Need another excuse to head to Tahoe next month? How about the Northstar California Resort’s Annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival September 5-7. The weekend will include; Farm-to-Tahoe Dinner, Bike Wine Tasting Tour, a Blazing Pans Cook Off and Grand Tasting. Events will take place in The Village as well as in The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
“Autumn Food & Wine Festival at Northstar is a tradition that represents the best annual gathering of culinary talent, unique events and an atmosphere that celebrates food, wine, family, and fun,” said Bill Rock, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Northstar California Resort. Refined culinary traditions, elegant events and family activities are synonymous with Northstar California – all of which echo the resort’s indisputable penchant for casual, laid-back luxury.
As one of the Festival’s most iconic events, the Culinary Competition & Grand Tasting is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 7. Other Festival highlights – such as the Farm to Tahoe Dinner at Zephyr Lodge, Gourmet Marketplace Vendor Fair, Village Wine and Brew Walk, Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook Off, and 16th Annual Charbay Party – continue to invite guests to delight throughout the weekend of fine food and artisan wine, spirits, and beer. Additional events throughout the three-day event include Pedals & Pinots bike tour and tasting, Beer & Artisan Cheese Pairing and Winemaker for a Day seminars, Petra Winery Luncheon, and Take a Hike! guided hike and trailside tasting.
The 3-Day Festival Experience package beckons unabashed foodies to indulge during Friday’s Farm to Tahoe Dinner at Zephyr Lodge, Saturday’s Brew & Wine Walk and Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook-Off, and Sunday’s pièce de résistance, the Grand Tasting and Culinary Competition. Additional options, such as tickets to Farm to Tahoe Dinner at Zephyr Lodge or Art of the Cocktail at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe are offered – as well as individual tickets to all events hosted throughout the Festival.
Complimentary Third Night of Lodging Reserve two nights of lodging at Northstar to receive a complimentary third night. Valid during Autumn Food & Wine Festival, Northstar Lodging offers guests close access to all events, tastings and pairings, activities and shopping in The Village at Northstar.
Schedule of Events:
Autumn Food & Wine Festival begins Friday, Sept. 5 and continues throughout the weekend. For additional details on the Autumn Food and Wine Festival or to purchase tickets, visit NorthstarCalifornia.com. A complete list of events is also available at TahoeFoodandWine.com:
Friday, September 5th
4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Art of the Cocktail – The Living Room, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: Participants will visit The Living Room in The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe to journey back to pre-prohibition days when cocktails were the highlight and beer, wine and other beverages were not in fashion. Art of the Cocktail will feature three bourbon, whiskey, vodka and gin cocktails paired with appetizers. Advance purchase of tickets is required. Walk-ins will be accepted on a space availability basis. $40.
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – North Tahoe Arts Plein Air Artists Reception & Wine Tasting – Petra, in The Village at Northstar: Enjoy light fare, wine and entertainment at the Gala Reception & Fundraising Event, as well the Plein Air exhibit preview & silent auction – which benefits North Tahoe Arts, a non-profit organization that has promoted the arts in the Truckee-Tahoe communities for 24 years. $40.
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Farm to Tahoe Dinner, Zephyr Lodge – Summit of Northstar California Resort : Northstar California’s Chef Steve Anderson will masterfully prepare and present a dining experience highlighting fresh, sustainable and locally-sourced produce. Guests are whisked to dinner via gondola, and hosted at Northstar’s summit inside the Zephyr Lodge – which lends unparalleled sunset views and panoramic grandeur of the Sierra Nevada’s Pacific Crest. Farm to Tahoe offers guests a multi-course plated dinner paired with craft beer, wine and light beverages complemented by live music. Limited seating is available. Advance ticket purchase is required. $80.
Saturday, September 6th
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Gourmet Marketplace Vendor Fair – The Village at Northstar: Sample some of the finest local and regional gourmet goodies at the open-air marketplace in The Village. Vendors display the best kitchen gadgets, fine linens, clothing and art, exquisite handmade jewelry, photography, spa products and much more. Access is complimentary.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – North Tahoe Arts Plein Air Painting Display, Demonstration & Art Sale – The Village at Northstar: An invited jury of artists will spend three days in the North Lake Tahoe region creating extraordinary Plein Air paintings the week prior to the festival. Their creations will be on display and available for purchase in The Village at Northstar Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7. A portion of the proceeds will support North Lake Tahoe Arts. Guests are invited to vote for the People’s Choice award. Access is complimentary.
