Story and photos by Asa Gilmore

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There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have had pickled eggs, and those who have not.

 

Of those who have had pickled eggs, most have had them in a proper bar—at least that’s where I was introduced to them. The kind where the bartender knows your name. The kind where having an American lager and a pickled egg is a pretty normal occurrence.

 

But what most people don’t know is that pickled eggs are a gourmet dishes.

 

There are varying levels of pickled eggs. The ones you buy in the store ... well, they taste like vinegar. They are to pickled eggs what “yellow cheese” is to Gruyère—they have the basics, but they’re not exactly the same thing.

 

Pickled eggs have an incredible amount of variety. Onions, garlic, all kinds of peppers, beets, and even asparagus and cauliflower can be included. But at a basic level, truly excellent pickled eggs should have a good brine, a hint of spice, and enough beets to give them color and flavor. And that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

 

Step-by-step guide to making perfect pickled eggs:

 

The first step, of course, is making hardboiled eggs. This is actually a somewhat complex task, as anyone who has hard boiled 75-plus eggs at once (as I have) will tell you. There are several schools of thought on this. If you’d like to explore them all, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats provides a thorough manual on how to do this. However, in my own personal experience, this method from The Pioneer Woman blog has been most reliable.

 

Once you have the eggs peeled and ready, you can move on to the true artistry of the pickled egg. All of the following may be modified according to your own taste. As an example, I made the most amazing batch of scorpion pepper pickled quail eggs just recently. And it was based on this same brine and recipe.

 

First of all, the brine. In a ratio of 1:1:1, mix distilled water, sugar, and white vinegar (apple cider vinegar or balsamic can certainly be used, but I would recommend starting with the basics until you know what flavor you’re going for). Simmer it until the sugar has dissolved.

 

While that is happening, slice some fresh beets and layer them in the bottom of a sterilized mason jar. Season to taste. I suggest adding some whole peppercorns, red chili flakes, and long slices of white onions (onions absorb flavor, white onions especially). I also add yellow banana peppers and jalapeño, according to your taste. You can add other vegetables if you want—cauliflower also will absorb the beet juice, as will asparagus and others. The peppercorns and beets are the main flavor enhancers.

 

Once the bottom layer is in place, add some eggs and another layer of beets and spices. Repeat this process until the jar is full, pour in the brine, seal, and put it in the refrigerator.

 

Do not touch it for at least a week. Two weeks is better. In my opinion, they begin to peak about three to four weeks in.

 

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When they’re done, the eggs will be both colorful and flavorful, soaked through to the yolk with the red from the beets. The longer you leave it in the brine, the more flavors it will absorb. If you like your eggs spicy, expect it to take longer.

 

Like I said, there are two kinds of people in the world. Pickled eggs are delicious.

Get growing: Spring plant and seedling sales around Northern Nevada

Written by Sarah Parks

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photos courtesy of Great Basin Community Food Co-op

Herbs, vegetables, flowers, tomatoes, and succulents — spice up your garden this summer with all of these and more at plant and seedling sales throughout the Reno-Tahoe region in April and May.

Buying local herbs, vegetables, and other seedlings and plants from local farmers provides the healthiest start for your home garden. By buying locally sourced food, you are able to vet your food choices and guarantee quality, answering questions such as:

  • Where was the food grown?
  • Where did the seed come from?
  • Were the crops grown organically?
  • Were any pesticides — organic or chemical — used to produce them?

“It’s important for a locally owned company to offer higher quality, affordable plants grown specifically for the high desert extremes, to help our customers improve our local environment, health, and property values,” says Scott Gescheider, CEO of Moana Nursery in Reno-Sparks.

When browsing the sales, be sure to keep an eye out for cool-season veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, along with flowers and trees to liven up your yard and provide attractants for pollinators. Here are some of the sales going on in Northern Nevada.

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 Moana Nursery

Moana Nursery has been growing high desert trees, shrubs, and perennials for Northern Nevadans for the last 40 years. More than 500,000 trees grown on its farm have been planted throughout our region. Moana Nursery is offering 40 percent savings on all vegetables and herbs and 30 percent savings on all fruit trees for Moana Rewards Members.

When: Throughout the entire month of April

Where: Moana Lane Garden Center, 1100 W. Moana Lane, Reno

For details: Call 775-825-0600 or visit Moananursery.com.

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photos courtesy of Great Basin Community Food Co-op

Loping Coyote Farms Annual Spring Plant Sale

Find potted plants and bare-root plants ready to go into the ground immediately. Pick out your favorite berries, rootstocks, herbs, flowers, and veggies from Loping Coyote Farms’ annual plant sale.

