For about 4 years, my friend Barbara Sidway has been trying to get me to come and participate in the Taste of Baker, and now I know why!
The town closes its main street and lines up 34 food vendors / restaurants, to serve a “one bite” to the patrons who buts tokens for $1. So the plan was set and I am going to be the guest chef for the Geiser Grand Hotel. I decide to serve Tri Tip with Chimichurri and a Brown Butter Brown Sugar Grilled peach, topped with my “world famous” Huckleberry Peanut Butter BBQ sauce.
So with my books, hats for sale, and a trusty assistant from the Hotel , Josh, we sell out within the first hour, as the lines were sometimes 25 long waiting to get my bites. Adding to the angst, I had to let the Tri Tip rest for 10 minutes each time. The people of Baker were very kind having an outsider participate in their flagship community event, really personifying the “main street America” feel the whole town has.
In the middle of all this, Barbara and her head chef Eric and I decide that we would like to do a Wild Chef inspired dinner at the Hotel. Wild game like Boar and Elk have been chosen ads the main proteins. It will be epic and we are expecting about 250 people. Stay Tuned for the details! Its nice to be recognized for my Food Network experience, as people were curious and telling me I’m kind of a big deal. But please, I know that, you don’t have to tell me (I’ll tell you)!
A few months ago, I spent some time in Baker City to visit my friend Barbara Sidway, who just happens to own and operate The Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City Oregon. Known for its elegance and spiritual shenanigans, she is kind of a big deal. And believe me, I know what a big deal is.
Barbara was one of the founding members of Main Street America. It was great to catch up with her and hear of the improvements planned for the Hotel. The National Main Street Center was established as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, as a way to address the myriad issues facing older and historic downtowns during that time. Working with a nationwide network of coordinating programs and local communities, Main Street has helped over 2,000 communities across the country bring economic vitality back downtown, while celebrating their historic character.
An exciting new chapter for the organization began on July 1, 2013, when the National Main Street Center launched as an independent subsidiary of the National Trust. This transition enables Main Street to build on its three-decade record of success, with new leadership and new resources that will help communities respond to the evolving needs and opportunities in the commercial district revitalization field.
In 2015, the Center launched a new program brand for the network of Main Street programs—Main Street America™—to reinvigorate our collective look, feel, and strategy to position Main Street as a leader locally, regionally, and nationally.
But I digress…
Yeah, that’s all very nice sounding stuff, but what did I get into while I was there?
Got to spend some time with her chef, who was wrapping up a buffet Breakfast. I asked to see the biscuits for his biscuits and gravy and what I found was Drop Biscuits, hmmm, I don’t know how I feel about that. I offered to share my “go to” biscuit recipe because this is the kind of place that you want everything to be first class, 5 Star! I need to make a trip and spend some time with him, maybe encourage a “In The wild Chef” inspired Breakfast menu.
My friend Barbara, who has been trying to convince me to do Taste of Baker, finally gets me to agree. Shop, dine, unwind and taste downtown Baker City Oregon. Always the Saturday of the first full weekend in October (Friday Saturday Sunday) from 4 till 7 p.m. taste your way through the streets of beautiful historic downtown Baker City sampling the best of Baker City as you go, during the annual Taste of Downtown Baker City. Track your favorite tastes on your official “tasting spoon” and once you’ve enjoyed one taste from at least six different blocks, enter to win one of several great prizes
Local restaurants and participating businesses offering sample size bites of their tastiest recipes in exchange for “Taste Tokens”. Taste Tokens are $1 each and will be available at several downtown locations throughout the event Menu items priced depending on individual menu item. Hosted by Baker City Downtown, the taste of Downtown Baker City is a perfect way to celebrate fall’s arrival and all things culinary.
So stay tuned for an update from Baker City, Oregon, and Taste of Baker!
Eat Well Outdoors, In The Wild Chef- Older, Wilder!