Monthly Archive for August, 2012

Foodies and the Idaho Wilderness: The Perfect Pairing

The Idaho wilderness is known for its scenic landscapes and miles and miles of whitewater right in our backyard. And, as any foodie familiar with backcountry river experiences knows, these rafting trips are the ultimate moveable feast! You’d be amazed what these seasoned guide/chefs can prepare with minimal prep-work and seasonal, fresh foods that results in tasty, gourmet fare!
As a partner of the Sun Valley Harvest Festival and a participant in the free River Guide Cooking Demonstration, we wanted to interview Steve Lentz of Far-and-Away Adventures  to get a little insight into the cooking culture of river rafters.

1. What is the best kind of food to prepare when on the river that’s both easiest and most satisfying after a long day of rafting?

We build our planning around Protein. You’re expending energy around paddling and the excitement of the rapids, so nutrition that has mouth watering character is at the forefront. As food lovers, we spend a great deal of time with our menu and who is supplying product. Far and Away Adventures’ assurance can be found here.

2. What three cookware items could you not live without on a rafting trip?

Dutch Ovens for baking, a grill with a lot of real estate, and a great flattop. That way you can cover all the components of the meal timely and effectively.

3. Sustainability must play a big part in how you plan your meals…How do you approach your need to pack out what you pack in?

Our whole approach to wilderness travel is through the practice of Leave No Trace. The information is also shared with our guests so they too become believers!

4. As foodies, we’re really into pairings…What kind of beverages do you like to bring along to wash down a delicious post-rafting meal?

We’re blessed with great wine suppliers in the Wood River Valley. They are always bringing something new and wonderful to our attention and yours! Our local brewers also play a role with what’s on tap… Yep that’s right… In the middle of the River of No Return Wilderness on the Middle Fork of the Salmon!

5. Any sneak-previews of what you plan to cook up during the River Guide Cooking Demo at the SVHF?

We will be preparing a cinnamon and currant breakfast bread plate, transitioning with a shrimp app on a stick followed with beef tender and corn pudding.

Click here to find out how to get planning your “American Safari!” with Far-and-Away Adventures. And, don’t miss the FREE River Guide Cooking Demo at the Sun Valley Harvest Festival on Sunday, September 23rd from 10:00am-12:00pm where Idaho River Journeys and Mackey Wilderness River Trips will also be throwing down some delicious river cooking!

Support Your Local Foodie: The ‘Grand Tasting’ Benefit for the Sun Valley Culinary Institute

On Sunday, September 23rd the Sun Valley Harvest Festival will culminate its weekend of food and friends with its finale, the Grand Tasting. From 12:00-3:00 pm, sample an eclectic variety of culinary creations provided by the Valley’s finest chefs and caterers, along with tasting local craft beers, distilled spirits, and our six featured wines from our sponsor wineriesWe’ll be serving everything from savory main dishes, side dishes, artisanal pizza, desserts, ice cream, hors d’oeuvres and much more. Wander through and chat with chefs as you sample their fare, learn about each of the wines and how to pair them with food, learn how to properly taste vodka and make the perfect martini.

Your ticket to the Grand Tasting doesn’t just get you an afternoon of epicurean indulgence; proceeds of this event directly benefit the development of Sun Valley Culinary Institute. By helping to financially support this newly formed institute, we hope to establish a world-class culinary offering that will build on the College of Southern Idaho’s existing culinary and hospitality programs, emphasize farm to table menus at local restaurants, and catalyze a budding “foodie culture” in the Valley. At the SVHF, we have a natural desire to help out a local organization that seeks to increase culinary knowledge and passion for all things gourmet!

Get your tickets for the Grand Tasting here and enjoy an afternoon celebrating and supporting foodies like you!

We also would like to thank Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Ketchum for sponsoring this benefit!

Demonstrations and Presentations: Don’t Miss Out!

The 2012 Sun Valley Harvest Festival offers the foodie a day long series of educational seminars presented by five nationally recognized chefs and sommeliers. This event, which will take place on Saturday, September 22nd, challenges the foodie to adapt to and respect the seasonality and locality of different ingredients while embracing new and old culinary techniques. And as we all know, no food seminar would be complete without sampling and tasting. We at the SVHF provide an abundance of those opportunities during the demonstrations, all while mingling with the hands-on chefs. But as any foodie will ask, “what about the wine”? Fret not! At the SVHF, we want you to not only taste the wine but examine it and learn about it and how pairs with different meals for a multi-faceted epicurean experience.
Here’s a sneak preview, or rather an “amuse bouche” to get you excited for what we have in store:

Chef Jesus Gonzalez, 9:30 am: “Healthy Cooking for a Healthy Lifestyle”
Chances are if you’re visiting Sun Valley you also have an appreciation for the great outdoors and possibly even an active lifestyle. Gonzalez, a private chef and the culinary director at Cups Culinary, San Diego’s premier cupcake lounge and cooking school, is known for his hands-on teaching techniques and passionate focus on quality, freshness, colors and deep, rich tastes. Co-Author of the cookbook “Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho de La Puerta,” Gonzalez grew up in Mexico and developed his culinary skills under the tutelage of his mother, who encouraged him to “cook with love” and take inspiration from ingredients right from their garden. Through the combination of delicious, fresh flavors and interesting textures, the Chef has truly mastered a craft of healthy cooking that does not compromise on taste but rather enhances it through the use of seasonal ingredients. The class will serve as a demonstration of how to combine healthy, fresh ingredients with bold flavors to keep you looking and feeling your best. You’ll also get some great insight into the art of adjusting and changing ingredients based on the seasons and ultimately become a better cook and less reliant on sticking to recipes.
The Fabulous Beekman BoysThe Beekman Boys, 11:00 am: “Seasonal Living”
Pioneers of the seasonal food movement, the Beekman Boys are taking the culinary world by storm. You may already be familiar with this hilarious chef-duo as they are the co-hosts of their own reality show, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” and are authors to multiple cookbooks and books including Beekman 1802 and The Bucolic Plague. Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a retired New York ad man, and Dr. Brent Ridge, the vice president of Martha Stewart Healthy Living at Omnimedia , have learned about seasonal cooking through “experimental living” after they bought the 1802 Beekman farm in Sharon Springs, New York. The Beekman farm is now an institution of farming delights and home to llamas, goats (and their famous premium Blaak goat cheese. Yum!).
During their demonstration, Josh and Brent will provide some laughs, insight into their seasonal lifestyle, and some delicious dishes to create and sample that will make you never want to turn to the freezer aisle in your grocery store again. Known for their homemade cheeses, preserves, and other artisanal masterpieces, the two will be sure to surprise us with mouthwatering treats and tricks to make them from your own home.

Chef John Tesar: 12:Chef John Tesar30 pm – “Crafting Idaho Potato Gnocchi and the Art of Pressure Pot Cooking”
John Tesar’s resume is as long as your arm, touting impressive critical acclaims from Esquire, Food & Wine, New York Magazine, and The New York Times, and has appeared on The Today Show and The Early Show. In 2011, Tesar competed on the inaugural season on the Food Network’s Extreme Chef, beating out two other chefs for the title. Of his culinary talents, Anthony Bourdain says “Tesar was probably the single most talented cook I ever worked with—and the most inspiring…His food—even the simplest of things—made me care about cooking again. The ease with which he conjured up recipes, remembered old recipes …and threw things together was thrilling to me. And, in a very direct way, he was responsible for any success I had as a chef afterward…”
Known for his charismatic personality and stylish contemporary techniques, the chef will be teaching a demonstration using Idaho potato gnocchi and pressure cooking. The class, therefore, will combine traditional cooking methods with a classic dish and a modern flare that will leave you wanting more! Luckily, Chef Tesar will leave you with the skills to recreate this savory dish over and over.
Chef Jason Wilson: 2:00 pm – “Four Styles of Idaho Lamb: Chops and Legs, Sausages and Tartar”
The title of this demonstration alone is enough to make your mouth water and stomach growl. Jason Wilson, head chef and owner of Crush restaurant in Seattle, will present to us a quartet of lamb preparations. And, if you know anything about the Sun Valley history, our goal has always been to “Eat More Lamb; It’s Delicious”!
This demonstration is sure to be a crowd pleaser as Chef Wilson has been named “Best Chef Northwest 2010″ from the James Beard Foundation and one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs 2006.” He has studied and perfected his culinary craft while living around the world, yet prides himself on using local and organic ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. What better a fit than working with the Sun Valley Harvest Festival! Join us for Chef Wilson’s presentation and leave with the knowledge of how to prepare creative, flavorful, and aromatic versions of our favorite “other” red meat!

Jackie Quillen: 3:30 pm – “Wine Tasting Boot Camp”

This is an event not to be missed! Jackie Quillen, founder of Christie’s New York Wine Department and “the Nose” at Christie’s for over 15 years, is the author of The Magic of Wine. Touting one of the most impressive resumés in the wine industry, Quillen trained for years with Michael Broadbent in the discipline of critical tasting, which is knowledge she will impart during the presentation.

Ms. Quillen will teach us the “art” of tasting wine; and yes, I mean learning to understand and appreciate legs, bouquets, and noses (not just gulping!). Her boot camp will focus on educating even the most amateur of wine drinkers to feel comfortable with tasting wines. Additionally, Quillen will give students the tools to understand and enjoy the delightful complexities of wine flavor profiles.


We hope to see you there! Cheers!