Idaho Culinary Celebration

I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend the Idaho Culinary Celebration at Kendall College in Chicago over the weekend. While foodie thoughts of Idaho naturally lean toward potato dishes, potatoes were really just a small part of the evening. It also highlighted a number of high-quality food products that come out of that state, from onions to trout to caviar to chicken peas to wine to vodka.

Among the dishes prepared there and served by friendly and professional Kendall students were Trout with Brioche and Brown Butter, Tempura Catfish and Kabuli! Chickpea and Avocado Fiesta Salad. Appetizers included a Snake River Farms steak crostini and caramelized onion quiche.

We received a warm greeting from Celia Gould, Director of the Idaho Department of Agriculture and learned a little about all that the state of Idaho has to offer for foodies.

Primary sponsors of the evening were:

Idaho Potato Commission (

USA Onions/Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, growers using the combination of rich volcanic soils and a dry climate to produce mild flavored yellow, red and white onions available from August to March/April. (  growers usin the combination of rich volcanic soils and a dry climate to produce mild flavored yellow, red and white onions available from August to March/April and their web site

Participants included:

Clear Springs Foods, a leading producer of Rainbow Trout and seafood products for the foodservice and retail Markets. (

Snake River Farms, a family owned beef provider that supplies beef to three-star Michelin-rated restaurants, including American Wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork as well as gourmet hamburgers, hams, hardwood smoked bacon and frankfurters made with only the finest ingredients. (

13 Foods, a frozen legume manufacturer that distributes Kabuli! Petite Chickpeas and Pardina! Lentils that are ready to use. (

Fish Producers of Idaho produces some of the best seafood and caviar in the world - rainbow trout, catfish, Tilapia, sturgeon and White Sturgeon Caviar. (

Southwind Farms, a group of farmers within Snake River Valley specializing in Gourmet Russian Banana Potatoes, Purple Fiesta Potatoes, Amarosa Fingerling Potatoes and French Fingerling Potatoes. (

Glanbia Foods, the worlds largest American stele cheese producer that sells bulk cheese to processors where it can then be found under private labels in grocery stores or in top fat food and casual dining restaurants. (

Idaho Wine Commission, the information and education source that markets and promotes more than 50 Idaho wineries. (

It was an enlightening evening. Who would have thought that Idaho could produce some of the best Trout I've ever had or the best onion soup I've ever eaten?

Other highlights included cocktails with Grand Teton Potato Vodka and a beautiful, mild white wine that is among those produced in 50 wineries in Idaho, a pretzel crusted Clear Springs trout, a yellow finn potato poutine, Glanbia gouda and white sturgeon caviar.

A vodka and tonic made with Grand Teton Potato Vodka.