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A Sweet Tale of Bitters

Meet the cocktail-loving couple behind Warn Reserve

Lex Nelson

Bitters—concentrated flavor infusions similar to kitchen staples like vanilla extract—are the unsung heroes of craft cocktails, adding sophisticated notes that can be a difficult to single out. For Adrienne and Danny Warn, parsing those flavors began as hobby but soon became a business.

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Dinner in the garden crowd at Waterwheel Gardens with chef Kris Ott Beer

Dinner in the Garden

Local farmers, chefs and winemakers come together for a night of good food

Lex Nelson

On June 8, Culinary Collective Network’s Chef Kris Ott did what should have been the impossible: He crammed 60 New York strip steaks into a single home oven, then plated them up for a hungry crowd. Though the exercise sounds like part of a Food Network cooking show challenge, it was actually the lynchpin of the fourth course of Dinner in the Garden, Waterwheel Gardens’ annual farm-to-table dinner.

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If You Build It, They Will Come

Indian Creek Plaza brings new restaurants to Caldwell

by Lex Nelson

Walking through downtown Caldwell with Keri Smith-Sigman, it’s impossible to get more than 50 feet without being waved down by someone friendly. One man is helping her find the perfect door to top her upcycled desk, another wants to show off his under-construction restaurant, and a third just wants to say hello.

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The Chef Who Would Be King

How Mai Thai Executive Chef Justin Scheihing became culinary king of the mountain

Lex Nelson

It was a few days before the Shore Lodge Culinary Festival’s Culinary King of the Mountain Competition, and Mai Thai Executive Chef Justin Scheihing, one of two announced competitors, was relaxed. To hear him talk about the high-pressure competition and the four-course meal that followed, you’d think the weekend was just another dinner service.

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Behind the Brunch

Meet the chefs who made the 2019 Foodfort-Alefort brunch collaboration possible

Lex Nelson

With less than 24 hours to go before Treefort Music Fest opened for its fifth and final day, chefs all over Boise were working steadily to prepare their dishes for an inaugural event under the Alefort tent’s roof: a collaborative brunch that would join the forces of Treefort and Alefort, pairing five top-notch dishes from local kitchens with Dawson Taylor coffee, regional beer and cider for a crowd of 300. Before the so-called Sunday Roast was over, a sea of moving parts and disparate ingredients would come together to make something that tasted a bit like magic.

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Culinary

Something Sweet

Seven months into new ownership, much remains the same at The Chocolat Bar

Lex Nelson

For a couple that worked at a skin care company, buying a chocolate shop may have looked like a big leap from the outside. But when Jason and Trish Stack purchased Boise’s The Chocolat Bar from founders Chris Preston and Kristi Echols-Preston in August of 2018, it was a remarkably smooth career transition.

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Be My Veggie Valentine

Lemon Tree Co.’s Valentine’s dinner is another plant-based thank you to Boise vegans

Lex Nelson

Jasson Parra, co-owner of the downtown Boise sandwich shop Lemon Tree Co., credits his restaurant’s success in large part to Boise’s burgeoning population of vegetarians and vegans, who flock there for plant-based entrees and sides.

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Culinary

A Tale of Two Restaurants

After merging and then separating, Camel’s Crossing and State & Lemp forge their own paths

Lex Nelson

The fine dining restaurant State & Lemp has been a center point of Idaho’s culinary scene since it first opened its doors in the fall of 2013, and by the time then-Executive Chef Kris Komori raked in his third James Beard nomination for Best Chef: Northwest in early 2018, all eyes were on its tiny corner dining room.

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Cooking Up Talent

Can a new nonprofit culinary school help boost Idaho’s restaurant industry?

Lex Nelson 

David Knickrehm, chairman of the board of Idaho Chefs de Cuisine, sees one big problem threatening Boise’s restaurant industry: alack of talented cooks. He lays the blame partly on the graves of the Treasure Valley’s two defunct culinary programs—one attached to Boise State University and another to College of Western Idaho—and partly on a new cultural mindset.

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Flour Power

Gaston’s Bakery is the first in Idaho to mill its own flour

Lex Nelson

In the vast space behind the neat, old-world pastry and bread, shop at Gaston’s Bakery lies a mad scientist’s laboratory of baking. Staff dart back and forth, some twisting bits of dough into breadsticks, others carefully rolling croissants, stacking boxes of packaged pastries or leavering baguettes into towering stone deck ovens. But despite the hustle and bustle, it’s the machine sitting quietly in a corner that’s perhaps the most exciting thing in the bakery: a cherry-red electric mill, which Gaston’s owner, French baker Mathieu Choux, started using just two months ago to make his own flour from Idaho wheat.

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