When: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sat., April 27

Where: Too Soul Tea Company, 542½ Plumas St., Reno

For details: Email Nathan Rosenbloom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Greenhouse Project’s Early Spring Plant Sale

The Greenhouse Project plant sales feature a full selection of premium plants, flowers, and products for your spring and summer planting needs. The sale features cold-hardy varieties for an early vegetable garden as well as great flowers that will beautify your yard.

When: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sat., April 13

*See May dates for this sale below.

Where: 1111 Saliman Road, Carson City

For details: Email Cory King at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 775-600-9530.

MAY

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photos courtesy of Great Basin Community Food Co-op

*The Greenhouse Project’s Early Spring Plant Sale

Find premium plants, flowers, and products for your spring and summer planting needs.

When: 2:30 – 5 p.m. Fri., May 10 and 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sat., May 11

Where: 1111 Saliman Road, Carson City

For details: Email Cory King at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 775-600-9530.

City of Reno Plant Sale

Buy locally grown, pesticide-free plants, such as tomatoes, geraniums, peppers, lobelia, and assorted annual flowers and vegetables at the annual City of Reno plant sale.

When: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri., May 10 and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sat., May 11

<p=>Where: 190 Telegraph Road, Reno

For details: Visit Reno.gov, or email the City of Reno at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

May Arboretum Society Annual Spring Plant Sale

Boasting 20 percent more plants than last year, this annual sale features more than 4,000 plants, including perennials, annuals, herbs and vegetables, drought/heat tolerant plants, grasses, and succulents. Also, enjoy presentations and demonstrations from horticulturalists and master gardeners! NOTE: May Arboretum Society members receive a 10 percent discount.

When: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sat., May 11 and Sun., May 12

Where: Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 1595 North Sierra St., Reno

For details: Email Rod Dimmitt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Great Basin Community Food Co-op Annual Seedling Sale

Join the Great Basin Community Food Co-op at its 12th annual seedling sale featuring local farmers selling climate-adapted vegetable and fruit seedlings, to help you get prepared for your summer garden. You’ll also find a few non-seedling vendors selling arts, crafts, and homemade goods, or grab a snack at the Food Shed Café.

When: 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Sat., May 18

Where: 240 Court St., Reno

For details: Visit Greatbasinfood.coop or email Brenton Aikin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mayberry Park Prepares to Host First Truckee Meadows Earth Day Celebration

Written by Kyle Young


Images provided by Rebekah Stetson

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Global Earth Day this year will occur on April 22. Residents of Reno, Sparks, and the surrounding areas may have heard that the 2019 Reno Earth Day celebration at Idlewild Park was cancelled. But locals needn’t lament! A different group of organizers has stepped up. The new organizers, unaffiliated with the Idlewild Park group, are hard at work planning an outstanding Truckee Meadows Earth Day celebration at Mayberry Park in west Reno to occur on Sunday, April 28.

 

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Truckee Meadows Earth Day (TMED) at Washoe County’s Mayberry Park is free to the public and volunteer-run. Organizers of TMED rose to the challenge with less than 70 days to fund and coordinate this massive event.

Who are these knights in eco-armor? The core group of collaborators includes Patagonia; NV Energy; River School Farm; University of Nevada, Reno; Riverside Farmers’ Market; Nevada Department of Environmental Protection; City of Reno; Truckee Meadows Water Authority; Tu Casa Latina, and many more. The organization still is looking for volunteers and sponsors to help make this event memorable for you and your whole family. Contact event organizers at 775-342-7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to lend a helping hand.

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The Food, Feels, and Fun Planned for TMED

Organizers chose a theme of Protect Our Pollinators for the event. Not sure what pollinators are or how they affect your life? Be sure to check out the Pollinator Planting and Education area as well as the Ecology Demonstration area at the event. TMED will host a variety of food trucks serving local, organic foods. Note that the event will be alcohol-free and dog-free. A myriad of opportunities will be available to learn about the good work our community is currently doing to conserve and protect our natural resources. Locals also will find a great many ways to learn how to take even better care of our planet. Rebekah Stetson, a collaborator with TMED, shares what she is looking forward to at the celebration.

