Join 2012 James Beard nominee, chef John Murcko, Culinary Director of the Sun Valley Resort and 2013 James Beard nominee, chef Gary Kucy of Rupert’s of Hotel McCall, as they prepare an extraordinary six course meal using local ingredients and paired with exemplary wines.
Guests will meet at the legendary Sun Valley Inn, be taken to the famed Trail Creek Cabin by horse drawn carriage, and will have the opportunity to meet the chefs and chat with the winemakers and farmers who have generously donated their goods for the benefit of The Hunger Coalition. Order your tickets for this wonderful evening here.
The Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley’s annual gala fundraising event will take place on Friday, July 26, 2013, at the Trail Creek Pavilion in Sun Valley. The event will feature fabulous live and silent auction items, including a signature painting by local painter Brandis Sarich.
The Shelter is excited to already have several fantastic live auction items lined up for the event, including an amazing African safari and an Arctic adventure to see the polar bear migration.
In it’s 30 years of operation, the Animal Shelter has adopted over 12,000 dogs and cats into loving homes in addition to offering many life-saving programs and services to the community. The Dog Days of Summer annual benefit is the largest single source of income supporting these programs. To sponsor the event or donate a live or silent auction item, please contact Volunteer & Events Coordinator Brittany Farrell at (208) 788-4351. More information is also available at www.animalshelterwrv.org.
Cuddle up in the sleigh, gitty up Nellie Gray, and away we go!
On Friday night, I found myself in the pages of a storybook. The fairytale featured five sweet children, a favorite aunt, a cowboy, a horse drawn sleigh and a roaring fire. The main character of this meticulously illustrated tome was the fullest, most luminous moon imaginable. Gliding across the snow at 9 p.m. on the way to Trail Creek Cabin, it cast long shadows of tree branches against a white stage and shone so brightly we could clearly see the pattern of the woolen blankets, the tree knots on the wooden benches, the fabric of everyone’s caps.
As Jess gave our two draft horses an appropriate nudge, the regular world of the brightly lit Sun Valley Inn and Village blurred behind as we trotted into a land of white. Across the unrecognizable golf course we flew, down a steep embankment and to the side of rippling Trail Creek. Here, the book does not offer any dialogue of consequence. Laughter, hushed conversation and whispers were carried into the frozen night air and dissipated among the canopy of stars. Surrounded by a sky so clear and cold it felt like it could crack, chatter was secondary to simply feeling the sleigh move over the frozen ground.
Welcome to Trail Creek Cabin
Lights in the distance began to coalesce as we hurried toward the historic Trail Creek Cabin. Discarding the warm blankets and hopping off the back of the sled, we turned the page as we entered the cheerful, warm, log building and found our table beside a huge, roaring fire. Fragrant coconut curry soup awaited our arrival, as did the scones for which the restaurant is famous. Hats, scarves and gloves were peeled off as the fire quickly warmed us. With the return of the heat and light, dialogue flared with renewed energy.
Warming our toes and indulging our inner foodies at the cozy cabin
Plates of flavorful salmon and steak and prime rib emerged from the kitchen, feeding ravenous late-night appetites. An accordion player serenaded our group, ending with a rousing rendition of “It Happened in Sun Valley.” Love was in the air, as a wedding reception (brought to the cabin by sleigh) celebrated in the attached yurt and at the adjacent table, a man dropped to one knee, proposing marriage to his blushing bride-to-be. She said yes and showed her stunner-of-a-ring to the room amid cheers and applause.
We sang that favorite Glenn Miller tune from 1941 as we bundled up and made our way back into the night. It was still relevant more than 70 years later. Feel free to hum along…
“Howdy folks, let’s go for a ride. Get your favorite one to sit by your side.
Cuddle up in a sleigh, gitty up, Nellie Gray, and away we go!
While you listen to the sleigh bells ring, you’re yodeling to your baby.
You’ll feel nice and warm, no matter how cold it may be….”
