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We will post a Call for Content during the first half of February and will be setting our content and speakers based on an alumni vote of suggested sessions. Below is a list of our currently scheduled guests for #IFBC17.
Rachel Voorhees | Director of Wine Education
Rachel Voorhees is the Director of Wine Education at Rodney Strong Wine Estates. She is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, where she graduated at the top of her class. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by Old World wine collectors, Rachel found a passion for wine and food early in life and credits her father for her palate and her mother for her culinary skills. Rachel studied at the International Culinary Center in 2012 where she continued to hone her wine pairing skills and wine knowledge.
She was the food & wine writer for BevMo! and Wine.com before coming to Rodney Strong in December 2013. Rachel’s focus is to educate people about wine, Sonoma County and Rodney Strong Vineyards. She travels throughout the country entertaining key members of the trade, conducting classes and seminars and sharing the wonders of wine and food.
After receiving her B.A. in Communications and Psychology from Vanderbilt University, she continued her education at Notre Dame de Namur where she received her Masters of Education. She is currently studying for her Certified Wine Educator and Advanced Sommelier credentials. In her free time, Rachel loves spending time with her two children, creating unique food and wine pairings and gardening.
Tara Wachtel | Winery Chef
Chef Tara Wachtel grew up in West Sonoma County, and began her culinary education at the Santa Rosa Junior College in 1996. She spent the following 20 years traveling to work in places like Alaska and Hawaii; which solidified her love of travel and food culture. She spent the next several years cooking for and working at some of Sonoma County’s finest dining establishments; Syrah, Kendall-Jackson Wine Center, and Madrona Manor.
Wanting to branch out, Tara spent a year working for Cowgirl Creamery, making their award winning cheeses out of Marin County, and she lived in Paris as a Private Chef, and New Zealand as Executive Chef for an eco-resort, before returning home to work alongside Duskie Estes and John Stewart of Zazu Restaurant + Farm for the following five years.
Chef Tara currently oversees the culinary department for Rodney Strong Vineyards, and manages ‘The Terrace’ at Rodney Strong Vineyards, which focuses on wine tastings, food and wine pairings, and cheese and charcuterie.