Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Educating eaters

Sun Valley Harvest Festival brings food heroes to town

Express Staff Writer

Chef John Tesar, who has competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” participates in the 2012 festival. His new restaurant, Spoon Bar & Kitchen, in Dallas, was touted by Eater National as one of “The 25 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2012” nationwide.
©Paulette Phlipot/

    Have a food maverick in the family? Find out if that cooking skill is more than just a tasty survival technique with a panel of culinary experts here for the Sun Valley Harvest Festival.
    And even if you don’t have a teenager in the house, you can support one by attending the Grand Tasting event, with proceeds going to the Wood River High School Culinary Institute.
    From Thursday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 22, the air around the north valley will waft with the smells of fine cooking by local chefs and invited guest chefs, who will converge to create a foodie weekend.
    The opening day features a free lecture with Ashley Koff, registered dietician, who will make “A Case for Quality,” at Zenergy Health Club in Ketchum from noon to 1 p.m. The new “Food Mavericks Panel” costs only $10 but is free for students, at the nexStage Theater in Ketchum, according to Whitney Werth, festival spokeswoman. On the panel are entrepreneurs Frederick Schilling of Big Tree Farms, Justin Gold of Justin’s, Allison Evanow of Square One Organic Spirits, and Mike Fata of Manitoba Harvest. It’s an interactive opportunity where tips and stories will be exchanged. A reception will follow.
    Friday, Sept. 20, also features a new panel on food trends, also at the nexStage, with health and fitness writers Lori Corbin from ABC News Los Angeles, Siobahn O’Conner, editor of Prevention magazine, Lauren Slayton of Foodtrainers in New York, and Rachel Hofstetter, author of “Cooking up a Business.” The event will be emceed by dietician Koff.
    The always-sold-out Restaurant Walk has been expanded to accommodate 400 people this year, and with tickets costing only $40, Werth encourages early reservations. Among the restaurants this year are CavaCava, Moose Girls Bar & Café, Sawtooth Brewery and The Haven Food Truck, Bigwood Bread Café and many others.
    Saturday, Sept. 21, will offer food demonstrations with renowned or super-hot-right-now chefs. Their menus are in the information box. It will be held in the tent at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge and each demo costs $40. The Harvest Marketplace will be ongoing then as well. At noon, Sawtooth Brewery is introducing new beers and hosting Oktoberfest in Ketchum Town Square. New too is the 5B Party-Boots, Beer, Bourbon and BBQ at B. Restaurant in Ketchum for $50 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Or you can up your ante and pay $125 and enjoy a Martini and Caviar Party at The Roundhouse on Bald Mountain.
    Sunday, Sept. 22, there will be a River Guide Cooking Demonstration on the lawn at Dollar Mountain from 10 a.m. to noon and the finale Grand Tasting, from noon to 3 p.m. The $75 tab includes samplings of a variety of chef’s masterpieces, breakout chats, sample vodka from Distilled Resources, cocktail mixing and more.
    Festival founders Heidi Ottley and Ed Sinnott said they have geared the festival to quality and how to incorporate methods into a home kitchen. And, it supports the overall mission of sourcing and eating regional and sustainable foods.
    For all the festival information, visit

What’s on the menus:

Chefs will demonstrate the latest trends in cooking and technique on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the tent at Dollar Mountain in Sun Valley.

1. Tina Ruggiero, nutrition expert and author:
- Orange-infused whole wheat breakfast couscous with cherries.
- Frittata with red potato, kale and Parmigiano.
- Homemade muesli.

2. Crossroads in Los Angeles—chefs Tal Ronnen
and Scot Jones:
- Eggplant caponata over toasted buckwheat and black quinoa.

3. Rancho Pescadero in Baja, Mexico—Chef Rodrigo Bueno.
Homemade flour tortillas Pescadero style.
- Local goat “Mexican chorizo with Idaho potatoes.
- Orange zest and pecan cheese tacos.
- Yellow corn cake, pine nuts “Rompope.”

4. Malika Ameen, Chicago pastry chef.
- Bittersweet chocolate cardamom torte with

5. AKASHA in Los Angeles—Chef Akasha Richmond.
- Grass-fed skirt steak skewers with arugula pesto paired with cabernet sauvignon.
- Wild mushroom crostini paired with a merlot.
- Winter squash soup/crème fraiche paired with a
pinot noir.

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