Wine and Dine at the Sun Valley Harvest Festival

Weekend highlights include cooking demonstrations and wine tastings
Paulette Pliphot

From herbs and vegetables to wines and spirits, the Sun Valley Harvest Festival in Idaho is showcasing locally grown and harvested products from Idaho and the Northwest Sept. 21 to 23.

Highlights of the Sun Valley Harvest Festival include the one-hour cooking demonstrations by television personalities and authors, to be held Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets are $40 for each session.

Celebrity chefs leading the cooking demonstrations include James Beard Lifestyle nominees Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, chef Jesus Gonzales, the culinary director of Cups in La Jolla, Calif., James Beard Foundation 2010 Best Chef of the Northwest Jason Wilson of Crush in Seattle, and John Tesar, executive chef and owner of Spoon Bar & Kitchen which is slated to open in fall 2012 in Dallas.

A sampling of each chef’s presentation and a meet-and-greet follows each cooking demonstration.

Sommelier Jackie Quillen, formerly "the Nose" at Christie’s Wine Auction department in New York City is leading a program on how to properly taste, select, and pair wines Sept. 22.

Idaho’s local organic cuisine is featured at Friday’s Restaurant Walk with Frenchman’s Gulch Winery. Attendees at the festival’s kickoff event partake in a $35 moveable feast and beverage pairing through downtown Ketchum.

Festival-goers can peruse local purveyors who specialize in organic, sustainable and hand-crafted foods, coffee, tea, cheese, dairy, meat, and produce at the free Harvest Marketplace Sept. 22.

Other events include Idaho harvest dinners Sept. 22 at participating restaurants. Sunday, Sept. 23's events include free river guide cooking demonstrations in which attendees can get tips for grilling and cooking with Dutch ovens, and grand wine tastings featuring savory main dishes, side dishes, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts paired with wines from wineries like 80-year-old Washington winery Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington estate winery Spring Valley Vineyard, and California winery Staq’s Leap Wine Cellars.

The grand tasting is $75 and also includes wines from Col Solare, Oregon pinot noir from Erath Winery, and merlots from Walla Walla winery Northstar, all paired with tasty treats like artisanal pizza and ice cream. The tasting, which benefits the new Sun Valley Culinary Institute, includes the chance to chat with chefs, winemakers, distillers, and brewers.

All-event passes to the Sun Valley Harvest Festival are $270.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Ediitor at The Daily Meal. Follow her @lmack.