Swing into Spring

Spring is in the air and it’s time to grab your golf bag and hit the links! The early season is underway with Sun Valley’s scenic, challenging courses now awaiting your tee. On Friday, golfers made for the greens taking their first swings of the year under sunny spring skies on the back nine of the Trail Creek Course, as well as on the chipping green and putting green. The back nine on the Elkhorn course, which is semi-private, also opened Friday.

Find out why Golf Digest called Sun Valley "one of the top 75 resort courses in North America." The season has begun!

Find out why Golf Digest called Sun Valley "one of the top 75 resort courses in North America." The season has begun!

Exciting things are underway on the fairways under the leadership of new Director of Golf Operations Tyler Jones who plans to make this the best season yet on Sun Valley’s courses. He brings with him more than 15 years of experience managing successful golf operations in California and Washington. Most recently, he was General Manager at the Olympia Country & Golf Club in Olympia, Washington. He has also acted as General Manager for the prestigious Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Washington, and brings to the job experience as interim CEO for the Northern California Golf Association, the largest regional golf association in the U.S.

Meet Tyler Jones, Sun Valley's new Director of Golf Operations

Meet Tyler Jones, Sun Valley's new Director of Golf Operations

But Tyler loves Sun Valley. As a child, he spent many seasons in Sun Valley with his grandparents and learned to ski on Dollar Mountain when he was six years old. As a hospitality graduate from Washington State, he first worked in the Resort’s Food & Beverage division starting in 1992. But golf called to him and from 1994 to 1996, he worked as First Assistant Professional under the legendary Rick Hickman who only recently retired. Tyler said he is absolutely delighted to be back. He and his family are excited to relocate to the valley and Tyler has a lot of great ideas to make one of Sun Valley’s best recreational options, even better.

“Sun Valley has been a very special place for my family for over 50 years and we are thrilled to be joining the Sun Valley team. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of carrying on the tradition of offering the highest levels of hospitality and world class amenities that Sun Valley Resort is known for,” Tyler said. “The season is starting on a great note. Conditions are very encouraging, the greens are in good condition and golfers are excited.”

On the White Clouds course, golf is played at the top of the world

On the White Clouds course, golf is played at the top of the world

This PGA professional has assumed responsibility for full operation of Sun Valley’s 45 holes of golf: the 18-hold Trail Creek Golf Course, the 9-hole White Clouds Golf Course and the 18-hole Elkhorn Golf Course. The Trail Creek Championship Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., boasts 6,968 yards, surrounded by jaw dropping views. The White Clouds Course provides a perfect complement with 3,600 yards available for play and 360-degree views of the entire Wood River Valley. Golfing at Elkhorn provides 7,214 yards of beautiful undulating greens, more than 100 sand traps and bunkers.

After a day on the links, the Sun Valley Club provides a gracious gathering place for golfers as well as the public, offering a full-service restaurant, bar, locker rooms, club storage, club rental and a well-stocked pro shop. There is no better place to enjoy an afternoon libation and snack than on the restaurant’s terrace.

The Sawtooth Putting Course provides fun for the entire family

The Sawtooth Putting Course provides fun for the entire family

Both group and private lessons are available by calling 208-622-2251 and don’t forget the popular Sawtooth Putting Course and virtual golf facility. Both can enhance your game or just provide a few hours of fun.  

For extra incentive, book the Early Birdie Resort special from Friday, April 18 through June 8, 2014.This special deal offers one night’s lodging and one round of golf (including cart) for only $124 per person, double occupancy. Please call 800-786-8259 for reservations. And don’t forget to ski and tee through Bald Mountain’s closing day, Sunday, April 20.

Be sure to stop at the Pro Shop at the Sun Valley Club to stock up on the latest golf fashions and gear. Then head across the hall to enjoy a wonderful meal or post-game cocktail.

Be sure to stop at the Pro Shop at the Sun Valley Club to stock up on the latest golf fashions and gear. Then head across the hall to enjoy a wonderful meal or post-game cocktail.

Golf Digest called Sun Valley “One of the top 75 resort golf courses in North America.” Come find out why.

Fore!

