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Get to Know Chef Josh Mitchell

The process of pairing wine with food is both art and science. It’s an exciting process because there are countless possibilities. The flavors, weight, aftertaste, and structure are all part of pairing ultra-premium wine with gourmet food. The best food and wine pairings are those that bring out the best in each other, and that is the experience Chef Josh Mitchell provides when he pairs his craft meals with our world-class wine.

Born and raised in Napa Valley, Josh Mitchell is an accomplished chef who continues to build his career in the area. He serves big-time venues throughout Napa Valley with his own catering business, Napa Valley Heritage Catering. Josh is unique compared to any other chef in Napa Valley because of his holistic overarching cooking approach. Josh isn’t contained to the kitchen as the head chef; he is the farmer, the gardener, and the chef at Napa Valley Heritage Catering. He has prepared his entire life to become one of the foremost caterers in Napa Valley, ever since he was a child. We’re proud to feature Josh’s incredible story in today’s blog.

Josh Mitchell’s Inspiration

From a young age, food was always at the forefront of Josh’s life.

When he was a boy, he enjoyed visiting his grandparents’ 15-acre pistachio and fruit orchard. Even during the holidays, his family time revolved around preparing delicious foods with fresh ingredients from their garden. He learned how to grow and produce food by harvesting and working on his grandparents’ farm.

When Josh left Napa Valley to go to college in Florida and Southern California, he realized how unique Napa Valley really was. Josh says that he loves Napa’s beautiful microclimates and its rustic but luxurious aesthetic. It is also where he grew up and learned valuable farming and cooking skills from his family. During his time away for school, Josh discovered that he wanted to move back to Napa Valley and start his career as a chef.  

Josh realized that the meals he ate as a child were some of the most delicious he had ever experienced. It planted a seed within him and a desire to replicate the meals his grandparents cooked for his family. Although both his grandparents are no longer with him, they continue to inspire him because they were the ones who instilled the importance of eating fresh food and knowing where your produce comes from.

Josh Mitchell’s Philosophy

Josh’s cooking philosophy is to influence flavor at the earliest stage in the process, allowing the freshness of his produce to shine through in every dish. Although this is an labor-intensive approach, Josh believes it is necessary to pay attention to detail to craft delicious gourmet meals. He is the one in the dirt, planting, harvesting, and raising his own livestock. Josh has control over the entire process and outcome of his dishes.

There are very few chefs who truly understand farming and how the growth process affects the dining experience. There are different vegetable harvesting stages, and every stage has different flavor profiles and sugar content. Josh’s food takes advantage of every stage of every ingredient on the plate.

Napa Valley Heritage Catering

Josh Mitchell’s philosophy is best embodied by the catering company he founded, Napa Valley Heritage Catering. Napa Valley Heritage Catering prides itself on using locally-sourced foods, from the pigs raised by Josh, to the vegetables harvested from his farm. Josh’s project is special among the many excellent restaurants in Napa Valley because he truly embodies the philosophy growing and raising the food that he serves.

“There aren’t many restaurants that grasp the true ‘farm to table’ approach. There’s a real disconnect between the farmer and the chef. That is where Napa Valley Heritage Catering bridges the gap.” - Josh Mitchell

Napa Valley Heritage Catering is a chef-driven and farm-inspired business. Josh has a chef’s mentality in that he uses everything, but he still lets the farming inspire the menu. Influencing his ingredients from the soil is what turns Josh’s food into an experience. There are a lot of different farms that take care of various stages of produce and livestock, but they don’t know how to convert them into an excellent dish. Their sole purpose is to produce food, but they don’t think about how their harvesting process will affect the flavor of the food.

Since Napa Valley Heritage Catering is still growing their gardens, they use other farms to supplement produce they don’t have. Josh and his team take the time to get to know the farms they partner with and understand their techniques. Doing so helps him know how it will influence their menu.

Napa Valley Heritage Catering offers a variety of services, including a buffet style menu, plated dinner, canapes menu, and whole animal cookery. They offer white glove truffle tableside with caviar platters, three-course meal dinners, heavy pass of appetizers, and a station with cheese and charcuterie. They cater to every type of special event. Josh custom creates proposals after talking to his clients and see what their goals are.

Napa Food & Wine Pairing

Napa Valley Heritage Catering prides itself on pairing great wines with its food. The team at Napa Valley Heritage Catering frequently tastes several wines to identify the wines’ flavor profiles. Then Josh prepares food that layers and complement the flavors in the wines.

Josh takes the time to meet with vineyard managers, winemakers, and tasting room staff because he wants to discover what they want in a food and wine pairing. Josh and his team seek to complement and uplift the wine, bringing out the best in each sip. Josh knows he has done his job when he can taste all of the fruit characteristics and components.

Experience Pairing Magic with Napa Valley Heritage Catering & Theorem Vineyards

Josh worked with our team, including Vice President of Operations James Cerda, to create the perfect food pairing options for Theorem Vineyard’s wines. Josh’s favorite part about working with Napa Valley wineries is that he gets to develop strong relationships with each team until those teams become like family.

Josh’s delicious and thoughtfully-crafted dishes elevate our wines and shine the spotlight on each of their strongest characteristics. His plates let the fruit components of Theorem wines shine through. Ultimately, Josh’s aim is to show each taster the relationship between food and wine, and how it can be an intricate and rewarding experience to enjoy world-class wine with world-class food.

Theorem Vineyards offers singular tasting experiences. We are open to visitors by appointment only, so contact us at (707) 942-4254!