“I am most excited about this being a multicultural celebration of the earth that helps to create community among ourselves and with nature,” Stetson says. “I am also really excited for the Pow Wow Club Dancers; live music; live screen printing by Laika Press, with our logo on second-hand items that participants bring; and coming together as a community to have fun and learn.” Other attractions scheduled for the event include farm tours, yoga by the river, fly-fishing demonstrations, the Ecstatic Dancing Sustainability Tour, the Kids’ Fun Zone, sound healing, upcycled art, cultural performances, arborist-led tree walks, bird walks, a drum circle, and much more. Raffle tickets will be given to those who arrive on bike and those who bring reusable water bottles, plates, bowls, and utensils. You read that right: Bringing your own containers and forks will not only reduce the waste at the event, but it also will grant you the opportunity to win an awesome prize! Event organizers are aiming to recycle and reuse 100 percent of the waste generated at the event. Reno Bike Project is leading a ride from Idlewild Park to Truckee Meadows Earth Day at Mayberry Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event. Stash your bike with the Rain Gardens Bike Valet. Whether you’re a well-seasoned econaut, someone looking to learn more about green practices, or just looking to enjoy a beautiful day with friends and family, we hope you’ll join edible Reno-Tahoe as we celebrate our beautiful home at Truckee Meadows Earth Day. Kyle Young is a freelance writer born and raised in Sparks. He writes articles about food, events, and the oddities native to Nevada. He is a proud econaut and fierce animal advocate.

For details, visit the website and social media platforms below.

Event: Truckee Meadows Earth Day Location: Mayberry Park;
101 Woodland Ave,
Reno

Date: April 28, 2019 Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For details, visit Tmearthday.com, call 775-342-7675, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find Truckee Meadows Earth Day on Facebook and Instagram @Tmearthday.

Lone Eagle Grille’s Winemaker Dinners Provide Innovative Wine-and-Dine Experiences

Written by Jessica Santina
Photos by Dave Santina

Do the words winemaker dinner sound more to you like a formal presentation than a dining experience?

I’ll admit, they did for me before I attended the most recent winemaker dinner at Lone Eagle Grille in Incline Village. Though we’re lovers of wine and frequently enjoy wine tasting, my husband and I had never before attended an actual winemaker dinner and had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, Lone Eagle’s Winemaker Dinner Series offers an elevated food-and-wine-pairing experience that, while certainly luxurious, also is welcoming, inclusive, insightful, and deliciously unexpected.

In the cozy, rustic dining room of Lone Eagle Grille, at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, beside an enormous stone fireplace and an expansive lakefront view, guests are seated with only their own parties at individual tables, where they enjoy five courses paired with wines, which they may enjoy at their own pace. It results in a more casual, intimate experience as guests engage throughout the evening in lively, one-one-one conversations with passionate makers of food and wine who love sharing their crafts.

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Our dinner featured wines by Blackbird Vineyards out of Napa Valley. Once seated, we felt like welcome friends as, by turns and never intrusively, we were personally greeted and presented with food and drink by a server, a sommelier pouring wine, General Manager Matthew Mitchell, chef de cuisine Shane Hammett, and Blackbird Vineyards’ president Paul Leary. Each shared valuable information about the vintages we tasted and how the ingredients in each dish were strategically chosen to complement each other and the wines.

I will admit here that the menu somewhat intimidated me. Though I like to think of myself as an adventurous and non-picky eater, the lineup mentioned oysters, truffles, and lamb — none of which I’ve ever particularly enjoyed — as well as foie gras mousse, which I confess to never having courage enough to try. I was right to make this the evening to do so.

The first course, a dish of crispy Kumamoto oysters topped with crumbles of crackling pancetta and served over an apple emulsion and Granny Smith apple relish, completely tore down any misconceptions I had about oysters or, for that matter, what they should be eaten with. Hammett paid his first visit here, explaining the concept behind the dish. Every tiny component — the bursts of pork saltiness against the chunks of apple, whose tart-sweetness rounded out the briny oyster — was intended to complement the 2017 Dissonance, a refreshingly crisp and bright sauvignon blanc. The combination was completely surprising in its perfection.

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La Belle Farm foie gras mousse served with strawberries, basil brioche crumble, and watercress, drizzled with golden balsamic, served with Arena Rosé

Each course proceeded in this way. My preconception about foie gras mousse being overly rich and fatty were completely shattered. Instead, the salty, rich, savory flavor was as light as air, spread on the plate and topped with a combination of flavors and textures that made for a perfect balance: crusty basil brioche croutons, sliced strawberries, and fresh watercress. The results were magical and, again, utterly surprising. It was complemented by the Arena Rosé, a clean, elevated rosé that, like its paired dish, combined dry with sweet.

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The third course was a 28-day dry-aged American wagyu striploin served with grilled king trumpet mushrooms, in a chicory black truffle vinaigrette with avocado chimichurri, served with Blackbird Vineyards’ 2014 Arise merlot blend

As the wines and dishes made their way to the table — a dry-aged American wagyu striploin, a succulent Niman Ranch lamb belly, a decadently rich chocolate raspberry bombe — Leary, Hammett, and the Lone Eagle staff dropped by to ensure our every need was cared for, every question answered.