–RES

A Walk Through History: Sun Valley Resort

Sun Valley Resort’s historical walking tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Sun Valley. But for those who can’t wait until they’re here to discover the secrets behind this historic resort, here is Part Three: Sun Valley Resort. For the complete series click here

The Red Barn once belonged to the Brass Ranch, on which Sun Valley Resort was built

STOP ONE: Take Sun Valley Road from the Lodge towards Ketchum and stop at the bright Red Barn on your left just before you reach the city. This barn is all that remains of the original Brass Ranch on which the resort was built. Used by the Brass family as a granary and machine shed, it is now an iconic image of Sun Valley. In January 1936, a week or so after Count Felix Schaffgotsch arrived in town and deemed the area “perfect” for a million-dollar ski resort, he bumped into Roberta Brass sitting on a fence pole near this very spot. “This is it,” he told her. “This is where Union Pacific is going to put in a ski resort. Next year at this time there will be a thousand people here.” Two months later Roberta’s father Ernest sold the family’s 3,888-acre sheep and cattle ranch to the railroad company for $39,000, or about $10 an acre. Construction of the Lodge began in May of that year, and its doors opened eight months later.

STOP TWO: Travel a few hundred yards along Sun Valley Road toward the Lodge and turn right down a dirt road to the Sun Valley Stables. It was here the Sun Valley Rodeo enjoyed its brief life. Having given little advance thought to what it would do with a ski resort during the summer, Union Pacific quickly whipped up a rodeo grandstand in the spring of 1937 and Sun Valley hosted its first Wild West rodeo on August 14. It proved too expensive however, and once visitors discovered the real draws of Sun Valley in the summer, the gimmick was no longer needed. The rodeo ended its regular run with the closing of the resort for WWII in 1942 and the stands were finally torn down in the late fifties.

STOP THREE: Continue east a mile or so along Sun Valley Road past the Lodge to the magnificent Sun Valley Club. Built in 2008, this 58,000 square foot clubhouse provides a luxurious base from which to access 27 of the resort’s 45 golf holes in the summer, and 25 miles of Nordic trails in the winter. Union Pacific was quick to spot the importance of golf to a resort, starting work on the Sun Valley golf course in the fall of 1937. Designed by William P. Bell, it opened in the summer of 1938.

STOP FOUR: Walk through the clubhouse and out to the expansive patio, where you will enjoy what is arguably the best view of Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain in the valley. While it now stands as the centerpiece of Sun Valley Resort, Bald Mountain was not the initial attraction. When Schaffgotsch first arrived in the Wood River Valley, at the end of his six-week, 7,000 mile odyssey across the West in search of the ideal spot to build Harriman’s ski resort, it was the gentle inclines of Dollar, Proctor and Ruud mountains that caught his eye. He certainly noticed the “bald” mountain, but deemed it too advanced for the majority of skiers in America, where the sport was still in its infancy. He was wrong. Although lifts didn’t open on Baldy until December 23, 1939, even in the first season guests attempted to tackle its 3,400-foot vertical rise using the services of an early snowcat named “the tank.”

STOP FIVE: A few hundred yards further along Sun Valley Road look for a sign on your right pointing to the Hemingway Memorial. Take the trail down the hill and discover one of the most tranquil spots on the valley’s floor. A bronze bust of Ernest Hemingway sits there, presiding over the trickling Trail Creek. Inscribed on the memorial is part of a eulogy Hemingway delivered for the man who brought him to Sun Valley in 1939. Gene Van Guilder was a publicist for the resort and an avid outdoorsmen. He introduced Hemingway to the excellent hunting and fishing in the area, but tragically was shot in a hunting accident a few weeks after the author arrived at Sun Valley. A notoriously shy public speaker, Hemingway surprisingly agreed to write and deliver Van Guilder’s eulogy, perhaps an indication of how comfortable he felt at Sun Valley. Sadly, Hemingway’s association with Sun Valley ended with his suicide in 1961. He is buried in the Ketchum Cemetery a mile or so from this spot.