We cuddled up beneath the blankets, feeling nice and warm no matter how cold it may have been. With the moon striking midnight above, we turned the last page of this tale and set off in the direction of picture-perfect Bald Mountain, enjoying an experience that could only happen in Sun Valley.
Musician Muzzie Braun, Sun Valley Resort's Jack Sibbach, and KTVB news anchor Mark Thompson, with his twin daughters, arrive at the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Welcome BBQ at Trail Creek Cabin yesterday.
Cooking up the good stuff for the guests of the 36th Annual Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament
Pinned to the side of the marquee were the pairings for the purpose of the event, the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament, played on the courses of Sun Valley Resort. The four-person two-best ball tournament has been raising money for a very worthy cause over the last four decades; research into a cure for cancer and leukemia. In 2011, $700,000 was raised at this event, with proceeds benefiting the University of Minnesota Cancer Research Center in Minneapolis and the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise.
Renamed this year to honor the tournament’s co-founder, baseball Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew (who passed away last year), the event was born from Killebrew’s desire to raise money for research into the disease that killed his Minnesota Twins teammate infielder Danny Thompson. For an excellent article on the history of the tournament and more details as to the weekend’s events, be sure to read Idaho Mountain Express sport’s editor Jeff Cordes’ piece here.
It's summertime and the living is easy... and what better time to sit back and relax and enjoy a long, tall cocktail?
In a slight twist on our Resort Recipes series – where I scour Sun Valley’s restaurants to bring you the secrets behind the dishes on offer – I decided to get the skinny on some perfect summertime beverages. So, I headed back to my favorite creek-side diner, the historic Trail Creek Cabin and sampled its most popular summer cocktail: The Idahoan Strawberry Lemonade.
Here’s manger Matt Robinson with a step-by-step guide to this delicious summer cocktail, the ideal accompaniment to your end-of-summer parties:
Idahoan Strawberry Lemonade (hard) Makes 1 pitcher/12 tall drinks
Ingredients 2 cups strawberry puree (made from fresh strawberries)
2 cups simple syrup (sugar and water mix)
2 cups lemon juice
18 ounces of Idaho Potato Vodka
Garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices
Make the puree by placing the strawberries, syrup and lemon juice in a food processor (not a blender). Add that and the vodka to a pitcher full of ice. Top off with soda water. Pour into 12 tall glasses, garnish each with a fresh strawberry and lemon slice. Serve with a straw. For a single serving take a tall glass filled with ice, add 2 ounces of the strawberry lemon puree and 1.5 ounces Idaho Potato Vodka, top with soda water and garnish as above.
While Matt was creating my Idahoan Strawberry Lemonade some thirsty hikers stopped in and were tempted into joining us!
Details: Trail Creek Cabin is located 1.5 miles east of the Sun Valley Lodge (half a mile past the Sun Valley Club), and is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. The Trail Creek Cabin Deck Bar is open 4 – 8 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday and features live music Wednesdays & Thursdays from 5 – 8 p.m.. For reservations call 208.622.2019 or email email@example.com
Enjoying good brews and good food over Trail Creek at the Sawtooth Brewery Brewer's Reception Sunday.
Historically Trail Creek Cabin was the hotspot of Sun Valley Resort. The cabin in the woods was built in 1937 by Sun Valley’s founder Averell Harriman as a place for his fancy East Coast socialite friends and glamorous, raucous Hollywood buddies to mingle over meat and music.
Manager Matt Robinson is hoping to resurect some of that sophisticated party atmosphere by launching a series of beer tasting dinners. “Beer fits well with the relaxed atmosphere up here,” he said, while pouring some tasty local brews from a mobile chiller. This past Sunday night, Mr. Sun and I abandoned the little ones and headed up to the cabin to sample the goods at the Sawtooth Brewery Brewer’s Reception.
Mr. Sun samples the Sunnyside Summer Ale. Matt Robinson pours the Last Chair Stout and Sawtooth Brewery founders Paul Holle and Kevin Jones toast the evening's success with their better halves.
