Savor offerings at Autumn Food and Wine Festival



The 28th Annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival will pair savory adventures with the finest in regional food and wine delicacies. Foodies are invited to enjoy three full days of cooking seminars and demonstrations, culinary competitions, wine tastings, food-themed excursions and more from Sept. 6 to 8 in the Village at Northstar.

Fan favorite events continue to take the main stage including the Gourmet Marketplace Vendor Fair on Sept. 7 and 8, Village Wine and Brew Walk, Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook Off and the Charbay Annual Release Party. Other additions include the Goose Island Craft Beer and Artisan Cheese Pairing, a live concert with Joe Craven, cooking demonstrations with TV Chef Nathan Lyon, and a raw foods seminar with Raw Chef Steph. Seminars and cooking demonstrations begin Friday and run through the weekend.


Friday, Sept. 6

Bike to the Beach Bash & BBQ: 
 Intermediate mountain bike riders are invited to gear up for a guided downhill adventure from the top of Northstar’s chairlifts to Waterman’s Landing in Carnelian Bay. Paddleboards and kayaks will be available at a twilight beachside barbecue. A complimentary shuttle will transport participants back to Northstar.

Art of the Cocktail: Participants will journey back to pre-prohibition days when cocktails were the highlight and beer, wine and other beverages were not in fashion. This entertaining, educational experience will take place in the Living Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and will feature three bourbon, whiskey, vodka and gin cocktails paired with appetizers.

Tahoe City Grape Stomp: The Grape Stomp returns to The Cobblestone at 5 p.m. Stomping teams will work to squeeze as much grape juice as they can in timed heats. Kendal and Lucas will provide live music and Ron Treabess will be back as the emcee. Tickets are $25 per person and include entry in the stomp, wine tasting, a commemorative glass and live music. Tickets may be purchased online at

Winemaker event: PlumpJack Cafe hosts a Winemaker event with Orin Swift. RSVP (530) 583-1578.

Farm-to-Tahoe Dinner: Presented by Mountain Bounty Farms 
featuring fresh, sustainable and locally sourced produce, Chef Steve Anderson will prepare a dinner under the stars at The Lodge at Big Springs.

Saturday, Sept. 7

Raw Foods seminar: Raw Chef Steph
 highlights the benefits of a raw diet, provides an introduction to raw food programs and chats about tips and tricks to get started. Find creative, satiating ways to add veggies and superfoods to your diet.

Gourmet Marketplace Vendor Fair: Guests will sample some of the finest local and regional gourmet goodies at the open-air marketplace in the Village.

Cupcake Decorating: Anne Archery of Batch Cupcakery presents this hands-on, kid friendly cupcake-decorating seminar.

Take a Hike! Trailside Tasting: This trailside tasting and guided hike through the Tahoe National Forest will explore the native flora and fauna with a local wilderness guide, passing through several tasting stations along the route stocked with craft beer and light snacks.

Cooking Demonstration: Chef Jason Gronlund returns for one of the festival’s most highly anticipated events. An accomplished grill master who believes pork should be slow-smoked and pulled often, Gronlund makes one thing clear: marinating is not to be taken lightly.

Winemaker’s lunch: 
Petra Owner and Wine Connoisseur Kali Kopley and Stuart Bryan of Pride Mountain Vineyards will host a multicourse luncheon and award-winning wines. Call (530) 562-0600 for tickets.

Village Wine and Brew Walk: A place for guests to leisurely taste, shop and visit with friends at this casual afternoon soiree. Wines to taste from Napa, Sonoma, El Dorado, Lodi, Suisun Valley, the Foothills, Nevada City, Central Coast and beyond will be sampled. Beer aficionados can look forward to fresh, cold craft beers from Stella, Goose Island, Spatan and more.

Kidz Zone: 
Games, face painting, balloon sculptures and a play area will be on the Overlook Deck for younger guests. Ticketed activities including bungee jumping, the STRIDER Adventure Zone and more.

Winemaker for a Day: Participants ages 21+ will learn the intricacies of blending various wines as they create their own bottle of wine to take home and enjoy at The Ritz-Carlton with wine expert Phil McKenney.

Goose Island Craft Beer and Artisan Cheese Pairing: Nina Weatherson, co-owner of Trokay Café, makes her debut at the festival. She is a recognized cheese expert and former head cheese monger at the renowned Murray’s Cheese in New York City. Weatherspoon will team up with a Goose Island Beer brand ambassador for a series of craft beer and cheese pairings featuring Goose Island IPA, Honkers, Urban Wheat, Matilda Belgian Pale and a seasonal brew.

