Foodie News: Tahoe Food and Wine Festival returns to Village at Northstar
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; The 26th Annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, considered one of Lake Tahoeandamp;#8217;s premier gourmet events, is scheduled for Sept. 9-11 at the Village at Northstar in Truckee.The three-day event kicks off Friday, Sept. 9 with the always hilarious, annual rite of passage, the 8th Annual Village Grape Stomp and Vineyard Luncheon, with costumed teams furiously stomping fresh-from-the-vineyard grapes. The team entry fee ($200 for four and $50 for those solo) includes grape stomping, wine and beer tasting and alfresco luncheon. For those not wanting to get their feet dirty, lunch/tasting only tickets are just $40 per person.Day two of the festival, Saturday, Sept. 10, showcases some of the best culinary programs in the region, including three free outdoor seminars. Mark Estee, chef and owner of the wildly popular Truckee-based Moodyandamp;#8217;s Bistro andamp; Lounge and Burger Me!, which was featured on the Food Networkandamp;#8217;s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, hosts andamp;#8220;Outdoor Grillingandamp;#8221; at 11 a.m. Chef Jason Gronlund, senior director of culinary and the executive chef for Hard Rock Caf International, hosts andamp;#8220;Cookinandamp;#8217; Hard Rock Styleandamp;#8221; at 12:15 p.m. and will showcase great techniques and delightful recipes. Local legend Douglas Dale of Wolfdaleandamp;#8217;s Cuisine Unique in Tahoe City wraps up the free programs with andamp;#8220;Cuisine Unique Cooking Demoandamp;#8221; at 2:45 p.m. as he guides attendees in finding new elements, ingredients, techniques and unconventional food combinations. Also free to the public is the Gourmet Marketplace Trade Fair. Also, find artisan jewelry makers, photography exhibits and the North Tahoe Plein Air Art Show and Sale.Saturdayandamp;#8217;s ticketed events include both wine and food events, as well as a distillery party. A festival favorite is the Gourmet Marketplace Wine and Brew Walk with an entry fee of $25 per person. In andamp;#8220;Some Like it Hotandamp;#8221; Chef Instructor Lars Kronmark of the Culinary Institute of America, Napa matches big, bold California wines with American barbecue food for $45 per person. A great opportunity for budding chefs to cook side-by-side with their parents, Lara Ritchie of the Nothing To It Culinary Center in Reno, Nev. provides andamp;#8220;Thai Spring Rollsandamp;#8221; for $10 per person. Usually only available to the restaurant and wine trade, andamp;#8220;Taste the Pride andamp;#8211; Pride Mountain Vineyards Horizontal Tastingandamp;#8221; runs $65 per person. A not-to-be-missed is the Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook-Off when local culinary gurus David Lutz of Tahoe Cityandamp;#8217;s Evergreen Restaurant and Sean Conry of Longboards Bar andamp; Grill at Plumas Pines Golf Course in Graeagle go head-to-head Iron-Chef style. Cost is $15 per person. Saturdayandamp;#8217;s festivities wrap up with the andamp;#8220;Charbay Artisan Winery andamp; Distillery Annual Release Partyandamp;#8221; with master distiller Marko Karakasevic offering whiskey in all of its distilling stages along with appetizers prepared by Chef Jason Gronlund. Cost is $65 per person.Day Three, Sunday, Sept. 11, is the pinnacle of the festival with the Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting. Itandamp;#8217;s a gastronomic dream as 30 of the areaandamp;#8217;s finest restaurants, caterers and chefs are paired with premium world-class wineries charged with creating the best marriage of food and wine. Tickets are $75 per person online through Sept. 9 and $90 per person at the door.For a complete list of festival programs, tickets and lodging, head to http://www.TahoeFoodandWine.com.In addition to the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, the Tahoe region plays hosts to the 2nd Annual Lake Tahoe Restaurant Week, Oct. 2-9. Enjoy three-course, prix-fixe menus at 60+ participating restaurants throughout the Lake Tahoe region for $20, $30 or $40 per person. No tickets or coupons are required. Visit http://www.TahoeRestaurantWeek.com.The Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival is a fundraiser for the Community Fund of North Lake Tahoe through the 501c(3) Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. Visit http://www.GoTahoeNorth.com.