SVHFYou’ve heard of speed dating.  Now, meet speed eating.  Well, it’s not exactly fast when you’re interfacing with the food — it’s the move between restaurants that makes you pick up the pace. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival has an event called the Restaurant Walk: restaurants all around Ketchum, Idaho open their doors with a signature dish or two. Eighteen restaurants participated this year.  I made it to sixteen. Hey, I was working!  (Nice work if you can get it.)  Here’s a sampling of the fare…



Dessert First!

My first stop was at Rolling in the Dough bakery: Nancy served us bread pudding on a puddle of chocolate sauce with a star-shaped very snappy ginger snap.  Delicious.


BLT With Pork Belly

Il Naso served a delicious BLT with Pork Belly and locally grown cherry tomatoes.  It’s hard to go wrong with a BLT, but the pork belly really kicked the idea up a notch.  I was told to come back for the Elk Chop Carpaccio and the Fig Caprese Salad. Yes, I will be back.



At Rickshaw, we ate a delicious pork (local: Snake River Pork) shu mai on a mango sauce.  Just the right amount of heat.  We also had a thai ginger cooler: tamarind, ginger and soda water.  Spicy, refreshing. Found this recipe online that might be similar.

Latin Freestyle

In Ketchum, you’re safe with the seafood, even in this landlocked state.  At Boca, the mussels (of the mussels and clams) were so creamy and the sauce was divine.  Needed more bread to mop it up.  And Ryan Sullivan, the delightful bar manager, was making Sangria with the secret ingredient of peach bitters. Oh sorry, Ryan.

Eat the Flowers

At Nourish Me, we ate raw lemon bars with dates and cranberries: I know, they don’t look like lemon bars, but they were exquisitely lemony. The orange on the top is a marigold. There were homemade crackers for the allergen-non-disposed, topped with local goat cheese.

sawtoothgrill copy

Beer or Wine?  Yes, please.

At Sawtooth Club, I couldn’t decide between the Cold Springs Winery Chardonnay and the Crooked Fence Brewery’s Derbe Oatmeal IPA.  I had both and both were gooooood. And the pork tenderloin with chopped iceberg salad complemented them both quite well.


Ketchum Thai

At B Restaurant, the ahi tuna poki — Thai style —  was spicy, fresh and… can I have another? To finish it off, they served a Snoqalmie Chardonnay — one of their house wines, which was clear and snappy and a great complement to the poki.


Quite a Spread

Cristina’s is one of my favorite Ketchum restaurants. This restaurant could be anywhere in the world: the food is homey and worldly at the same time — and made with the highest possible standards of freshness and technique.  

Cristina had laid out a buffet table with Swedish Meatballs (to end all Swedish Meatballs), spicy sausage, hot artichoke dip, salami, cheeses, homemade breads and crackers and even a tiny BLT.  All the delicious food was accompanied by an Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand).  Don’t forget a biscotti on the way out. Can’t get enough…


Rib Heaven

At Dashi, they were serving up the most succulent baby back ribs.  By this point, I was not hungry at all, and yet, the tender, spicy meat still penetrated my tired taste buds.


Like Candy

At Sayvour, they were serving a sparkling Rose Shirley Temple with a chocolate dipped strawberry.  Almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.


Home Stretch

When I got to the Ketchum Grill, I thought I was at my eating limit. But… I can do amazing things when someone is offering me a pear, gorgonzola, caramelized onion pizza.  Yes, I can make some room.

It was not only the great food that made this a memorable experience, but also strolling through Ketchum on a late Fall afternoon with perfect weather. This is the fourth year of the Sun Valley Harvest Festival.  It’s not gigantic like some other harvest festivals so you can actually get to meet the chefs, ask questions and meet like-minded people.  See you next year.

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Please note: Festival Pass Provided by Sun Valley Harvest Festival.