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Hands-On Mozzarella Cheese Making – Overlook Pavilion in The Village at Northstar: Chef Lara Ritchie will teach 25 guests how to create fresh Mozzarella cheese. The class is a favorite among children and families, and invites guests ages nine and older to participate. Chef Lara creates an atmosphere that is friendly, fun, educational and delicious: guests will savor their creations upon completion. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Day-of tickets will be on a space availability basis. $25.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Girl Farm Seminar – Tavern 6330’ in The Village at Northstar: Representatives from Northern Nevada-based Girl Farm invites guests to learn about sustainable farming, the benefits of fresh-sourced ingredients, and techniques that can be used anywhere – from farm to home. Access is complimentary.
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Take a Hike! Guided Hike & Trailside Tasting – Northstar California Hiking Trails : Trail food and flavor are elevated to new heights on this trailside tasting and guided hike. A professional trail guide will lead guests to explore breathtaking wilderness and identify the Lake Tahoe region’s native flora and fauna. Trailside tasting stations along the route will offer craft beer paired with flavorful, creative recipes of classic trail morsels. All ability levels are encouraged to participate. Advanced ticket purchase is required. Walk-ins will be accepted on a space availability basis. $40.
12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Village Wine & Brew Walk – The Village at Northstar: The Village Wine & Brew Walk invites guests to hone their palates for Sunday’s Grand Tasting. Sip, shop and visit with friends at the casual afternoon soirée; featured wines hail from Napa and Sonoma, El Dorado and Lodi, Suisun Valley and the Foothills, Nevada City, the Central Coast and beyond. Beer aficionados can look forward to fresh, cold craft beers from Stella, Goose Island, Kona Brewery and more. Guests receive a keepsake tasting glass. $25.
12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Kid’s Zone at Overlook Deck – The Village at Northstar : Kids and families are invited to enjoy complimentary face painting, balloon sculptures, arts and crafts, and outdoor play at the Overlook Deck. Access is complimentary; additional ticketed activities include the Tahoe Apex Adventure bungee trampoline and ropes challenge, gem panning, and miniature golf.
12 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Petra Winemaker Luncheon – Petra, in The Village at Northstar: Petra Wine Bar owner and wine connoisseur, Kali Kopley and renowned wine maker, John Anthony Truchard, will host a three-course luncheon paired with award-winning wines from FARM Napa Valley. Guests will be guided through the delightful complexities and tastes of food and wine pairings. Limited seating is available. $60.
12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Pedals & Pinots – Bike Tour from Northstar to Downtown Truckee: Enjoy a scenic, guided bike tour from Northstar through the Martis Valley to Historic Downtown Truckee during the second annual Pedals & Pinots ride. The tour starts in The Village at Northstar and winds through historic Truckee for a delightful tasting of Pinots at The Pour House and Uncorked Wine Bar; then continues to PJ’s Bar & Grill at Gray’s Crossing for the final stop, where guests enjoy light appetizers paired with wine and an outdoor reprieve. Shuttle rides will transport participants back to Northstar for the evening’s festivities. $55.
12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. – Village Stage Cooking Demonstration – The Village at Northstar : Renowned local chefs invite guests to learn new cooking techniques, suggestions, and trade secrets during a unique demonstration on The Village Stage in The Village at Northstar. Access is complimentary.
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – Beer and Artisan Cheese Pairing – Tavern 6330’ in The Village at Northstar: Enjoy craft beers paired with artisan cheeses in The Village at Northstar’s Tavern 6330’, presented by Nyna Weatherson of Historic Downtown Truckee’s Trokay Café. Weatherson is a recognized cheese expert and former lead cheesemonger at the renowned Murray’s Cheese in New York City. In addition to artfully pairing unique brews with complementing cheeses, Weatherson will guide participants through the technique of creating a cheeseboard selection which properly progresses through the palate. Advanced ticket purchase is required. $35.
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – Grilling Demonstration – Overlook Pavilion in The Village at Northstar: Guests can look forward the return of one of the Festival’s most highly-anticipated events with an accomplished grill master who respects the power of the open flame, Chef Jason Gronlund. Guests learn several techniques for successful marinating and brining that lead to flavor-bursting dishes. Chef Jason’s enthusiasm is contagious, and not to be missed. Access is complimentary.
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Winemaker for a Day – The Pines Ballroom in The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: Participants will learn the intricacies of blending various wines as they create their own keepsake bottle of wine. Hosted by seasoned wine expert, Phil McKenney, the “Winemaker for a Day” seminar offers guests the opportunity to taste single-varietal wines such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc before blending in a classroom-style format. Participants experiment with different proportions, discuss the characteristics of each grape, as well as cork and label their wines. Advance purchase of tickets is required. $80.
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. – 15 Minute Meals Cooking Demonstration – The Village Stage in The Village at Northstar : Chef Lara Ritchie will show even the busiest of people how to create amazing, flavorful dishes at home in no more than 15 minutes. Guests learn how to equip a pantry with global ingredients in advance that make cooking quick, easy, and delicious. Access is complimentary.
