Friday, February 20, 2009

Movable Feast chefs tout cookbooks

Express Staff Writer

Esta Hornstein and Judith McQueen, right, are two of the chefs who will participate in Our Movable Feast. Photo by

A wide selection of chefs will bring the "Joy of Cooking" (calories and all) into the Community Library for its annual benefit, Our Moveable Feast, on Sunday, March 8.

Themed rooms will be hosted by chefs from restaurants such as Cristina's, Riccabona's, Ciro, Ketchum Grill and Globus, among many others. Seven will offer special dinners hosted in equally special local homes in the "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" silent auction.

Sky Barker, executive chef of Zou 75, will preside over a dinner for 12 at the Elkhorn home of Kim Kawaguchi and Bob Disbrow. Barker, the youngest chef, is a Wood River Valley native who found his profession at the age of 10 when he dined with his family at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland. He believes in "making art with food" through his Asian fusion with a twist. His taste in cookbooks is classic: "Blue Ginger" by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm, and "The Cookbook" by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.

Longtime valley chef David Fox began cooking as a child. By the time he was 10 he was concocting dishes for his grandparents. In the valley, he shared thermoses of "chowder in the powder" with friends on Baldy, and now caters from his commercial kitchen on River Street in Hailey. His favorite cookbooks are "The Joy of Cooking" and "The Escoffier Cookbook."

"I use the recipes as conceptual guides, rather than specific formulas," he said. "I own three copies, one for each kitchen."

Vinnie Carpenter has also been cooking since he was a child. A desert baking class with him at the home of Jeanie Meyers and David Carr will be auctioned off. He has worked at the Ritz Carlton, in Naples, Fla., and was supervisor at the Sun Valley Bake Shop. For nearly two years, he's been at Rasberry's in Ketchum. His favorite cookbook is "Advanced Bread and Pastry" by Michel Suas.

Chris Kastner, chef and owner of CK's, spent 17 years behind the stove at the late, lamented Ketchum restaurant Evergreen. He believes in fresh, local produce and letting the ingredients speak for themselves. His favorite cookbooks include "Meat," by Fernley Whittingstall, "The French Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller, "Mario Batali," "Zuni Cafe Cookbook" by Judy Rogers and "The Joy of Cooking."

Jeff Keys of Vintage has cooked in the valley for more than two decades. In 1985 he opened Soupcon Restaurant and six years ago moved Vintage into the same space.

He has his own cookbook, but also loves John Thorne's "The Outlaw Cook," Patricia Wells' "Food Lovers Guides" and Julia Child's "My Life in France."

Raised in San Francisco, Ric Lum's earliest memories are of his grandfather shopping in the local Chinese market and cooking every Sunday. Well-known California chefs Cecilia Chang and Alice Waters are both influences. He owns a rare copy of "The Playboy Gourmet," which he got from the late Gary Hunt of Iconoclast Books. One of his favorite books is "Raw and the Cooked" by Jim Harrison.

Judith McQueen's departure from Hollywood studio catering was the valley's gain. Eclectic and creative, she is a longtime supporter of Our Moveable Feast. Her favorite cookbook is "A Tuscan in the Kitchen" by Pino Luongo.

"It wasn't until I was halfway through the book, which has some wonderful stories, that I realized there were no measurements anywhere," she said. "That book changed how I cook."

Her favorite restaurants are the ones that stick to a classic way of cooking while employing fresh, local ingredients. But her perfect meal involves foie gras, caviar and anything that's been braised.

Cooking chose Michael Zentner, who was running a restaurant by the time he was 16. His passion is charcuterie, which he starts from scratch.

"It's a lot more interesting when you can buy the whole animal and use every bit of it in an interesting way," he said.

His favorite cookbook is Fergus Henderson's "Nose To Tail Eating."

For tickets to Our Movable Feast, call the Library at 726-3493.

Dana DuGan:

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