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.

Read more “Something Sweet”
Lemon Tree Co. Staff Culinary

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.

Read more “Be My Veggie Valentine”

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.

Read more “A Tale of Two Restaurants”
Chefs in a kitchen Culinary

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.

Read more “Cooking Up Talent”
Bags of Gaston's fresh-milled flour Culinary

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.

Read more “Flour Power”

Horizon with flock of birds in the background and laser in the foreground Beverages

Zapping the Bird Problem

Idaho vintners use high-tech lasers to scare birds away from wine grapes

Lex Nelson

From a bird’s eye view, there’s a good chance southern Idaho’s Sunnyslope Wine Trail looks more like a miles-long buffet table than the proverbial patchwork quilt. That’s because for robins and starlings, ripe wine grapes make the perfect snack, particularly during harvest season—a problem vintners like Greg Koenig of Koenig Vineyards have spent increasing amounts of time and money battling.

Read more “Zapping the Bird Problem”

Tapping a wooden keg Beer

Suds Across the Pond

Barbarian Brewing co-owners travel to England to brew sour beer

Lex Nelson

Trends, like 15th-century explorers, often hop the Atlantic from Europe to America—but sometimes the channel flows the other way. Garden City-based brewing company Barbarian Brewing proved that point in late September, when co-owners Bre Hovley and James Long traveled to London to teach the staff at Hop Stuff Brewery about what’s already a booming trend in American suds: sour beer.

Read more “Suds Across the Pond”

Ketchum Farmers Market Culinary

Learn About Local

Local food conference invites attendees to rethink Idaho’s food system

Lex Nelson

It’s no secret that the local food movement has been gaining ground rapidly in recent years. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, the number of farmer’s markets registered with the United States Department of Agriculture has more than quadrupled since 1994, and in 2017, Business Insider offered up an article expounding on why investors should keep a keen eye on the rising demand for local food, citing a Packaged Facts study showing the local food industry jumped from $5 billion to $12 billion between 2008 and 2014, and is predicted to hit $20 billion next year. Read more “Learn About Local”