Best of Valley
struts its tasty stuff
Switch to Ketchum
park a crowd pleaser
Express Staff Writer
For the 7th
year, event organizer Bob Bolton threw what he calls an
Drum, of Omlays in Ketchum, serves up her tasty and popular spring
rolls at the 7th Annual Best of the Valley in Ketchum. Express photo
by Willy Cook
the Valley, a culinary event par excellence, is now an institution on
the weekend preceding July 4. The money raised from the fund-raiser held
Saturday supports the Blaine County Teen Advisory Council and the
programs it sponsors, such as the TGIF bus.
not as many corporate tables were sold this year, the "good news
was the walk-in traffic was a huge part of it. We netted as much as last
estimated 1,400 people came through the park over the course of the
afternoon and evening.
reason for so many walk-ins this year was the venue change from Elkhorn
to the Forest Service Park in Ketchum. Bolton said it "absolutely
it was bigger because of being in Ketchum."
situated around the park’s paved courtyard, 24 restaurants served up
goodies for the enthusiastic crowd.
seemed to like the venue. It was more intimate, like a community event
instead of out in Elkhorn," said co-organizer Susie Wrentmore of
the Blaine County Recreation District.
Sean Cross and Brendan
Dennehy, co-owner of Red Elephant Saloon, slice into some prime rib, which proved to be a favorite with the discerning diners who showed up at Best of the Valley Saturday evening.
Express photo by Willy Cook
lot of people came for the first time and were shocked to find out it
was the seventh annual."
country, blues and rock band, R&R, played until 9 p.m., an hour
after the usual shut down time due continued dancing.
by Heidi Albrecht from the Creativity Camp, there were activities for
kids, such as a hockey shoot run by members of the Sun Valley Suns,
balloon animals, face and rock painting, a fortune teller and a cake
walk. "That’s what makes it so nice. Parents can enjoy the food
and the kids are kept busy," Wrentmore said. "I even saw
adults participating in the cake walk. It was a big hit."
the starring attraction—the plentiful food—"People ranted and
raved," said Bolton. "It was just decadent."
biggest line was in front of the back country catering concern, Doug
King’s Smokehouse, who was serving smoked pork loin, prime rib and leg
of lamb, Mississippi slaw, Deep South beans and artichoke rice.
Grill had grilled flat iron steak with a Brazilian sweet rub "that
was to die for," said one diner licking his lips.
hundred shucked oysters from Ketchum Grill went like that," said
another man, snapping his fingers.
places represented were the new East Ave. Bistro, Sawtooth Club,
Roosevelt Tavern, Evergreen Restaurant, Cotton Wood Cooking and
Catering, Rik Lum’s catering, and deserts from Christina’s, which
"were ungodly," said Bolton.
was a little bit of everything."
year, rather than the silent auction, a raffle was held for such items
as helmets from Sturtevants, turkeys from Atkinsons’, Jytte hats,
Comme les Filles packages, oil changes from the Car Doctor, sunglasses
and goggles from Smith Carerra, and items from the Toy Store.
Valley Brewery sold beer and the Rec. District bought and sold the wine
donated drinks and products, Atkinsons’ Market donated flowers for
centerpieces, and for the seventh straight year, Ameripride donated all
the cumulative efforts of people stepping up—volunteers are huge. It
turned out to be a blast," Bolton said.
already considering the future. He’s hoping "by year 10," to
work closely with the Ketchum Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce to merge
Best of Valley with all the activities that regularly take place over
the 4th of July.
should be a happening thing where people will come for the whole
that. Now pass the ribs.