Farmer’s Market Thursdays at the River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant | SierraSun.com

Farmer’s Market Thursdays at the River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant

River Ranch Lodge and Restaurant's Executive Chef Julia Walter offers Farm Fresh Thursdays.
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TAHOE CITY, Calif. – Be pleasantly surprised with the upgraded dinner menu that reflects the culinary trend for fresh, seasonal, locally grown, and organic food from River Ranch Lodge and Restaurant’s Executive Chef Julia Walter.Chef Walter shops each Thursday morning at the local farmers market gathering bundles of fresh produce for seasonal dishes with evening specials. Thursday nights are “Farmer’s Market Thursdays” with a Farmers Market Salad available each week.The Thursday Tahoe City Farmer’s Market has operated for 21 years and is a part of the Foothill Farmers’ Market Association. They operate only Certified Farmers Markets, where California farmers sell the products they grow.Chef Walter built a relationship with Gary Romano from Sierra Valley Farms where she has purchased spring and Euro mixed greens for the last few months a green salad staple at the River Ranch. Sierra Valley Farms in Beckwourth, just outside Sierraville that has been growing certified organic greens since 1999. “Our farm has 65 acres of certified organic vegetables where we grow arugula, sorrel, radicchio, frisee, butter lettuce and other greens as well as beets, radishes and even sweet carrots for the Fall,” said Romano. Kentucky native Chef Walter has featured fried green tomatoes as an appetizer. “In the South, fried green tomatoes are a staple and it’s great to see the excitement about this dish at the River Ranch where we have sold out of this appetizer every night I’ve put it in the menu,” said Chef Walter. The heirloom tomatoes are flash fried and served with a Dungeness crab and corn relish and smoky aioli. The tomatoes are not genetically modified, with seeds dating from 50 years ago and supplied by Thao Farms, a family owned farm in Elk Grove since 1997. The son, David Thao has been a part of the Tahoe City Farmer’s Market since it’s opening. “Sia and Kia Thao, my mom and dad are from Laos where they used to farm rice, corn and cattle but here in Sacramento they have stuck with vegetables. All you need is dirt and water and of course picking them at their peak and bringing them to the market the next day is all it takes,” said Thao. Chef Walter procures ingredients for the River Ranch Fresh Fruit Crispfruits from Brenner Ranch, honored in 2007 by PlacerGROWN as Placer County’s farm family of the year. It is served warm and topped with vanilla bean ice cream.Amber Oaks Farm categorized under a Raspberry Farm out of Auburn, is a Certified Organic California farm where Chef Walter has incorporated their green rhubarb into her crisp as well. “You don’t need to peel, string, or pre-cook the green rhubarb as it’s more tender since it’s picked sooner so the seeds are smaller and the skin is thinner. It even has double the vitamin C of an orange,” said Robert Griswald, nephew of the owner. Rhonda and Timothy Boughton’s family owned farm has been in operation since 1980 and grow amaranth spinach, chestnuts, oranges, squash and more.Even though the Tahoe City Farmer’s Market comes to close at the end of September, the farmers are producing crops year round. “Fresh produce is available all year and I can get mandarins, kiwis, and all other produce delivered straight from the farm to our door. That’s what makes living in California so great,” said Chef Walter. The River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant is open for dinner nightly at 6 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays, with river-front patio dining. Reservations are recommended at 583-4264. The River Ranch is at the corner of Highway 89 and Alpine Meadows Road.- Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com