Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Wood River Harvestfest Even Brings Them Out of the Firehouse
Rob Cronin serves up lamb ragout patties atop cucumbers at Restaurant 103.
Monday, September 19, 2016


The full harvest moon that rose in the sky over Hailey seemed a fitting way to shine a spotlight on the celebration of the harvest.

But, instead of illuminating the fields so farmers could gather their harvest in the days before tractors had headlights, it shone a light on people enjoying the fruits of the harvest.

A sellout crowd of 350—a hundred more than took part in last year’s inaugural Wood River Valley Harvestfest—ambled from restaurant to restaurant, sampling savory bites featuring food grown by farmers in Buhl, Hagerman and other neighboring areas.

KB’s Rodolfo Serva readies his Peruvian comfort food, which included spicy chicken sauce, rice and potatoes.

They preceded it with a chance to sample Matt Luck’s Pride of Bristol Bay salmon and homemade apple juice cranked by Reese and Janie Kelley and Luca Mathieu. And they capped it off with music by the Kim Stocking Band, as they savored scone-like cookies and coffee served up by Hailey’s new Black Owl Coffee company.

“This is more laid back than the restaurant walks they had in Ketchum—some of those seemed to be a race,” said Elke Scholl. “Tonight we’re taking it at a leisurely pace.”

Jose Luis Castillo recounted how his grandmother came to the States from El Salvador, returning several times to gather her 13 children as Sandra Castillo served up shrimp ceviche. She started out in the cleaning business but opened Lago Azul, naming it after a lake in her native country, when she realized how unique a mix of El Salvadoran and Mexican food would be in Hailey.

KB’s Rodolfo Serva served up Ajide gallina, a chicken dish from his native Peru, as he pointed out some of his new dishes. Among them: A quinoa salad with avocado, cilantro and a pomegranate glaze; a grilled salmon salad, and a breakfast featuring a gluten-free tortilla, chorizo, spinach, potatoes and eggs covered in tomatillo sauce.

Doris Weiler, Christel Nicholson and Shron Wellsandt try Sandra Castillo’s shrimp ceviche at Lago Azul.

Hailey’s streets swelled with people as diners moved en masse to Zou 75 to try the sturgeon topped with grilled peach and zucchini slices and a drizzle of lemon caper sauce that Katja Peller was doling out.

Dang of Dang’s Thai Cuisine happily stood on the sidewalk handing out freshly grilled pork, while Hailey Fire Chief Craig Aberbach and Deputy Chief Mike Baledge served up firehouse barbecued chicken in the alley way next to Jane’s Artifacts.

“You oughta see me with a Dutch oven—I just started baking a Chicago deep dish pizza that is outstanding,” said Baledge.

Cole Reeves, Maya Lizano, Maddie Piggins and Savanna Rush were among the many high school students that turned out.

Kelly Eggers enjoys her birthday with Kristin Bevers, Kim Piggins and Patty Eckebrecht.

They happily sat on a bench outside DiVine, noshing on a pulled pork sandwiches featuring a sweet honey mustard glaze and what they said tasted like homemade bread. Two of the youngsters’ parents were taking part in the walk and they decided to follow suit.

“It’s an awesome way to spend a Saturday night,” said Piggins.

“Lots of local flavor—and I like the booths they had at the Sustainability Center before the walk,” Sharon Wellsandt told friends Doris Weiler and Christel Nicholson. “They were a nice touch.”

Kristin Bevers, Patty Eckebrecht and Kim Piggins seized the evening to don wigs and treat their friend  Kelly Eggers to the restaurant walk for her birthday.

Julia Ott serves up DaVinci’s rosemary marinated lamb kabobs with cherry tomatoes and Halloumi cheese, along with a Delicata Squash Puree.

Eckebrecht said it was her first time to try lamb and her first time to try many of the restaurants.

“So fun. The sturgeon at Zou 75 was awesome and so were the lamb balls at the Wood River Sustainability Center,” she said. “And walking is so fun—everybody’s in a good mood.”

“Gobble Gobble, gobble. What a great evening in Hailey,” said Gee Gee Lowe as she polished off a chopped salad topped with chickpeas and Lava Lake Lamb at CK’s.

As the walk drew to a close, it was Hailey architect David Lister who said what everybody else was thinking: “Oh man, I’m so full.”


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