Hands on Cooking: 
 Chef Lara Ritchie will teach guests how to make fresh Mozzarella cheese. The class is appropriate for children as young as 9-years-old.

Chocolate Bar’s mixologist host an interactive seminar on how to balance sangria and how to perfect Chocolate Bar signature martinis.

Cooking Demonstration: Chef Nathan Lyon, recently nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Culinary Host for his show, “Good Food America,” chef and co-host on “Growing A Greener World,” will prepare one dish to say farewell to summer and another to welcome the start of fall, both from his seasonally designed cookbook.

Pedals and Pinots: 
Combing a tasting room tour with a scenic ride through Martis Valley with tastings at The Pour House and Uncorked Wine Bar, then to Truckee River Winery for light appetizers, bocce ball and outdoor reprieve. Shuttle rides will transport participants back to Northstar.

Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook Off: Blazing Pans 2012 Champion Elsa Corrigan, Chef and owner of Mamasake, faces off with Chef Mark Estee, chef and owner of Campo Restaurant in Reno. Each will prepare four courses of restaurant-quality dishes in the hour-long battle featuring a secret ingredient revealed at the last second. Last year, Elsa took the crown using crawfish from Lake Tahoe. The event features a classic handcrafted Charbay Cocktail shaken by Marko Karakasevic, 13th generation Master Distiller from Charbay Artisan Winery & Distillery. This must-see signature event will be emceed Chef Lyon.

Charbay Annual Release Party & Joe Craven concert: 
Guests will celebrate with Charbay Artisan Winery & Distiller for the release of Whiskey S cocktails paired with appetizers prepared by Chef Gronlund. Charbay will gift every guest with a bottle of his signature whiskey to take home.

Harvest Dinner: Prepared by The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe’s executive chef Stanley Miller, the Tahoe Long Table Harvest Dinner will feature a family style dinner of a special harvest menu that incorporates the freshest, locally sourced, sustainable ingredients from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Guests will enjoy six courses with wine pairings al fresco.

Sunday, Sept. 8

Edible Garden Tour: Slow Food Lake Tahoe host a guided tour of beautiful High Sierra Edible Gardens from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Prosser and Truckee edible gardens of all shapes and sizes will be visited, from a four-season growing dome to a single-family, backyard veggie garden. Participants will leave with ideas for their own garden space and resources to get started. $15, $10 Slow Food members. Tickets [email protected]

Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting: Featuring 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 of their choice. It’s a culinary throw-down and the chefs compete for the Best Marriage of Food and Wine/Beverage and Best Food titles.

For more information, visit

Photos courtesy Northstar California

Friday, Sept. 6
5-6 p.m. | Art of the Cocktail | Ritz-Carlton | $55
5-7 p.m. | Grape Stomp | Tahoe City | $25
5-8 p.m. | Bike to the Beach Bash & BBQ | Northstar | $65
6 p.m. | Winemaker’s Event | PlumpJack Cafe
6-9 p.m. | Farm to Table Dinner | Northstar | $80
6-10 p.m. | Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings | Village at Squaw Valley | $5 entry

Saturday, Sept. 7*
11 a.m.-noon | Raw Foods seminar | Free
11 a.m.-noon | Cupcake Decorating | Free
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Hike & Trailside Tasting | $40
11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Gourmet Marketplace | Free
Noon-1 p.m. | Cooking demonstration | Free
Noon-2 p.m. | Winemaker’s lunch | Tickets TBA
Noon-4 p.m. | Wine & Brew Walk | $25
Noon-4 p.m. | Kidz Zone | Free (fee for some activities)
1-2:15 p.m. | Beer & Artisan Cheese Pairing | $35
1:15-2:15 p.m. | Cheesemaking | Free
2-3:30 p.m. | Mixology | $35
2:15-3:15 p.m. | Cooking demonstration | Free
3-7 p.m. | Pedal and Pinots | $55
3:15-4:15 p.m. | Cheesemaking | Free
4:30-6 p.m. | Winemaker for a Day | Ritz-Carlton | $120
4:30-6 p.m. | Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook Off | $15
6:15-8 p.m. | Charbay Release Party & concert | $75
6:30-9 p.m. | Harvest Dinner | Ritz-Carlton | $125
8:30-10 p.m. | Joe Craven concert | $15 advance, $20 at gate

Sunday, Sept. 8*
10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Garden Tour | Area venues | $15, $10 members
11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Gourmet Marketplace | Free
1-4 p.m. | Culinary Grand Tasting | $75 advance, $95 at gate

*Events in Village at Northstar unless otherwise noted