Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Food for thought

Library fundraising event is a cook’s delight

Express Staff Writer

The Community Library fundraising event Our Moveable Feast celebrates "The Joy of Cooking" with local chefs. Photo by

The nonprofit Community Library in Ketchum benefits the entire Wood River Valley community. Celebrating and supporting its important role in culture, education and posterity is vital to Ketchum and the valley. Our Moveable Feast is one of the library's most important fundraising events of the year, and it's a scrumptious one. This year the library's theme, "The Joy of Cooking," celebrates a cookbook and its influence on the kitchen and the people who savor its recipes.

The library will transform into a food lover's delight, offering international and nationally celebrated cuisine, from French and Indian dishes to Latin American and southern cooking. Several coveted cooks and chefs of the Wood River Valley will prepare all the food for the event. One chef who has been supporting the library's event since it began in 2005 is Cristina Ceccatlli Cook. Though she is Italian, there are plenty of gourmands awaiting her delectable treats. For 17 years, Cook has been creating dishes and overseeing her restaurant and bakery, Cristina's, located in Ketchum.

"The secret of our longevity has been our incredibly talented team of Patrick Jam, Raylene Ward and Diane Hull," Cook said. "They put their love and soul into whatever we do, whether it is a Chinese New Year celebration or simple Tuscan food."

Cook descends from a long line of chefs from Tuscany, Italy. She creates meals based on a few natural ingredients. Always cooking to eat at a large table with family and friends, Cook's pasta is her main entrée. She prefers to serve it with pollo a la diavolo and an escarole salad, followed by dolces and biscotti.

She has authored the cookbooks "Cristina's of Sun Valley" (2005) and "Cristina's Tuscan Table" (2007), which have become classics. "Cristina's Tuscan Table" was selected as one of Food and Wine magazine's favorites. Cook's recipes replicate many of the dishes she serves in her restaurant and are just as good at home as they are dining at Cristina's.

Cooks' buffet will be a highlight of this year's Our Moveable Feast French room, which illustrates "Babettte's Feast," by Isak Dinensen. Joining her will be another Sun Valley legend, Michel Rudigoz of Michel's Christiana, and his executive chef, Steve Berks, and sous chef, Gerhard Hoechtl. In addition, Steve Riccabona and chef Brent Rasmussen of Steve and Victoria Riccabona's restaurant will be featured along with chefs and brothers Pierre and Rodrigo Herrera of CIRO's with owners Tracey and Mark Caraluzzi.

The library's staff, volunteers and donations, especially those from Tom Shepard and Sun Valley Transfer and Storage, allow the event to happen. An exciting and large silent auction is a big component to the library's fundraising efforts and is another entity to one of Ketchum's most well-attended and spirited benefits.

Tickets are $100 and the event will take place at the library Sunday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m. For details, call 726-3493.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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