Today, as the food coma is finally wearing off, all we can say about the culmination of our first-ever Culinary Festival is “wow.” The weekend truly exceeded expectations. The display of talent from our chefs, the enthusiasm from our guests and the increasing level of deliciousness with each and every bite were each nothing short of incredible.

We kicked off Day 2 with the weekend’s main event: the Culinary King of the Mountain competition. Our four chefs were each joined by a team of three lucky guests that served as their sous chefs for the Chopped-style competition. Each round, the teams were given a mystery basket of ingredients and tasked with creating an appetizer, entrée and dessert in single-elimination rounds. Here’s a rundown of what the team’s on-the-fly creativity brought to the judges table:

Round 1
Mystery basket: squash blossoms, Wagu beef, blood oranges and cotija cheese
Team Earl: blood orange napa cabbage salad with Kobe culotte
Team Rolfe: wagu stuffed squash blossom with pine nuts and couscous
Team Topple: charred romaine salad with Snake River Farms beef and blood orange vinaigrette
Team Levi: black jack calabacín quesadilla
Chopped: Bardenay’s Chef Travis Levi

Round 2
Mystery basket: monkfish tails, pasta sheets, fiddlehead ferms and verpa mushrooms
Team Earl: Pan seared monkfish with mushroom agnolotti and shallot, red wine demi glacé
Team Rolfe: Monkfish lasagna with sautéed mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns and red wine vinaigrette
Team Topple: open face monkfish ravioli with saffron nage
Chopped: Sysco Idaho’s Chef Patrick Rolfe

Round 3
Mystery basket: biscuit dough, meyer lemons, rhubarb & bourbon
Team Earl: Meyer lemon mascarpone Napoleon with rhubarb bourbon compote
Team Topple: strawberry rhubarb crumble with Meyer lemon ice cream and stewed strawberry sauce
Chopped: Fork and Alavita’s Chef Wiley Earl

Now, we may be biased, but we couldn’t be more excited to announce that our own Executive Chef Steve Topple is indeed the first-ever Culinary King of the Mountain! The competition was incredibly fierce and fun to watch so thank you to everyone for participating. We already can’t wait to see who takes the crown next year! Stay tuned for more photos and a video recap of the competition.

Another special thank you to the 17 vendors who joined us for the Farmer’s Market and Fair that took place during the competition. Guests enjoyed sips, eats and products from a great variety of local and regional purveyors including Periple Wines, Bella Kitchen, Ballard Cheese Farm and many more.

Later in the afternoon, a selection of guests enjoyed a wine education class with Shore Lodge Sommelier Dave Boyle where they learned how to properly identify the nuances in a variety of wines; knowledge that would come in quite handy later in the evening.

We rounded out Saturday with a sold-out winemaker’s dinner featuring Owen Roe Winery and a collaborative four-course menu from our four celebrity chefs. Each created a course to pair with an Owen Roe varietal that was further explained by the man who made them, winemaker David O’Reilly. The menu was truly exquisite, featuring unique flavor combinations that represented each chef’s signature style while perfectly complimenting each Owen Roe varietal. Aside from the incredible cuisine, the evening was made even more special thanks to the great camaraderie among the guests. Whether they were old bonds or new ones formed over two days of interactive events, the good will of the crowd filled The Narrows unlike any dinner before. It was a truly special event and the perfect nightcap to an amazing day. Here is just a small glimpse into all of the fun. More to come!