Mr. Sun, who is an accomplished all-grain home-brewer, has very discerning tastes when it comes to beer and traditional Western food. The combination of a great brew and a perfectly smoked pork rib is as important to him as the particular pairing of a sweet Sauternes with a slice of foie gras is to a sommelier. So you can imagine his delight as we tucked into the four course extravaganza starting out with appetizers of shrimp ceviche and elk tartar complimented by a Sunnyside Summer Ale. Next came the first course of False Summit Amber Ale with grilled artichoke and romesco sauce, then a salad of asparagus and arugula salad and a sampling of Flow Trail Pale Ale. The main course was a hoppy Freeheeler Rye IPA accompanied by Trail Creek’s sumptuous house smoked baby back pork ribs, then finally a molten chocolate cake topped with ancho chile ice cream, washed down with a healthy dollop of Last Chair Stout.
Chef Wendy Little and Sawtooth Brewery’s head brewer Paul Holle collaborated on the menu to achieve the perfect balance of malt, hop and yeast with meat, vegetable and manchego cheese. Accompanying our beverage and barbecue feast was a running commentary from Paul and his business partner, Kevin, on the nuances of each libation, including the story behind the bubbly brews.
Sawtooth Brewery's beers paired with Wendy Little's divine asparagus and arugula salad, baby back pork ribs and molten chocolate cake with ancho chili ice cream. Spicy!
As we supped under clear skies, serenaded by the gurgling Trial Creek beneath our feet and surround by the ghosts of Trail Creek, one could just imagine the erstwhile regular Ernest Hemingway discarding his signature Mojito and digging into one of Wendy’s grilled artichokes with a Sawtooth Brewery Amber Ale clasped firmly in his hand.
Matt will be hosting brewer’s receptions throughout the summer, from $47 per person. Check sunvalley.com or call 622.2019 for details. There will also be regular beer and wine tasting on Tuesdays at the Cabin, as well as live music on the deck Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. For more of Paul’s crafty creations visit sawtoothbrewery.com or stop into the tap room on Main and 6th streets in downtown Ketchum.
Fire and Ice combine in Sun Valley for a rollicking good Fourth.
As I mentioned a few posts back, the one thing I hate about summer in Sun Valley is that there is simply not enough time to enjoy everything there is to do. The next eight days in the valley will prove me right as the Sun family embarks on a marathon of fun that will barely scratch the surface of what’s on offer. Having experienced it all a few times over, I thought I’d share my plan for getting the family through a week of exhaustive Fourth of July fun.
Saturday, June 30
We’ll kick the week off with a gentle morning in the Wood River YMCA pool, then head out for a family hike, the combination of which will ensure Little Sun and Baby Sun are happily tuckered out for the babysitter. This will allow Mr. Sun and I to enjoy a patriotic evening of pops and arias at the Sun Valley Summer Spectacular, featuring International Diva Alyson Cambridge (I wish I could be an International Diva – how does one get that job title?).
Monday, July 2
Born in the Wild West, Mr. Sun will insist on attending Family Night at the Days of the Old West Rodeo in Hailey. Not that I don’t enjoy rodeos, but having grown up in a city curiously bereft of the need to wrangle cattle I do find it all a little baffling (especially when they lasso those cute little calves). But as long as I can keep telling Little Sun he’s too young for mutton bustin’ all will be well (although I’m sure the fearless Baby Sun will sneak off on the first passing sheep). I’ll just have to console myself with gawping at the gorgeous Rodeo Queens.
Tuesday, July 3
The place to see and be seen (at least until the Symphony rolls in to town) on Tuesday nights is Ketch’em Alive. This low-key, free, weekly concert at Ketchum’s Forest Service Park is perfect for the whole family. Just one of the many reasons I simply love summer.