STOP SIX: Walk back up to Sun Valley Road and take in the mountains suddenly towering over you to the south. Proctor and Ruud in front of you, and Dollar to your right, were the first mountains in the valley developed for skiing. But it was on Proctor Mountain that skiing history was made. Named for Charlie Proctor, the American Nordic Olympian who together with Schaffgotsch selected the skiing terrain, the mountain was home to the world’s first chairlift. Sun Valley’s publicist Steve Hannagan greatly disliked skiing, and hated cold even more, so he constantly looked for ways to make the experience more comfortable. One of his better ideas was the concept of mechanical devices to take people to the top of the mountain. Putting the vast engineering knowledge of Union Pacific to work, the idea of a chairlift was born. Engineer James M. Curran’s previous experience building a device to load bananas onto a ship inspired him to create a people-carrying version, and the world’s first chairlift was installed on Proctor in December of 1936. The second was completed a few weeks later on Dollar. A J-bar lift was also installed on Proctor Mountain in 1936, but it was moved to Ruud Mountain and refitted with chairs the next year. That lift is the only one that still stands, and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It can be visited via a short, but steep hike. From where you stand however, if there is no snow on the ground, you can just make out the original, decaying poles from that first chairlift on Proctor jutting up out of the hillside.

STOP SEVEN: Head further up Sun Valley Road to the newly remodeled Sun Valley Gun Club on your left. First situated along what is now Fairway Road across from the Sun Valley Lake, the gun club was constructed from the Hot Potato Hut that once warmed chilly skiers at the top of Proctor Mountain. That original structure is still part of the club, but the addition of marble bathrooms and other amenities has greatly increased the building’s luxury factor. Skeet shooting was once the most popular summertime activity at Sun Valley and the club hosted many internationally accredited shooting competitions. The addition in 1940 of Carl Bradsher, an internationally known skeet instructor from the exclusive Pennsylvania Rolling Rock Club, helped in generating interest in the sport. Today, that interest remains high, and the gun club claims the honor of teaching more beginners than any other club in the country.

STOP EIGHT: Opposite the gun club is the entrance to Trail Creek Cabin. Opened in January 1939 to create a destination for Sun Valley’s jingling scarlet and yellow bobsleighs, the cabin embraced all the rustic Western atmosphere that the Lodge lacked. Built not out of concrete but from real logs brought down off Galena Summit, it boasted a small coffee bar, a whitewashed kitchen where host August Jacobsen turned out pies and hot biscuits, and a fire that was always burning. Today, you can take a seasonal sleigh or hay ride to the cabin and enjoy dinner surrounded by the same spectacular beauty that Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn enjoyed when they had their pre-wedding dinner here in March of 1939. 

The history of Sun Valley is a rich tapestry that weaves the birth of America’s fascination with skiing, the glamor of the overlapping worlds of Hollywood stars and East Coast socialites, and the shadow of international disaster, into the creation of a vibrant and special community in Idaho’s high desert. This introductory tour merely scratches the surface of the fascinating events, amusing anecdotes and historical milestones to be tracked in this isolated valley. To read more about Sun Valley, its history and its characters, pick up a copy of The Sun Valley Story by Van Gordon Sauter. As Clint Eastwood wrote in his foreword “This book captures the magic and the tradition and a whole lot more.”

Written and researched by Jennifer Tuohy

Click here for Part One: The Sun Valley Lodge

Click here for Part Two: The Sun Valley Village 

Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament. August 20-23, 2014

For the past 37 years in a row the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial has been vital in supporting the fight to cure cancer and leukemia. This years tournament is slated for August 20-23, 2014. For more information please http://www.killebrewthompsonmemorial.com

Dine by the Light of the Silvery Moon

There is something wonderful about the combination of moonlight and fresh snow and that is exactly what dinner patrons enjoyed Saturday night at the year’s first Sun Valley Clubhouse Moonlight Dinner. The day’s heavy snowfall dissipated by evening, allowing the light of a big winter moon to intermittently fall on the silent snow.

