120 breakfast recipes to choose from

I know.  We’ve read about it for years: breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day.  So here at The Inn On First, a luxury Napa bed and breakfast inn, we take it seriously.  Today we have over 120 recipes that we utilize over the course of one year.  We keep track of when you visit, what you eat for breakfast, and ensure you don’t get served the same dish again.  It is our way of keeping you excited for what is about to be presented to you each morning, no matter how often you visit us.

Corndog Omelet-103   Birds Nest-113

It is also a way for Chef Jim Gunther not to get bored or complacent. His goal is to develop a minimum of 250 recipes before he retires.  He’s hoping for another ten years to work at it and thinks he can achieve that goal.  For Jim, it is a very Zen-like experience- you eat, you enjoy, you let it go. Something new is coming your way the next time.  “Knowing you get to eat this breakfast but once helps the guest to savor what is present to them today,” Jim stated.  “And in case you didn’t really enjoy that particular breakfast,” he added playfully, “you’ll never see it again.”

Sushi Om-170 Hot Dog Omelet-154 Cheese Consomme-135-1



So what are some of the more recent creations that have come out of The Inn On First’s kitchen?  Cheese Consomme with Roasted Potatoes and Poached Egg, Corndog omelets, Argentinian Arepas with Eggs in Chipotle Cream Sauce, Macaroni and Cheese, and S’mores French Toast are a few of the items you can expect to enjoy this year.  The key to the inn’s success?  Everything is made from scratch: from macaroni noodles, to the graham cracker bread Jim created for French Toast.  Using fresh, organic, and locally grown ingredients, the focus is on cooking seasonally and creating recipes that have “comfort food” in mind.

Fodor’s Travel Site finds us to be a great straight-friendly destination spot

Okay, so the article is about gay travel, but really we are the most straight-friendly gay-owned romantic Bed and Breakfast Inn in Napa.  With whirlpool tubs in every room, gas fireplaces, too. And, yes, thankfully, the author understood how much work we put into breakfast!  Now with 114 recipes (Arepas just made it on the menu with an Ancho Chili Cream- yummy!).

Here’s a link to the article:


Jamie Cherry is awarded a Champion of the Industry Award!

Jamie Cherry, one of the innkeepers of Napa Valley’s bed and breakfast, The Inn on First, was recently awarded the Champion of the Bed and Breakfast Industry Award from the Professional Association of International Innkeepers (PAII). Cherry received the award in recognition of his efforts to promote the innkeeping industry. The award will be formally conferred on Jan. 26 at the 2012 Innkeeping Show Awards Luncheon at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, Ark., from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

“Language is a powerful tool, and it is the basis in forming culture and ideology, even in the world of the travel business. In working with an organization that is responsible for promoting Napa Valley as a tourist destination, I am committed to changing the language used by this and all local and county organizations that promote travel to the Napa Valley – that the word ‘hotel’ is not appropriate when discussing lodging properties in the area, which includes dozens of bed and breakfast inns,” Cherry said in his acceptance speech. “We are not hoteliers, we are innkeepers, and there is a world of difference between the two. Our terminology should be more inclusive in order to continue to invite people to a broader understanding of the diversity of lodging options available to them.”

The Champion Awards are given to anyone who has helped advance the trade of innkeepers and innkeeping locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Such actions may include legislative or regulatory successes, or a public relations breakthrough that elevates the profile of the bed and breakfast industry. Nominations are presented to the PAII Board of Directors in the fall prior to the PAII annual conference. The Board of Directors may choose to award as many recipients as deserve it.

The Inn on First is a plush bed and breakfast inn that combines Napa Valley tradition with San Francisco modernity. Cherry, a customer service specialist with a vast background in high-profile financial services, and chef Jim Gunther, a California Culinary Academy graduate with experience cooking for Relais and Chåteaux establishments, have brought The Inn on First to the forefront of Napa’s innkeeping industry since 2007. The inn is known for its charming atmosphere, lovely rooms and gourmet meals, which is perfect for a romantic getaway. Guests may unwind with in-room massages, or taste the best foods and wine the valley offers.

For more information about any of The Inn on First’s products or services, call 707-253-1331, view the inn on the web at http://www.theinnonfirst.com or visit 1938 First St. in Napa.

About The Inn on First

Napa’s lodging inn, The Inn on First is a television-free and smoke-free environment. It is recognized by the Certified Green Lodging Association of California, the California Legislature, the United States Congress, and the Napa County Green Business Association.

Welcome Home- how to be a part of our First Family

A travel writer once asked me what set us apart from every other B&B in Napa.  I hesitated to tell him the truth as I felt awkward and instead gave him a pat answer about the history of the building, its architecture, the whirlpool tubs, the gas fireplaces in the rooms, and breakfast.  What I wanted to say was simply: “Us!”  We set it apart from every other B&B.  Understand that B&B’s are built upon relationships, personal relationships with your guests, and so every inn is a reflection of that relationship between the owners and their guests.  So, really, when you stay at a B&B you are entering into a relationship with the owners and that is what sets each inn apart.

We are no exception.  When you are greeted at the door for the first time we say: “Welcome to our home.”  When you return the second time we state: “Welcome home!”  A stay at The Inn On First means that you are now a part of our First Family, that you belong, and we look forward to your homecoming.  Yes, you can stay elsewhere, but you won’t receive the same Jim and Jamie lovin’ you do here.  Here you will walk away with the special connection to Jim and Jamie from that breakfast conversation, or understand the Jim and Jamie style of being present at the end of your day and talking about all your exploits and listening to a few of our own.  You will have the pleasure of engaging the 3 miniature schnauzers in the yard where Hugo will put the ball in your lap expecting play time, or Oscar will look at you with those sad eyes expecting you to hold him like a baby and rub his belly, or Calvin will bark at you in excitement when he sees you and will expect you to slap your hands in your lap so he can jump up and be petted.