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The fourth course, a smoked Niman Ranch lamb belly on a bed of sunchoke puree, served with a poached Cipollini onion in paprika oil, served with the velvety, earthy Paramour cabernet franc blend from Blackbird Vineyards

My husband and I eagerly lap up wine knowledge whenever we’re given an opportunity to speak with a winemaker, and no question we asked was too silly for Leary, who genuinely seemed to enjoy sharing his experiences and hearing what we thought. Hammett also clearly took pleasure in watching his guests be delighted and surprised by the menu.

Chocolate bombe
For dessert, Hammett prepared a chocolate raspberry bombe filled with Chambord crème Anglaise served with candied raspberries and almonds and topped with espresso chocolate sauce

By the end of the meal, as we headed into the cold night for the drive home, we were warmed by wine and full stomachs, as well as the feeling of having just spent an evening at the home of friends.

Ready to attend the next Lone Eagle Grille Winemaker Series Dinner?

Lone Eagle Grille’s Niman Ranch Scholarship Dinner
Fri., April 5
6 – 8:30 p.m.

Partnering with Niman Ranch, Lone Eagle Grille offers a delicious dinner by chef Shane Hammett paired with wines from Coupe de Foudre in Napa Valley. Hammett and the winemaker will be on hand to give details about the meal and wines throughout the dinner. Proceeds support Niman Ranch’s Next Generation Foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of farmers and ranchers who are committed to furthering their education to continue rural enhancement.

The dinner pairing will be accompanied by a silent auction, and attendees include Niman Ranch's 2018 scholarship recipient, Elle Gadient, and members of the Niman Ranch staff, who can personally speak to the benefits of the scholarship.

For details about the menu and reserving a table, visit Loneeaglegrille.com/hyattnimanranch. Information about additional winemaker dinner events can be found at Loneaglegrille.com.

Jessica Santina is the managing editor of edible Reno-Tahoe.

Story and photos by Asa Gilmore

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Casale’s Halfway Club is the oldest restaurant in Reno/Sparks, having been in operation for more than 70 years. On March 16, the Snowshoe Thompson Chapter of E Clampus Vitus presented the owners of Casale’s with a bronze plaque commemorating the rich history of this Nevada landmark.

E Clampus Vitus is an ancient fraternal organization working to preserve local history and build strong communities. The Snowshoe Thompson Chapter, Nevada’s first and oldest chapter of E Clampus Vitus, is one of four chapters currently in operation in the state.

For those who haven’t been, Casale’s Halfway Club is a true Nevada experience. This is a friendly place, a family place, and it has some of the best lasagna in the state. The picon punch is excellent as well. It’s worth noting that its ravioli all are made by hand, every day, with the same rolling pins that the family brought to America from Italy in the early 1900s.

A well-attended dedication ceremony was held, with the traditional beer poured over the bronze plaque to christen it. The plaque will be mounted inside the restaurant for viewing.

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Casale’s Halfway Club
2501 E. Fourth St., Reno
775-323-3979 • Find Casale’s Halfway Club on Facebook

Inaugural Event Shines Spotlight on Vegan Dishes

Written by Natasha Bourlin
Photos courtesy of Gehn Shibayama

Reno vegans unite! Whether dedicated to the diet or simply vegan-curious, the Reno Vegan Chef Challenge is showcasing the best in animal-free eating at several participating restaurants during its inaugural Northern Nevada event, April 1-30, 2019.

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A 2018 Gallup poll states that 3 percent of Americans are vegans. Adhering to this way of eating comes with many positive purported health benefits, ranging from lower cholesterol and blood sugar to decreased risk of heart disease, yet many people don’t know how to find or prepare flavorful foods using zero animal products. Enter this new Reno culinary challenge.

Gehn Shibayama, co-organizer of the Reno Vegan Chef Challenge, Reno resident, and administrator of local vegan group VegNV, has been following a strictly animal-free diet since 2013. After his first 12 months, he’d lost 20 pounds and seen his endurance improve notably. In 2018, he tackled the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail over 188 days, fueling himself with only vegan foods, and he claims he was able to complete the arduous endeavor because of his diet.

While in Sacramento, Calif., last October, he discovered the city’s eighth-annual Vegan Chef Challenge and began striving to bring a version to his hometown.

“The goal of this event is to raise awareness of healthy, tasty, and satisfying vegan dishes to the general public, not just vegans. We vegans already know that there are amazing vegan dishes. We already know that a vegan diet is a complete diet with all necessary nutrients including protein, vitamins (except for B12, which is another topic), calcium, iron, and everything,” Shibayama says. “But the general public still tend to think that vegan foods mean just green salads and veggie soup … we want to change the perception.”