The Sun Valley Club, located just east of the Lodge, is HQ for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fabulous lunches, and three times this season, a very special moonlight dinner

The Sun Valley Club, located just east of the Lodge, is HQ for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fabulous lunches, and three times this season, a moonlight dinner

The lovely spacious dining room at the Clubhouse hosted parties both large and small for a festive meal. The chef offered an a la carte menu with something for every palate. Appetizers included hot southwest chicken tortilla soup, a generous prawn cocktail with house made cocktail sauce, duck flatbread, an apple walnut salad and a bibb wedge salad. Entrees consisted of three choices: chicken roulade, grilled Atlantic salmon and prime rib of beef. Dessert was a choice of chocolate and white mousse cake or my all-time favorite, Bananas Foster.

Our group of seven reserved this special dinner to celebrate my son’s ninth birthday. The big, comfortable table, welcoming atmosphere and varied menu was the perfect choice for a special occasion. Conversation was animated and laughter constant as we tucked into our meals and enjoyed watching the snow fall lightly outside the big picture windows. The birthday boy enjoyed a man-sized portion of prime rib and the rest of the group, for the most part, followed suit, enjoying the flavorful carved-to-order meat accompanied by roasted garlic mashed potatoes, baby carrots and asparagus. The prawn cocktails were also a popular and well-received choice. For dessert, my son blew out the candle on his mousse cake and enjoyed every bite.

The moonlight dinner at the Sun Valley Club was a perfect place to celebrate a special birthday

The moonlight dinner at the Sun Valley Club was a perfect place to celebrate a special birthday

If you missed the fun last weekend, don’t fret. There will be two additional Moonlight Dinners this season, the first on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14 and the second on Saturday, March 15. Please call the Sun Valley Clubhouse directly at 208-622-2919 to make your reservations. Plan a little extra time before or after dinner, too, to take advantage of a snowshoe or a gentle cross country ski around the Nordic Center’s amazing trails. Under the light of the moon, there is nothing more serene.

The Ring and Foster families also celebrated a birthday Saturday under the light of the moon

The Ring and Foster families also celebrated a birthday Saturday beneath the light of the moon

Chances are you will be spending more and more time at the Nordic Center and Sun Valley Club as the Resort opened cross country skiing trails originating from the Club on Monday. Recent storms allowed for the opening of 5 kilometers of trails including Practice Loop and Leif’s Loop. Until there is additional snow, there will not be groomed classic tracks, but classic skiers are invited to enjoy the skate skiing trails. Glenn’s Loop is also open for snowshoeing and all trails are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lessons are available and all the gear cross country enthusiasts need is available to rent on premise. For more information, please call the Sun Valley Nordic Center at 208-622-2250.

It's beginning to look a lot like cross country skiing season in Nordic Town USA with the opening of 5km of trails in Sun Valley

It's beginning to look a lot like cross country skiing season in Nordic Town USA with the opening of 5km of trails in Sun Valley

With the Boulder Mountain Tour and the Sun Valley Nordic Festival coming soon, many people’s thoughts are turning to serious cross country fun. In Sun Valley, festivities celebrating the Nordic lifestyle begin January 24 and run through February 2.

The weekend’s snowfall put everyone in a great mood and the season is truly underway. Whether you favor fat or skinny skis, play hard on the mountain or on the trail and then be sure to stop by the Sun Valley Club to enjoy a hearty, delicious and nutritious lunch. And be sure to book a special night for that special person on Valentine’s Day. It will surely be a night to remember.

–RES

Recipe from the Resort: Crab Gazpacho

Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho -- cool and zesty on a hot summer's day

Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho -- cool and zesty on a hot summer's day

Chef Erik Olson of the Sun Valley Club doesn’t really go in for exact measurements. Rather, his cooking is done to taste and his taste tends toward the flavors of southwestern cuisine. As a child growing up in Arizona, he grew heirloom tomatoes and peppers as a hobby and cilantro is his favorite herb.  He loves to eat light, commenting, “When it was 118 degrees out, we all wanted food that was anything but heavy.”

But his culinary training and experiences broadened his horizons and while he still loves the flavors of his childhood, his palate embraces endless kinds of food. At Sun Valley Resort, he spent one season at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge and one year catering in the Sun Valley Inn kitchen before assuming the mantle at the Sun Valley Club and bringing his point-of-view to the restaurant’s kitchen.

