Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sun Valley Harvest Festival to debut in Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo by Paulette Phlipot Photography Taste and sip Idaho’s culinary bounty

All Idaho foodies are being summoned to attend the debut of the Sun Valley Harvest Festival. The festival is the reincarnation of the Sun Valley Food and Wine Festival, which was a spring event. As a new event, the Sun Valley Harvest Festival has taken the idea of a food and wine festival in the valley to create an Idaho chef, food and wine celebration.

"The food and wine travel market is the fastest growing segment in the travel industry," said festival director Heidi Ottley. "Sun Valley should be on the map as a food destination."

Ottley said she wants to change the perception of Sun Valley as a high-end and exclusive area and attract people from outside the valley with affordable and exciting culinary arts events.

The festival will take place Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 26. The weekend of events will focus on regional sustainable foods, wines, spirits and craft beers. It will also feature cooking demonstrations and presentations by valley and guest chefs from around Idaho, as well as wine and beer tastings. In addition, the festival will include an eco-culinary trade show, restaurant walk, chef's dinners, beer garden and music.

"I think in years to come, this festival will have the opportunity to be as notable as the Sun Valley Writers' Conference and the Aspen Food and Wine festival, where people will come year after year," Ottley said. "It is a celebration of Idaho chefs and food."

Ottley has brought together food purveyors and regional chefs and winemakers to educate participants about the best of Idaho's food, wine and beer.

"We have teamed up with Sysco, which has connected with Idaho farmers and has an infrastructure in place to help them," she said. "It's a sustainable program to connect farmers to restaurants."

Some of the weekend highlights include cooking demonstrations, the Harvest Market Place, the Harvest Tasting Room and the Harvest Wine Cellar at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge in Sun Valley. Saturday will be a full day of food and wine events, including chef demos, the Harvest Marketplace, tastings and the Idaho Harvest Beer Garden. The beer garden will be at the Ketchum Town Square with grass covering the park. In addition, on Saturday evening, Sego restaurant will have an Idaho Martini and Caviar Party at 6 p.m. Also, there will be Harvest Dinner specials and music throughout the weekend, as well as Harvest Brunch options at local restaurants on Sunday.

A special guest will be John Turene of Sustainable Food Systems in Wallingford, Conn., who will give a presentation on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Dollar Mountain Lodge tent. Turene has played a large role in promoting sustainable food and dining at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. Other guests include Dustan Bristol of Nampa's Brick 29. Bristol was a James Beard Award nominee.

"Come taste extraordinary fresh and local ingredients," Ottley said. "We live in a spectacular place and people will have an incredible experience."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

Festival info

- A Sun Valley Harvest Festival pass is $125, Sun Valley Harvest Festival and Tasting Room pass is $155 and a Sun Valley Harvest Festival gold pass is $195.

- Individual tickets for demonstrations and presentations are $20, Harvest Tasting Room and Wine Cellar are $25, the restaurant walk is $25, Harvest Festival Idaho Beer Garden is $15 and Tom Nickel's "Dry Rubs, Marinades and Simple Sauces: Taking Your Grilling to the Next Level" at the Roosevelt Grille is $20.

- Alan Minskoff book signing at Silver Creek Outfitters is included with the purchase of a festival pass or restaurant walk ticket.

- Sun Valley Harvest Festival passes are available at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum and Atkinsons' Market in Ketchum, by calling (208) 450-6430 or e-mailing

- For details and tickets, visit

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