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Partnering with national nonprofit Vegan Outreach and co-organizer Kelly Farrell, he’s rallied more than a dozen restaurants to take part in the first-ever Reno event. Each must put three new vegan dishes on its menu for the month of April, including at least one main dish. Offerings must have flavor appeal for vegans and non-vegans alike.

In Sacramento, participating restaurants have touted increased business and exposure while also spurning customers’ curiosity and chefs’ creativity thanks to the event. While also seeking to benefit the restaurants, Shibayama and his partner Farrell are hoping Reno’s version incites excitement beyond VegNV’s 700 members, enlightening non-vegans as well to the delectable flavor profiles healthy vegan dishes can offer.

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To participate in the Reno Vegan Chef Challenge:

Visit any or all of the participating restaurants listed at Renoveganchefchallenge.com, order their vegan offerings created for the challenge, then return to the site to rate each item tried. Restaurants and items rated highest by guests will win prizes at an awards ceremony post-event.

Natasha Bourlin is a vegan-curious freelance writer excited to try chefs’ animal-free options during this event.

 

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IMAGES PICTURES ABOVE 

 

backyard jicken - Noble Pie Parlor
cashew mac n cheeze - Skyline Kitchen
chili relleno- Great Full Gardens
chocolate cake- Zeppelin
cinnamon pears - Wild River Grille
cupcake - Great Full Gardens
cupcakes - Batch Cupcakery
deluxe fries - De Luxe Cafe
falafel - Roundabout Grill
green pasole - Plaza Maya
jack fruit laub - Bangkok Cuisine
jackfruit pulled bbq sandwich 2 - Roundabout Grill
jackfruit pulled bbq sandwich - Roundabout Grill
katsu - Great Full Gardens
mango summer roll - Skyline Kitchen
marinara ditalia - The Pizza Collective
maya - Maya's South Indian Cuisine
meatball - Roundabout Grill
merguez - Zeppelin
orange cream shake - Wild River Grille
papa shredrizo - Noble Pie Parlor
polenta and meatball - Noble Pie Parlor
potato floutas - Plaza Maya
queso fundido - Skyline Kitchen
quinoa salad - Wild River Grille
raw cake - Great Full Gardens
single tamale - Great Full Gardens
stuffed sweet potato - Great Full Gardens
sweet potato black bean tacos - Skyline Kitchen
tamale meal. - Great Full Gardens
thali - Thali
tofu tamarind chili sauce - Bangkok Cuisine
tostada - Roundabout Grill

 

Big Chefs Big Gala is one of the year’s tastiest fundraisers

Written by Mel Ulloa

What do fresh local ingredients and 35 of the area’s most talented chefs have in common? They all come together for one night of cooking for a cause at Big Chefs Big Gala, a night for food lovers. If you love food, this is the can’t-miss event of the year. What makes it different from any other fundraiser? Top culinary chefs in one room, serving a four-course meal that not only makes your mouth water, but also benefits the life-changing work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada.

An exciting menu

The evening starts with a black-tie reception featuring small bites from several of our area’s finest restaurants, then culminates in a unique four-course culinary experience featuring Bentley Ranch Meats and Sierra Gold Seafood. Some items that may be served at this year’s event include: heirloom kabocha bisque with Tahoe Blue vodka and fried lobster nuggets; flame-charred hamachi with yuzu bone broth, mirin-poached Asian pear, and crispy daikon radishes; red and green curry made with sweet shrimp with coconut, pickled red onion, and cilantro; and Lattin Farms beets with arugula and citrus, goat cheese, and tarragon. Is your mouth watering yet?

“Big Chefs Big Gala gives attendees an opportunity to taste all that our area has to offer while supporting our community’s youth,” says Derek Beauvais, CEO of BBBSNN. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a vibrant food movement going on, led by chefs who care so much about our community.”

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At the 2018 event, Team GSR plates its amuse bouche: chilled pear bisque, Tahoe Blue vodka, and caviar. Amuse bouche, which means “please the mouth,” is typically bite sized and interesting enough to prepare the palate for the rest of the meal. Photo by Tom Smedes

The four culinary teams are led by chef captains and rounded out with an additional three local chefs. They pour countless hours into Big Chefs Big Gala on top of their busy schedules, returning year after year because they know the work of BBBSNN strengthens our community.

Rubbing elbows

“I was asked about three years ago to start cooking. It’s a gathering of all local chefs at the Grand Sierra Resort, and I couldn’t say no,” says chef Tommy Linnett of The Union in Carson City and Liberty Food & Wine Exchange in Reno.