Step one: create a brunoise of fresh, seasonal vegetables

Step one: create a brunoise of fresh, seasonal vegetables

For the summer, Chef Olson created an incredibly fresh, surprisingly hearty and just right spicy crab gazpacho for the menu. The presentation is beautiful, with just picked colorful vegetables and a generous portion of crab meat creating a tower in the middle of a tangy tomato broth. It is just the right combination of cool flavors for a hot summer day.

Chef Olson has shared his recipe with readers of the Valley Sun as part of our Recipe from the Resort series. You will certainly enjoy this dish at home on the deck, accompanied by a nice dry white wine. Or come to the Sun Valley Club and let Chef Olson do the chopping for you, as you luxuriate on the restaurant’s beautiful large patio that overlooks the golf course, Dollar Mountain and Baldy.

Note: Chef Olson is a big fan using the technique called a brunoise — a very fine 1/8” dice. But if your knife skills aren’t up to the task, no worries. Your gazpacho may not look as pretty as his, but it will taste just as good.

Spoon the tomato-y broth around the vegetables taking care not to drown them

Spoon the tomato-y broth around the vegetables taking care not to drown them

Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho

Ingredients

2½ or 3 ounces of shredded King Crab or Dungeness crab (you can take the meat from crab legs or buy it fresh in lump form.  In a pinch even good quality canned crab will do).

Vegetables:

Brunoise dice of fresh:

Cucumber

Yellow squash

Red bell pepper

Zucchini, no seeds, only the skin and flesh

Tomatoes, flesh and skin only, no seeds

Enough of each to fill a small ramekin

For the broth:

About three cups of prepared tomato juice

 ½ cup fresh lime juice

1 to 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, depending on how much heat you like

1 to 1½ tsp red wine vinaigrette

1 Tbl. sugar

A few dashes of Tabasco sauce, again, according to taste

½ tsp. fresh chopped jalapeno

Fresh cilantro and basil

Green onions, cut on a bias and placed in ice water to curl

Method

In a bowl, stir the chives and cilantro into the tomato juice.

In a small bowl, pack in diced vegetables until they take the round shape.

Tip the vegetables into the center of a shallow soup bowl.

Carefully pour the broth around the vegetables.

Shape crab meat into a small ball using your hands.

Place the crab ball carefully on top of the vegetables, creating a small ‘tower.’

Sprinkle curled green onion on top of crab meat as a garnish.

Chef Olson shows off his flavorful dish in the Clubhouse dining room

Chef Olson shows off his flavorful dish in the Clubhouse dining room

Be sure to come to the Clubhouse to sample and enjoy the rest of Chef Olson’s summertime creations. These include: a heirloom tomato salad with a white balsamic reduction, fresh burrata and arugula tossed with pesto and pine nuts; grilled sockeye salmon served with haricots verts, yellow and purple wax beans, fennel and red onion, and for dessert, new cookie sundaes and a decadent strawberry amaretto sundae.

The Clubhouse is now also offering duck tacos. These fabulous tacos are available on the patio Mondays and Mondays only from 4 – 7 p.m.  Following a round on the links, a bike ride or whatever your active Sun Valley day offered, enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail from the full bar and dig into as many duck tacos as you like, priced at $5 apiece.

The Sun Valley Club offers one of the most pleasant dining rooms and patios in the Wood River Valley. Be sure next time you are making lunch plans to include this beautiful spot.

–RES

On Monday nights, grab some friends and come for a duck taco and cocktail on Sun Valley Club's stunning patio

On Monday nights, grab some friends and come for a duck taco and cocktail on Sun Valley Club's stunning patio

A Day for Dad

Enjoy the food, the putt-putt golf and the view this Father's Day at the Sun Valley Club

Enjoy the food, the putt-putt golf and the views this Father's Day at the Sun Valley Club

Scenario No. 1
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, your father, who works so hard and does so much for your family, opens his well-intentioned gift. Imagine his delight at receiving (a) a new set of drill bits (b) a tie (very useful for Idaho) (c) a new electronic gadget that his children will proceed to take away from him, ‘just to help set it up!’ Proceed to the backyard and put him to work over the grill, preparing a festive meal for the gang. Watch the joy on mom’s face as she realizes she gets to clean up!

