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BELATED BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT CANYON VILLA

John Tilson • 10/12/21        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

My birthday is March 27 and this year I turned 77. I planned a birthday celebration with a few friends at Canyon Villa in Paso Robles, but unfortunately I wound up in the hospital on my birthday which meant that the celebration was postponed until September 30. Canyon Villa is a wonderful inn and restaurant in Paso Robles, California that is owned and operated by two of the most hospitable and talented  people that I have ever met.

Here is their story:

Wills and Kath are the proprietors of The Canyon Villa, A Luxurious Inn.  Following successful careers in their respective professions both were eager to begin the next chapter of their lives. “We had a vision to create a sophisticated, boutique hotel somewhere in California’s Wine Country,” said Kath aka “Bootsie.” They actively searched for over five years and finally found the perfect property in the acclaimed Paso Robles wine region. “We purchased The Canyon Villa as our home in April 2015,” said Wills, “we soon realized that there was an opportunity to create an incomparable traveler’s experience.”

Wills is the former Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles for three decades. There, he perfected his culinary craft garnering worldwide respect from his peers, earning numerous accolades. He served unsurpassed hospitality experiences to an international clientele.

Katherine worked in the Fashion Industry as a preeminent sales and marketing executive representing global Trend Forecasting Publishers for four decades. Her client roster included automobile concept studios, electronic communication & high-tech manufacturers, leading-edge consumer goods, and high-end retailers. In January 2015, she turned her sights on the hospitality business to work alongside Wills, her husband of 35 years.

The Canyon Villa is designed to provide discriminating traveler’s with the Gold Standards of Hospitality: experiencing breathtaking views with exceptional, exquisite accommodations, offering exclusive meals prepared by a world-class Chef, and showcasing awarding-winning wines. The Canyon Villa begins with a warm welcome and ends with a fond farewell.

Over the years I have been privileged to have experienced many great meals across this country as well as France, and I can say that without question The Canyon Villa ranks with the best. The location, accommodations, food, service, and hospitality are all absolutely first rate. In 2019 I celebrated my 75th birthday at Canyon Villa (to read that article which includes notes on the food and many great old wines click here). Below is the menu from that meal:

 

And this year it was yet another great meal featuring my requested Prosciutto and Melon, Lobster Soufflé, Grilled Heart of the Rib Eye, and Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée, all of which were simply amazing! Below is the menu:

Accompanying the superb food, we had many wonderful wines. Friends brought most of the Champagnes and I brought the magnum of White Burgundy and 2 bottles of old California Cabernet Sauvignon: 1977 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace First Pick. I wanted to bring this wine which I did not remember having but knew it would be really special. Not only because the 1977 coincided with my 77th birthday, but because the old Diamond Creek Cabernets are some the the best wines ever made in California. I have have enjoyed countless dozens of them over the years and still have a large number in my cellar.  And, true to form, this 1977 Diamond Creek Vineyards Red Rock Terrace First Pick was off the charts great and one of the best old California Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever had. It was very dark in color and had a great perfume with intense flavor and great balance with a Burgundian like texture.  I was very privileged to have known Diamond Creek Vineyards and its founder Al Brounstein and his wife Boots from the earliest days. Diamond Creek, its founding, and its history is an amazing story (to read an article on my involvement with Diamond Creek and its incredible history click here).

Again this was a very great meal and a wonderful experience. But sadly, nothing is forever. Wills and Kath told us that it is their intention to operate Canyon Villa for 3 more years and then sell it and settle into retirement in a place outside of California. They are in the process of making that selection now. This is wonderful for them, but they will be greatly missed. So while Wills and Kath are still here it is Laurie’s and my intention to go there as often as we can. This is also the advice I would give to all of you. It you have had the experience, then go back as often as you can. If you have missed the experience, then make sure to make your reservati0n and go there while you can. If you enjoy fine dining, great hospitality, and wonderful accommodations Canyon Villa is for you!

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  • Wills Carter says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    John, Thank you for the amazing opportunity to challenge my skills to a higher level. (I have not prepared the Lobster Souffle since 1983!) Every course suggestion you’ve provided over the years raises my culinary prowess. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! Chef Wills
  • Michael Carpenter says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Beautiful! When friends bring Champagne and it includes P2, you know you are loved! 🥂
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