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Why You Like What You Like Seminar – Petra, in The Village at Northstar : Get ready for a humorous, enlightening wine and food tasting seminar and book signing with Chef Tim Hanni, who has been lauded as the “wine anti-snob” by the Wall Street Journal. Guests will discover the source of their personal passions and palate preference, learn how an individual’s unique Taste Sensitivity Quotient determines the styles of most-enjoyed wines; as well as why many experts disagree about wine quality and appropriate wine and food pairings. Experience interactions between wine and food and learn flavor balancing techniques that will ensure that a favorite wine tastes great with a favorite dish. $40.
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. – Village Stage Cooking Demonstration – The Village at Northstar: Renowned local chefs invite guests to learn new cooking techniques, suggestions, and trade secrets during a unique demonstration on The Village Stage in The Village at Northstar. Access is complimentary.
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook Off© – The Village Stage in The Village at Northstar : 2013 Blazing Pans Champion Chef Mark Estee of the renowned Campo Restaurant faces off with the talented and wildly popular Chef Wyatt Dufresne of PlumpJack Café. These two fearless competitors will prepare four courses of gourmet dishes in the hour-long battle featuring a secret ingredient that is revealed at the very last second. The event features a classic handcrafted Charbay Cocktail shaken by Marko Karakasevic, 13th generation Master Distiller from Charbay Artisan Winery & Distillery, St. Helena, California. The audience is encouraged to don costumes, noisemakers, and air horns. This must-see signature event will be emceed by special guest, Steve Schroeder. $15.
6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. – Charbay 16th Annual Party: “Spirits Tasting & Caviar 101” – Tavern 6330’ in The Village at Northstar: The Festival welcomes back the immensely popular 13th generation Master Distiller, Marko Karakasevic of Charbay Distillery and Winery. Karakasevic will showcase his hand crafted Charbay Vodkas (California) and Tequila Tapatio (Mexico) in an inspired tasting featuring the decadent caviars and natural flavored roes from Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Company. Chef Jason Gronlund works his culinary magic with perfectly orchestrated hors d’oeuvres and small bites to pair with the spirits and cocktails. The seminar will start with Caviar 101 on how to “prime one’s palate” for tasting clear vodka and caviar. $75.
6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Tahoe Long Table Harvest Dinner – The Fireside Terrace at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe : Prepared by The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe’s Executive Chef Stanley Miller, the Tahoe Long Table Harvest Dinner will feature a family-style dinner presentation of a special harvest menu that incorporates the freshest locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. This farm-to-table dinner will seat guests together at a long table on the Fireside Terrace to enjoy six courses with wine pairings al fresco amongst a mountainside setting with views overlooking Northstar California. $85.
Sunday, September 7th
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Gourmet Marketplace Vendor Fair – The Village at Northstar: Sample some of the finest local and regional gourmet goodies at our open-air marketplace in The Village. Vendors display the best kitchen gadgets, fine linens and clothing, exquisite handmade jewelry, fine art, photography, spa products and much more. Access is complimentary.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – North Tahoe Arts Plein Air Painting Display, Demonstration & Art Sale – The Village at Northstar : An invited jury of artists will spend three days in the North Lake Tahoe region creating extraordinary Plein Air paintings the week prior to the festival. Their creations will be on display and available for purchase in The Village at Northstar Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7. A portion of the proceeds will support North Lake Tahoe Arts, a non-profit organization that has promoted the arts in the Truckee-Tahoe communities for 24 years. Guests are invited to vote for the People’s Choice award. Access is complimentary.
11 a.m. – Petra Bubbles Tasting Flight – Petra in The Village at Northstar: Relax at Petra, a favorite gathering place in The Village at Northstar, and enjoy a flight featuring three sparkling wines. Known for its menu of carefully-selected vintages and small plates perfect for sharing, Petra offers casual elegance throughout its open air patio and inviting indoor seating. The Bubbles Tasting Flight is a Sunday tradition and the perfect event to visit before continuing to the Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting. $12.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Sunday Culinary Competition & Grand Tasting – The Village at Northstar and Overlook Pavilion: Presenting the most anticipated food, wine, spirits and brew event of the year, the al fresco afternoon tasting features more than 25 top chefs in the region paired with 25 premium wines, sprits and brews in a formally judged food and wine pairing competition. Each chef’s dish is paired with a varietal and vintage from the winery or brewery of their choice. It’s a culinary event of heated competition during which chefs vie for top honors including: Best Marriage of Food and Wine/Beverage; Best Food; and the coveted People’s Choice awards. The presentations are judged by a panel of food and wine industry experts, after which the pairings are opened for ticket holders to enjoy. Ticket holders are also invited to sample additional wineries which will pour their finest varietals and vintages. $75 advance / $95 day of.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.