Scenario No. 2
Hear the sound of laughter ricochet off the manicured greens as dad and the family enjoy a rousing round of putt-putt at the Sun Valley Club. Everyone’s short game skills are put to the test. Victory is celebrated, defeat quickly forgotten. The 18-hole Sawtooth Putting Course offers 52,000 square feet of fun for every age and skill level. And the best part? On June 16, putt-putt is complimentary!

Try your skill, or just have fun, on the Sawtooths Putting Course
Try your skill, or just have fun, on the Sawtooths Putting Course

Next, your group, comprised perhaps of dads, grandfathers, friends, children and spouses then walks a few short feet to the Clubhouse for a fabulous feast that dad doesn’t have to cook and mom doesn’t need to clean up.

Tuck into a special menu. Choices include a rack of baby back ribs or chicken with baked beans, corn on the cob, potato, corn bread and honey butter or an old fashioned western bacon cheeseburger and, of course, beer. If dad prefers to celebrate his big day with a gin and tonic, there is also a full bar. The restaurant’s regular lunch menu, including fresh and healthy salads, sandwiches and other favorites will also be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A special late afternoon menu will be available until 5 p.m.

The Clubhouse is casual, but elegant, with spacious tables conducive to conversation. Dine on the deck or inside. Both spots offer stunning views of Baldy, Dollar and the rolling, expansive greens of the Trail Creek Golf Course. In fact, if dad was inspired by the putt-putt, he may end up playing the front nine.

The Sun Valley Club provides the perfect backdrop for Father's Day

The Sun Valley Club provides the perfect backdrop for Father's Day

Sun Valley was recently recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top 75 resort courses in North America. The signature Trail Creek course challenges golfers of any ability. The legendary Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed this traditional alpine course in 1980 with a full compliment of stream carries and ominous bunkers well positioned to catch the errant shot. Just across the street, dad may also choose to tackle the White Clouds course. Encircled by some of the most sublime scenery in the Lower 48, dad will enjoy these nine holes, situated on cloud nine. This course complements the Trail Creek Course by presenting contrasting play with more sand trap shots, side-hill lies, risk-reward and blind shots.

The Clubhouse is consistently my father’s favorite spot to have lunch, so our family will certainly be stopping in on the 16th for a memorable meal and to swing at some golf balls. Treat your dad, and the entire gang, to a wonderful, relaxing and delicious Father’s Day in Sun Valley. Just come on in. No reservations are needed. The memories will last forever and he will certainly appreciate it more than another necktie.

–RES

Happy Father's Day to my dad who always has my back and who is my favorite fishing buddy

Happy Father's Day to my dad who always has my back and who is my favorite fishing buddy

Fun Facts:
Father’s Day has the highest percentage of collect calls of any day during the year.

Father’s Day has been celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June since 1972.

Slack’s back… Let’s eat!

Half a Sun Valley Club "Club Sandwich" and a cup of soup for $8? It's what makes slack worthwhile!

Slack: characterized by slowness, sluggishness, or lack of energy <a slack pace>

As a longtime local, I have to admit that spring slack is my absolute favorite season. It’s not that I can’t embrace the electric vibe of excitement winter brings with it, or that I don’t adore the infectious energy of summer, it’s just that slack is when the locals get their town back.

In the months of April and May, you will see those fabled “gone fishin’ till summer” signs in Wood River Valley shop windows, and dogs do actually lie undisturbed on Main Street. But one of the best aspects of this monumental slowdown are the locals’ specials. Restaurants all over town (well, at least the ones that stay open) offer amazing deals as a way of saying thank you to their most loyal clientele – and to get some bums on those seats before they get too dusty.

Of course the resort gets in on the action too, ramping up some of its regular year-round specials, as well as bringing out some choice ones just for the “shoulder season.” Here’s a quick roundup of some of my favorite spring specials in Sun Valley.

While the high-powered-career woman is not a type often found in Ketchum, hard-working small-business woman is. If you‘re one of those, why not treat yourself to that lunch out with girlfriends you’ve been promising yourself all winter but just couldn’t find the time for? The time is now, round up the ladies, head to Gretchens and enjoy half-price entrees and, most importantly, half-price wine, any Tuesday or Thursday in May.

