A Relaxing and Delicious Respite at Terra Farm and Manor
Writer Shoshana Leon
Photography Courtesy of TERRA Farm and Manor
Chef James Porter left a successful career in the Valley to take a risk on a new adventure. The former chef of Tapino Kitchen and Wine Bar and Pettie Maison in Scottsdale wanted to do something different while sharing his passion for cooking and his love of Arizona.
TERRA Farm and Manor opened earlier this year, offering an exceptional opportunity for guests to enjoy gourmet meals, receive culinary instruction from prominent chefs and experts, and participate in a variety of activities in a tranquil and beautiful setting.
Located north of Prescott, TERRA is focused on highlighting the best of Arizona.
“I really wanted to support Arizona’s culinary and agriculture industries,” said Page native Chef Porter. “I want people who live in Arizona and people from outside the state to have a truly unique Arizona experience.”
TERRA provides an all-inclusive experience in which guests are immersed in a relaxing environment. TERRA is built around Chef Porter’s culinary passion with three- and five-day themed experiences. The manor also hosts weddings, private events and corporate retreats.
The cost for a three-day experience starts at $2,250 for a single person and $4,000 for a couple. The price includes all meals, cooking instruction, accommodations and activities.
The elegant and rustic manor has eight guest rooms, each with a queen bed and bathroom, and one master suite. Guests enjoy the manor’s library, wine cellar, game room and outdoor patio areas with expansive views of the bucolic grounds, all while taking in an intimate environment that feels as if they are guests in a friend’s home.
The experience at TERRA includes beautiful multi-course meals and wine pairings, and the opportunity to participate in activities from massage and yoga to hiking and archery, customized to each guest’s desires. Guests can further explore Arizona by taking trips to Sedona or kayaking the Verde River.
The most exceptional experiences at TERRA are the intimate hands-on cooking classes with Chef Porter and guest chefs like Wrigley Mansion’s James Beard Award-winning chef, Christopher Gross.
TERRA’s on-site cooking school features state-of-the-art tools and equipment. The courtyard offers guests the opportunity to get instruction and experience using a wood-burning oven, barbecue pits and an open fire cooking area. No expense has been spared on providing the place with high-end restaurant equipment with which to create their culinary masterworks.
Earlier this year, Chef Gross and Chef Porter led a three-day experience at TERRA covering French food and wine, from soufflé to Burgundy. Another recent experience highlighted tequila tasting and pairing with an expert from Corrido Tequila. Guests also received instruction on creating dishes featuring tequila.
Other 2019 courses at TERRA have included Cowboy Cooking with special guest Arizona winemaker Sam Pillsbury, where guests learned about barbecue techniques and wood-fired oven cooking. Certified Master Baker MJ Coe taught the Art of Bread course, and in November, renowned chef and author Francois de Melogue led a course highlighting a variety of truffles, using them in fresh pasta and salads.
TERRA’s farm grows nearly 200 varieties of vegetables, grains and herbs, and is home to rare livestock, including French black copper Maran chickens, Iberico pigs and Wagyu cattle. Whatever is not available on-site is procured from the highest quality suppliers and sourced locally whenever possible.
Managing a farm and manor is a lot different than running a restaurant, but Chef Porter has immersed himself in farm life from tending to the livestock to driving a tractor.
“There are many multilayered aspects to this business, from the restaurant, to the hospitality to the livestock,” said Chef Porter. “It’s challenging, busy and fun. The key is surrounding yourself with talented people who love what they do.”
Guests have given rave reviews in the time that TERRA has been opened.
“We have been overwhelmed by the amazing feedback from our guests,” said Chef Porter. “Both Arizonans and people coming from out of state are wowed by this part of Arizona and are excited to share their experience with others.”
After cooking at restaurants around the country, Chef Porter, his wife and their young daughter are very happy to be right where they are at this point in their lives. They enjoy their surroundings and the lifestyle, and the opportunity to create amazing experiences for their guests.
“Opening TERRA has been phenomenal,” said Chef Porter. “It’s been a lot of hard work and learning, but it’s amazing to give our guests an experience that they can’t get anywhere else.”