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Chef Tommy Linnett of The Union in Carson City plates Bently Ranch short ribs, polenta, carrots, and onions for Team Campo at the 2018 Big Chefs Big Gala event. Photo by Tom Smedes

Linnett grew up in the restaurant business, learning the basics from his father, who owned multiple restaurants around Lake Tahoe. Linnett traveled extensively through Argentina before attending Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. After returning home to Northern Nevada and settling in Reno, he joined chef Mark Estee as part of the opening team for Campo Reno. He is now the executive chef of The Union. Linnett looks forward to bringing the local food movement, pioneered by Estee in Northern Nevada, to Carson City. To him, Big Chefs Big Gala is a great opportunity to highlight that effort.

“It’s a great event because, for a lot of us, we get stuck in our four walls. It’s fun to get out and be around other chefs, pick their brains for a little while,” says Nick Stromatt, executive chef of The Depot in Reno. “It’s a good time being around people as passionate as we are about food but also about such a great cause.”

Prior to starting his culinary career, Strowmatt enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002. He completed three deployments in Iraq, leaving as a sergeant. His culinary career began when he started at Herringbone, a coastal cuisine restaurant in La Jolla, Calif., working his way up from shucking oysters. Strowmatt’s first job when he returned to Reno was at The Promenade on the River, a senior community in Reno, which provided him the opportunity to develop his own recipes, create unique flavors, and deal firsthand with the customers and their interactions with the food. He joined the team at The Depot in 2015 and became a great addition to the Big Chefs Big Gala chef teams in 2017.

Sweet surprise

But the chef talent is not the only highlight of the evening. In a unique twist on the traditional gala format, Big Chefs Big Gala features three different auctions: an exciting live auction, a more-than-200-item silent auction, and a delicious dessert auction.

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More than 200 items will be on auction at Big Chefs Big Gala. If you can’t attend the event, you can always bid from home with mobile bidding. For details, visit BBBSNN.org. Photo by Tom Smedes

“Last year, one of our pastry chefs sold a cake for $2,700,” says chef Travis Stehman of La Strada at the Eldorado Resort Casino in Reno. “It’s nice seeing her from being in the program as a Little and now being successful and evolving.”

A former Little Sister of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, chef Sara Anstett will participate in the dessert auction for the second year in a row. She has worked for Liberty, chez louie, and Coffeebar, and now can be found at Roxy at the Eldorado. Anstett discovered her culinary talent and passion when she and her Big Sister started Kittens in the Kitchen, a baking service for friends and family, when Anstett was 14.

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Chef Sarah Anstett calls this cake 24-Carat Gold — a delectable chocolate chiffon cake with layers of chocolate ganache and crunch cocoa nibs, spread with a velvety caramel frosting and topped with a cascade of bourbon chocolate icing. This three-tiered cake is finished with edible 24-carat-gold leaf. Photo by Nadia Gulistani

Event details

All the funds raised from Big Chefs Big Gala will stay right here in our community to match children facing economic and social adversity with caring adult mentors. Last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters served more than 600 children in our area.

Big Chefs Big Gala will be held on Sat., Apr. 13, at the Grand Sierra Resort; tickets are available at Bbbsnn.org.

Mel Ulloa is marketing and public relations manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada.

This event has already taken place.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

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Jose Gonzalez is a deep, artful thinker whose singular approach to songwriting and sonics sets him worlds apart; Gonzalez is in a class by himself. He has a voice. He has a sound. He has a point of view. His first album in seven years was released Feb. 17 and was produced by Gonzalez in his home in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2013 Jose contributed to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack, directed by and starring Ben Stiller.

Gonzalez is touring with The String Theory, an artist collective and production company based in Berlin and Gothenburg. Band members pursue a long-term, experimental approach, investigating new ways of interdisciplinary collaboration. They also incorporate visual art into their performance, developing new concepts and facilitating international artist networking.  

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Center Box office (open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mon. ­– Fri.) or by calling 866-553-6605. Tickets also are available at pioneercenter.com. For details, call Artown at 775-322-1538.

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Sierra Scoop: March 2019
The latest food and drink news from Tahoe and Truckee

Written by Suzie Dundas

Winter 2019 was a doozy in Tahoe, so you’d be forgiven if you haven’t been able to explore the food-and-drink scene in the area as much as in past years. But while the roads still may be covered in snow, the region’s restaurant scene is heating up, with big moves around the lake. It’s been a time of celebration as many Tahoe restaurants celebrated significant anniversaries, and Tahoe brand DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF won a 2019 Good Food Award from the not-for-profit Good Food Foundation.