Pacific Ahi Tuna grilled medium rare, served with pineapple chutney, lime aioli and organic greens on a brioche bun is the perfect accompaniment to lunch with the ladies.

For the families who need something to do with the little ones now that Dollar Mountain has said farewell for the season, pop in on Bald Mountain Pizza for some cheap, nutritious entertainment. Let the tykes build their own unlimited-topping pizza for just $5 (daily 5-9 p.m., now through June 6). Plus, get free tickets to a movie at Sun Valley Opera House following the carb overload.

Pile your pie high with Bald Mountain Pizza's unlimited toppings for $5 deal.

Whether you’re a golf enthusiast, golf widow/er, or just enjoy a spectacular view, make sure to stop by Sun Valley Club, arguably the resort’s hottest lunch spot, and chow down on the spring dining special of a cup of soup and 1/2 a sandwich for a just eight bucks. (runs from Monday through June 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.).

Skiers, when the mountain closes this Sunday, channel the resort’s famed Austrian ski instructors and drown your sorrows at the newly remodeled Konditeroi. This Austrian gathering place has gone back to its Eastern European roots and is offering German beer and a house-made brat for $12.99 through June 7, a bargain for such a scrumptious taste of Sun Valley history.

Catch up on more delectable offerings from the resort’s 17 restaurants here, and follow Sun Valley Resort Dining on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss out this season.

Happy trails!

Jennifer Tuohy

Email restaurantreservations@sunvalley.com for details on any Sun Valley restaurant.

Recipe from the Resort: Sun Valley Club’s Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Welcome to The Valley Sun’s series of Recipes from the Resort, where I scour Sun Valley’s restaurants for some of the best dishes to pinch for your personal cooking pleasure. This week I visited the resort’s newest dining establishment, The Sun Valley Club, and caught up with chef Art Wallace to get the skinny on a staple of the club.

Chef Art Wallace's versatile chicken lettuce wrap, a great option for wheat- and gluten- free diets

Check out this video for a quick, step-by-step guide to the simple but scrumptious Chicken Lettuce Wrap:

Chicken Lettuce Wrap
Serves 2

Internal Garnish
Ingredients
1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1 green onion, 1/4 cup water chestnut, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger, 2 cups cooked chicken, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 6 whole lettuce leaves (Butterleaf or Iceberg)
Directions
Chop all the ingredients into bite-sized pieces. Combine bell peppers, onion, water chestnut, garlic and ginger. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over a high heat, saute the vegetable mix, add the chicken, saute for 2- 3 minutes more. Serve with whole lettuce leaves for wrapping and sweet chile and curry sauces.

Coconut Curry Sauce
Makes one cup
Ingredients
1 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon curry paste, 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Directions
Bring coconut milk and curry paste to a boil, reduce heat, simmer and add brown sugar. Continue to simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Don’t want to cook? Head along to The Sun Valley Club and let Art and his crew whip these up for you.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Meeting Maria – A Prima Ballerina in Sun Valley

There’s a new girl in town, and she’s pretty hot stuff.

To help get the Wood River Valley excited for the San Francisco Ballet performance here next month, the talented Maria Kochetkova, Principal Dancer with the ballet, has been making guest appearances all around town. Baby Sun and I went up to the Sun Valley Club last week to get up close and personal with the prima ballerina.

Baby Sun was enamored by the beautiful Maria Kochetkova

Okay, okay, so she’s not the real thing, but it was still a lot of fun to hang out with her, not to mention a great photo op (which would have been better if I could have convinced Baby Sun to stand still…).

This is the first time the ballet will be performing in Sun Valley. America’s oldest professional ballet company is squeezing in a stop in the Rockies between their Moscow and London engagements as part of its 2012 tour. It’s also the first time carbon copies of its beautiful creatures will be gracing the streets of a city.

Dan Drackett, Chair of the Sponsors’ Committee for San Francisco Ballet in Sun Valley, and his long-time friend Robert Smelick, vice chair of the San Francisco Ballet Association, came up with the idea for the cardboard ballerina when they were perusing the giant posters they had made to promote the event.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have life-size cutouts made and put them all around town?” he said. The Ballet agreed and since last week Maria has popped up at The Christy, Zenergy and The Sun Valley Club. This weekend she’ll be hanging out at River Run. If anyone would like to invite her to come to their pad, post a comment below and we’ll see what we can do.

