more about the Boisset Collection, please visit our website.