DRINK COFFEE, DO STUFF

12177 Business Park Drive, Truckee • Drinkcoffeedostuff.com

If the snow has been keeping you away, you may have missed the opening of the Tahoe Tap Haus in December 2018. The new business is a partnership between five Tahoe business owners, three of whom — Mark Gogolewski and Melissa and Steven Siig — own the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema next door. According to Melissa, the new venture is designed to be an extension of the cinema, offering a place to meet up and enjoy a drink before or after a show. They currently have 16 beers on tap as well as a full menu, including everything from haus- made hummus to burgers and Indian-inspired naanwiches served on tandoori bread.

Salm_TahoeTaps_014.JPGSalm_TahoeTaps_011.JPGSalm_TahoeTaps_017.JPG

Photos By: Ryan Salm

Tahoe Tap Haus:

475 N. Lake Blvd, Tahoe City

530-584-2886 • Tahoetaphaus.com

Also new in Tahoe City is Goose & Chey’s, opened by husband and wife team Greg and Cheyenne Goossen (hence the name). The casual restaurant serves what Greg calls “American comfort food with a healthy twist.” Though it only recently opened, the idea had been in development since summer 2018, when the  couple and their three sons moved to Tahoe City. They’ll plan to have frequent live music — much of it from Cheyenne, a guitarist and singer herself.

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Prime Rib French Ddip with hand-cut fries. Photos courtesy of Goose & Chey’s.

Garden_Salad_with_a_rainbow_of_fresh_veggies_and_housemade_dressing.jpg

Loaded House Salad with a rainbow of fresh vegetables and house-made dressing. Photo courtesy of Goose and Chey’s.

Goose and Chey’s

877 N. Lake Blvd, Tahoe City

(530) 807-1003Find Goose & Chey’s on Facebook

Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique, also in Tahoe City, announced the continuation of its late-spring farmers’ market cooking classes, which invite participants to join chef Dale at the local farmers’ market before returning to the restaurant for a multi-course cooking class. Sign up in advance for the small-group classes on the website or by phone.

Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique

640 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City

530-583-5700 • Wolfdales.com

Fans of Incline Village’s Lone Eagle Grille will want to be sure to stop in for one last spring meal before the restaurant’s dining room temporarily closes for renovations the week of March 24. A small menu still will be available in the Lone Eagle Lounge during that time. The lakefront restaurant’s kitchen will receive an update with an expected reopening on the evening of March 29. A series of Wine Make Dinners running through the spring also has been announced.

Lone Eagle Grille

111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village

775-886-6899 • Loneeaglegrille.com

In South Lake Tahoe, Social House is redefining late night, as its deli transforms every evening into the 1920s-style Community Speakeasy, complete with vintage-inspired cocktails and performances.

Social House

1001 Heavenly Village Way, Ste. 3, South Lake Tahoe

530-539-4746 • Socialhousetahoe.com

It’s not all just about openings, though. While Truckee unfortunately will be losing Treat Box Bakery at the end of May as its doors are shut after 40 years, several staples of the dining scene are celebrating anniversaries.

  • Truckee’s Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar celebrated 30 years in February 2019, as did Tahoe City’s Gar Woods Grill and Pier.
  • Four restaurants have an extra decade on them, with Fire Sign Café, Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique, Jake’s on the Lake (all in Tahoe City), and Jason's Beachside Grille (King’s Beach) each celebrating 40 years of service in late 2018 or early 2019. Here’s to 30 – or 40 – more!

Suzie Dundas is a Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer. She writes about everything from adventure travel to social media and inspired food and drink. You can find more of her work at Suziedundas.com.

Story and photos by Jennifer Rachel Baumer

 

A bowl of hot soup is just the ticket on a cold winter’s night when the rain and snow blow against the windows. Chicken noodle soup is the traditional panacea against winter plagues, from colds to flu. There’s something about the combination of salty richness and bites of chicken that’s both cheering and soothing. Pair the soup with a cheese-laced bread that’s prepared quickly (for yeast bread, anyway) and lasts well, and you’ve got yourself simple, hearty, warming feast.

 

Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Soup

(courtesy of Jennifer Rachel Baumer. Serves 4)

IMG 0483

 

About 1 to 2 cups chopped chicken or turkey, cooked or uncooked

1 tablespoon butter

2 to 4 stalks celery, chopped to about ½-inch pieces

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

6 cups water and 6 chicken bouillon cubes or equivalent OR 6 cups chicken or turkey stock

1 cup frozen corn kernels

Egg noodles or No Yolks egg noodles, extra broad —about 6 ounces

 

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium high heat. Sauté onion and celery until tender, then remove if meat is uncooked; cook chicken completely before adding the vegetables back in. If you’re using poultry that’s already cooked, just heat it coated in the melted butter at the same time you sauté vegetables. (This is a great recipe if you make stock from turkey carcass and use the last bits of turkey meat for the soup. I may love the turkey noodle soup more than the chicken.)