Maria herself was quite surprised to hear she was already in Sun Valley. I tweeted her my picture of Baby Sun cozying up to her and she responded with a “That’s amazing!” – promptly posting the picture to her instagram account saying “Apparently there is fake Masha living in Sun Valley.”

However, the future of her clone is uncertain. Dan Drackett said they are thinking about having the company sign the replica and then gifting it to a local non-profit. “But if people have ideas, we’re open to them,” he said. (Post any below and we’ll pass them on).

But more importantly, the Russian dancer will surely be a spectacular sight in the flesh. Maria has graced the stage in the title role of Gisele, as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet to name just a few.

Catch a sneak peek of her in action in this San Francisco Ballet video (where she also talks about returning home to Moscow as part of this tour), before she and her company hit the special springy stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion for one night only on July 8.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Details: San Francisco Ballet performs at the Sun Valley Pavilion Sunday evening, July 8. Available tickets range from $25 to $250. Special packages including one night’s lodging and two tickets for $184.50 per person are also available. Call 800.786.8259 or click here to buy tickets

Echoes of St. Andrews in Sun Valley

 

Since arriving in Sun Valley almost nine years ago, I’ve discovered one of my favorite sights is that of deep dark clouds rolling into the valley on a quest to obscure our normally brilliant blue skies. The drama they bring as they cuddle up to the mountain tops is breathtaking, as are the storms that generally follow. And really, one does get somewhat bored of 330 days of pure, unadulterated sun.

One Sunday in June, as such a storm threatened, Mr. Sun and I trussed up Little Sun (4) and Baby Sun (1) in their finest golfing gear and headed to Sun Valley for a round at the Sawtooths Putting Course. For those not in the loop, according to Forbes magazine Sun Valley happens to have the finest golf offerings of all the North American ski resorts. Larry Olmsted spelled it all out in his article last week, Hollywood’s A-List Ski Resort Is Now A Top Golf Resort.

Little Sun: Champion of the putt-putt course

While 45 holes is a dream to many, the 18 of the putting course was far more our style for a first family golfing day. On the advice of Dominick Conti at the Golf Shop we kitted the children out in collared shirts (“so they will feel part of the golfing experience”) and hit the greens.

As the clouds gathered, threatening but not yet ready to give up their cargo, the scenery was stunning, more than making up for my complete lack of interest in golf. The tykes however, were in heaven. And as most parents discover sooner rather than later, anything that makes your offspring happy makes you happy. (Apart from SpongeBob SquarePants—if I could get my hands on that darn pineapple under the sea…).

Baby Sun gets ready for a run at the balls

After a spring in Florida with his grandpa, Little Sun has ample golfing experience. Tucking his scoring pencil behind his ear (a trick the trusty Dominick had showed him), he strode up to the first of the 18 holes and knocked it out in 3 strokes. Well, as he pointed out grumpily, that would have been the case if Baby Sun’s incurable delight at seeing a little white ball shoot across the grass hadn’t been followed by the irresistible urge to chase it. We eventually curbed this desire by putting a ball in each of her pudgy hands.

Modeled on the famous Himalayas Putting Course at the historic home of golf, St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, the Sawtooths is a lot of fun for serious golfers but it is absolutely perfect for a family day out. Offering downhill, sidehill and uphill putts as you weave around the 52,000 square foot course, we all felt like “proper” golfers—without actually getting in the way of the proper golfers.

It's time to get into the club!

After an hour of decent physical exertion, lots of laughs and just one tantrum, we headed for the luxury of the patio seating outside the splendid Sun Valley Club. Here Big Sun and I enjoyed a much-needed frosty beverage while the tykes wolfed down some toasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Pure perfection.

Here are some quick clips of the Sun family in action

Little Sun shows his golfing prowess

Baby Sun hits her first golf ball

Happy trails!

Mrs. Sun

Sawtooth Putting Course Details: Adults $5, Children $3 Phone: 208.622.2251, Email: golf@sunvalley.com