Sun Valley Harvest Festival: What’cha doin next Saturday?

What’s on your agenda next Saturday? Planning to sofa-sit with a bag of chips and a beverage? Doing the 32nd Annual Baldy Hill Climb? Whatever the plan, there is some real fun to be had in the valley next weekend with great benefits, both long and short term, at The Sun Valley Harvest Festival, Sept. 24-26, in Ketchum.

You could be attending an event that offers a weekend of entertainment, education, wine and spirits tasting, an Oktoberfest Beer Garden, some of the valley’s best and most innovative healthy, local dining, and an opportunity to learn about explosive new trends in fueling that fine body of yours.

What’s on the agenda? Well, next Saturday’s amazing lineup is just packed with great presentations. For instance, take game-changer John Turenne of Sustainable Food Systems. He can take the grayest, most institutionalized menu still clinging to a 1950s-inspired food service model and turn it on its ear, fashioning healthy, vibrant, affordable choices from even the most mundane programs.

What else have we got? James Beard Award Nominee Chef Dustan Bristol, from one of the Boise area’s most popular tables, Brick 29 in Nampa, has really got the culinary world by the tail, making comfort food that’s local, healthy, nourishing and satisfying. He’ll present a couple of his favorites, such as his take on Mac n’ Cheese, along with savory Chicken Confit, revealing some of his clever tips for making great food.

We’ve also got Chef Vaughn Hobbs from Viking, delivering over 30 years of culinary expertise with a dose of humor that will serve up smiles along with his great style for cooking both indoors and out. His presentation on Friday, “Fish Farm Flambe: A Taste of Idaho with Flare”, will tame the flame to deliver some great eating.

We’ve also got Chef Randy King of Sysco in Boise bringing “Hunt – Gather Gourmet” to the table. Chef King is taking his impressive resume out on the trail, making the best of what’s out there in the wild that makes for good eating, bringing it into the kitchen for an interesting twist of savory flavors. Chef King will then team up with Chef Taite Pearson of Sego to present “What Will be on Your Plate in Two Years.”

Chef Pearson will also do a solo present, “Preserving and Canning Idaho’s Bounty”, that showcases his penchant for using healthy, local ingredients, instructing how this method will keep harvest tastes alive all year long.

For you chocolate fans, we’ve got Kristi Echols-Preston & Chris Preston of the Chocolate Bar in Boise, with a sweet discussion titled “From Bean to Bar: A Brief History of Chocolate.” On another sweet note, Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas of JanJou Patisserie in Boise will bring talent to the tent for a demonstration, crafting chocolate orange crisps.

Local superstar Chef Scott Mason of the Ketchum Grill will give a demo you’ll want to devour, titled “Autumn Foraging: From the Forest to the Table,” on Friday afternoon, followed by “Art of Bread” from popular Ketchum breadmaker Art Wallace, and Chef Tom Nickel of the Roosevelt Grille. Chef Nickel is famous for his unique game recipes and will reveal some secrets in his delicious demonstration “Dry Rubs, Marinades and Simple Sauces: Taking Your Grilling to the Next Level.”

Cristina Cook of Cristina’s in Ketchum, Brooke Hovey of Glow Live Food Café in Ketchum, and Alvin Charlton of Arid Club in Boise, will present talks on “Pumpkin Tiramisu,” “Raw, Organic Food for Optimal Health and Energy,” and “How to Feed Your Friends and Family and Still Enjoy the Party: Idaho Sturgeon with Grilled Corn Relish and Local Potatoes,” respectively.

And that’s only the food part. Can’t wait? Need more info on these talented chefs? Want details about time and place? Go to and lock in your ticket. Make your Oktoberfest celebration not only fun, but also smart and healthy.

by Kathleen Turner

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