You might see Jim and Jamie with morning “hair” as they wake up and start prepping morning coffee and pastries, or sometimes you might catch them late at night in their pajamas as they fill the cookie plate and the port carafe one last time just before bedtime.  At night you might hear Jim with the dogs for one last stroll through the garden.  You will wake up each morning and wonder what is for breakfast and enjoy listening to Jamie as he tries to remember all the elements of the dish.  As on a couple of occasions at breakfast, you might see Jim pop his head out the kitchen door announcing that breakfast didn’t turn out as planned and it is “scrambled eggs and toast all around”, or that there was an “egg-cident” and he has to redo your eggs.  Or you might hear Jamie in conversation about music and the current iTunes selection he is playing during breakfast, and he’ll want to know what you’re listening to and who you enjoy.  Here you may find that sometimes you will share your secrets, or your hardships, or your struggles, and know that Jim and Jamie really care about who you are as a person and want to know more; and they might even share a few of their own.

And if you don’t want to talk to Jim and Jamie, they also know how to leave you alone and let you be with each other.  It doesn’t mean we’re perfect.  In fact, sometimes you may come when Jim and Jamie are so busy they don’t have time to talk.  With living and working here at the inn 7 days a week it can be hard to be present to every single guest who walks through the door.  Yet you will still see the smiles on the faces of Jim and Jamie, notice how quickly they are moving to make everything perfect for you and everyone else, that you will forgive any oversight of conversation.  All of this is what sets us apart.

When you come to The Inn On First, be prepared for lots of wonderful amenities and features in your room, but mostly be prepared to be welcomed home to a place where you can belong and just be yourself.  We are not perfect, and we often make lots of mistakes.  Gratefully, those who have come to know us have readily accepted our apologies, embraced us with forgiveness, and have overlooked our shortcomings in the light of everything else they have received.

Yes, you could stay elsewhere, but why not come home to The Inn On First and know that you are always welcome to be part of our First Family here in Napa.

Jim hits the 100 marker for breakfast recipes!

Yes, four years later I can hardly believe it’s true.  100 different breakfast options to choose from here at The Inn On First.  The S’more French Toast sealed the deal, as well as the introduction of Sushi Omelets, Chocolate Pasta with Tofu-Walnut Sauce and poached eggs, and Eggs in Pipian (Roasted Pumpkin Seed) Sauce.  These are just a few of the breakfast adventures available here.  Now, not every breakfast is as adventurous as these.  I will admit that I have six pancake recipes: Hawaiian (grilled pineapple and toasted coconut), Chocolate Truffle, Raspberry with Chocolate-Ricotta, Apple Pie, Roasted Peach Crumble, and Bananas Foster- but each brings a unique flavor and presentation.  I suppose if you compared my breakfasts to rides at Disneyland, some would be as crazy as the Mad Hatter, others as fun as the Matterhorn, still others surprising like The Haunted Mansion, and some a simple ride on the People Mover.  I’m really grateful to all of our guests who have been willing to take the adventure with us, your willingness to embrace new ideas, your input on how to improve dishes in terms of flavor or presentation, and your smiles when I peek my head out of the door when a new breakfast is served.  Yes, I’m finalizing the cookbook, moving recipes from my workbook to the computer, but even that is difficult as I am constantly updating and changing the recipes!

As you know we keep track of your food- dates you visited, what you ate, and we work hard not to repeat your breakfast.  We want every visit to offer a unique and satisfying experience.  To date, Fred and Ozzie hold the record for breakfasts enjoyed- 24!  I’m still developing new Gluten-free options, Dairy-free options, and have gotten a wee bit better on figuring out what to do for people who don’t eat eggs!  Am I finished?  Not at all.  My goal is 250, but I’ve given myself 10 years to get there!  So, what’s next?  I don’t know.  Come and see.  Be a part of the magic, become a member of the First Family, and maybe you, too, will find your way into the history of breakfast “firsts” here at The Inn On First.

The Garden is open for service!

Yes, the season opener has come to The Inn On First.  Our garden is once again lush and green, flowers blooming, everything growing, and the weather has been cooperating nicely.  Jamie pulled out the umbrellas, set up the cushions, unwrapped the patio heaters for those cool mornings, and set the table for breakfast.  It was magnificent.  I wanted to try some new recipes for this new season and two of them fit nicely: chocolate pasta with tofu-walnut sauce and a poached egg, and sushi omelets filled with salted zucchini and green onion served with hot mustard and wasabi cream.  Our guests loved them.  The chocolate pasta, made with cocoa powder and not sweet chocolate, presents just a hint of cocoa in the back of your throat and pairs nicely with the walnuts.  The tofu is a low-fat version of ricotta cheese and allows dairy-free guests to enjoy the meal.  The sushi omelets are great for gluten-free and/or dairy-free guests.  The dish looks cold when it arrives, but as you take a bit you realize that it is hot, with a crusty, crunchy exterior and a soft and sticky interior.  When Jamie tells me “You can serve these to me any day” I know it is a winner.  My gratitude to all of my guests who continue to allow me to explore new ideas for breakfast!  I have another 15 in the works!