Wednesday, July 4
The big day itself. Being American-born and British-raised, Independence Day has always sat a little uncomfortably with my dual nationalities, but who doesn’t love a parade? And that’s where I’ll be come noon, jealously guarding a prime slice of Hailey Main Street real estate, ready to wave vigorously as Mr. Sun rolls by in a big red fire truck with Baby Sun and Little Sun dangling out the windows. Then, after strapping the kids down for a nap to get them ready for the long night ahead, we’ll mosey on up to Sun Valley to watch 2011 US Gold Medalist Ryan Bradley spin in the first Sun Valley On Ice of the season, followed by the obligatory spectacular fireworks exploding over the Lodge.
Thursday, July 5
I will tolerate Mr. Sun’s efforts to turn my son into something other than a great British/American Wimbledon Champion by exposing him to the skills of the Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championship riders. The culmination of the week-long biking bonanza Ride Sun Valley, the championship races begin today on Baldy. We’ll watch as the best American cross-country, short track cross-country and Super D riders race for the chance to represent their country at the London Olympics (race start times).
Friday, July 6
Today, it will be Little Sun’s turn to show off his prowess on two wheels as he gets a chance to cover the same trails the pros do in the Ride Sun Valley Kid’s Mountain Bike Race. As you’ve no doubt gleaned by now I’m a bit of a nervous mother, and if it all gets too much for me I will head in to town for some wine and art at the superlative Sun Valley Gallery Association Gallery Walk.
Saturday, July 7
Time to ditch the highbrow (and the kids) for some good old fashioned partying at The Sun Valley Shakedown. There’s quite the line-up, but I’m particularly looking forward to the signature New Orleans-stylings of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Sunday, July 8
Based on the fact that we have four times as many bikes in our house as people, the chances are high that the whole family will be back at Baldy today to see the culmination of the Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships. From the safety of the River Run Lodge we’ll be cheering on the insanely brave boys and girls careering down Baldy. As thrilling as that sight will be, it’s the one later this evening that I am most excited for. The week from will end in paradise as I watch angels dance on earth when the San Francisco Ballet‘s dancers, including the exceptional Maria Kochetkova, grace the stage of the Sun Valley Pavilion for one night only.
Then, if we actually manage to pull off a miracle and cram all this into one week, we’ll likely hibernate until winter rolls in (in about 2 weeks). But please do share, what will be missing out on? Where will you be this week?
Trail Creek Baby Back Ribs with twice-baked potatoes and apple cider vinegar coleslaw
Welcome to The Valley Sun’s new Recipes from the Resort series. Over the coming weeks I’ll be scouring Sun Valley’s restaurants for some of the best dishes to pinch for your personal cooking pleasure.
This week I pried the secrets to Trail Creek Cabin’s mouthwatering rib sauce from Wendy Little, head chef at the rustic retreat. So, if your Fourth of July BBQ is not the hit of the neighborhood, I cannot be blamed!
Baby Back Pork Ribs
with Trail Creek BBQ Rub
& Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Trail Creek Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce Ingredients
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup mild (light) molasses
1/3 cup Bourbon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 chopped chipolte Chile
1 tablespoon Adobo sauce Directions
Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Chill and cover. Can be made one week in advance.
Trail Creek BBQ Rub Ingredients
3 slabs Baby Back Pork Ribs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Chile powder Directions
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine all ingredients expect the meat in a small bowl. Rub both sides of ribs with the mixture. Let stand one hour before cooking. Put the ribs in the oven with a water bath underneath. Slow cook the ribs for 3 hours (this can be done a day in advance). Remove ribs from oven and slather with the Smoky Bourbon BBQ sauce. Place on an indirect grill and cook using the Weber Method or something similar. Add wood chips to the grill for extra flavor. Barbecue for about 45 minutes, brushing occasionally with the sauce. Serve with twice-baked potatoes and coleslaw.
Don’t want to cook? Head down to Trail Creek Cabin and let Wendy and her crew cook these up for you: All the taste with none of the effort. They serve these scrumptious ribs and an array of authentic Western fare Tuesday through Saturday nights, call 208.622.2019 for reservations.