 

saute
Chicke
n & Vegetables brown in a sauté pan

While chicken and vegetables cook, either heat 6 cups of water to make chicken bouillon or measure out 6 cups of stock. Once the chicken and vegetables are ready, add stock and heat to nearly boiling. Add frozen corn and let soup come back up to nearly boiling. Add noodles and turn soup to simmer loosely covered until noodles are soft (or until you’re ready for it). This is a good time to add a twist of freshly ground black pepper and maybe lightly salt the soup.

 

Before serving, if you want a thicker soup, take out a cup that’s more chicken and vegetables than noodles and purée it a bit in the blender before stirring it back into pot.

 

This soup keeps well, freezes well, and tastes great cold the next day if you’re so inclined. Enjoy it with a slab of warm cheese bread!

 

Cheddar Cheese Bread

(courtesy of Jennifer Rachel Baumer. Makes 1 standard-sized loaf and 1 smaller freeform round loaf)

 

This bread takes between three and four hours, even when it’s 25 degrees outside. It rises well and bakes fast, and despite what purists insist about waiting until bread is stone cold to cut it, it’s best after it’s been out of the oven 20 to 30 minutes, still warm with the cheese still soft.

IMG 0477
Cheddar cheese bread cools on a cutting board

1 envelope active dry yeast (not rapid rise), or 2¼ teaspoons, or 1 yeast-measuring spoon’s worth

1¾ cups very warm water (¼ cup + 1½ cups)

2½ teaspoons sea salt

4 to 5 cups unbleached flour

2 cups extra-sharp cheddar, grated (6 to 8 ounces)

Vegetable or canola oil to grease pans and bowl

 

Pour ¼ cup of the very warm water into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over it and let stand for 5 minutes.

 

Stir salt into yeast and water to dissolve yeast completely. Add rest of warm water. Add 3 to 3½ cups of the flour, and stir to create a sticky, cohesive dough. It’s rare in this dry climate to use all five cups of flour, and it’s better to start working dough when it’s on the sticky side and add flour sparingly. Too much flour makes a dull, flat, dry loaf.

 

As soon as dough is a rough mass that can be handled, lift onto a clean, dry, well-floured work surface and begin to knead. (This is a good time to soak the bowl if it’s the one bread will rise in). Knead anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, adding reserved flour gradually and sparingly. The dough should just barely stick to your fingers and not be a tacky, sticky mess, but also not so dry that it’s breaking apart. If it starts to get too dry, stop adding flour, brush most of the flour off your work surface, and then knead for a minute or two — most of the time the dough will incorporate that flour and begin to stick to you again. Then re-flour your board sparingly and continue kneading.

 

When dough is stretchy and elastic and no longer soaking up extra flour, let it sit on the board while you clean out mixing bowl and lightly oil it. Gather dough into a ball, place it in bowl, and spin it so all sides are lightly coated with oil. This stops it from creating a dry, crusty skin while rising. Cover with light, clean dish towel, piece of cling wrap, or sheet of wax paper. Leave dough to rise in an undisturbed, draft-free area. Leaving it on top of the oven, if the oven is in use, or in a spill of sunlight will encourage it to rise more quickly. This bread doesn’t need a long, slow rise, and in summer or in a warm spot the first rise can take as little as 45 minutes in high altitudes. On a cold, snowy night, it might take 1 to 1.5 hours.

 

When dough has risen to double, lightly flour your fingers and gently press dough back down, replace cover, and let it rise a second time.

 

After second rise, turn dough out on a floured surface and knead in your grated cheddar cheese. I like a coarse grating, so the pieces are wide and more than 1 inch long. I’m probably using about 8 ounces of cheese, or 2 cups or so. It’s not an exact measurement, and not all of the cheese gets kneaded in every time.

 

Try not to overly deflate dough before starting to knead in cheese. Flatten dough into a rough circle or disc, sprinkle on cheese, and start gently kneading until it’s incorporated. It’s better to have all cheese within dough, not showing on the surface, or that cheese will burn or simply leak out and away during baking.

 

Separate dough into 2 unequal parts. Two-thirds of the dough is used to shape a kind of oblong football shape and tuck that into the greased loaf pan. The smaller piece is formed into a small, round loaf and does nicely in a greased glass pie pan. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for another 45 to 60 minutes while the oven preheats to 450 degrees F.

 

Bake both loaves for 20 minutes, then remove smaller loaf, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake another 5 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it — it can quickly overcook. If either bread becomes too dark during baking, just gently drape a piece of foil over it and let it finish baking. Remove breads from pan and flick or tap bottoms — they should sound hollow. Give bread about 20 to 30 minutes to cool or it will squish when cut and taste cloyingly wet.

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