Calendar: What, Where, When 

Filling your days with food events

Soul Food Extravaganza

Saturday, Aug. 4

Julia Davis Park, Boise

boisesoulfoodfestival.com

For one day each summer, Boise's Julia Davis Park fills with the undeniable smells and tastes of traditional Southern Soul Food--stuff that's good for your soul, if not your waistline. Boise's celebration is the oldest Soul Food celebration in the Northwest, marking its 19th anniversary. And for all those years crowds have flocked to the park to fill up not only on food but on live music. But this day isn't just about stuffing yourself, it also serves as a fundraiser for the Idaho Black History Museum and the Idaho Foodbank.


click to enlarge PAULETTE PHILIPOT
  • Paulette Philipot

Sun Valley Harvest Festival

Friday, Sept. 21-Sunday, Sept. 23

Sun Valley

sunvalleyharvestfestival.com

This festival is about some of the best things in life: food, wine and stunning scenery. The annual event includes wine tastings, a restaurant walk and even chef demos. And since the area is a bit of a dichotomy of cultures, the event is balanced by both a river guide cooking contest and a martini and caviar party. Of course, it's the Grand Tasting that caps off three days of foodie-centric happenings. Best yet, nearly every offering shows off the very best in local and regional cuisine.


Empty Bowls

Friday, Nov. 23

Grove Plaza, Boise

idahofoodbank.org

Each year on the day after Thanksgiving Idahoans have the chance to extend that warm-fuzzy feeling of giving at the annual fundraiser for the Idaho Foodbank. Lines stretch nearly the block at times as people queue up for gourmet soup made by some of the city's favorite restaurants. But more than just a warm meal, everyone takes home a handcrafted bowl donated by local potters and pottery shops. The bowls are the cherry-on-top of the knowledge that all proceeds are used to help keep those in need from feeling the pangs of hunger.


click to enlarge JOSH GROSS

Culinary Walkabout

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Boise Centre, Boise

elksmealsonwheels.org

Think of it as gluttony with a cause. Every year the Elks Rehab Center's Meals on Wheels program gathers several dozen of the area's best chefs to pamper ticket-holders with a full night of food, wine, music and a silent auction. Participants wander among the chefs, sampling their creations as they go. In the process of offering mobile calories, the event also raises money for the Meals on Wheels program, which makes sure that house-bound seniors in Ada County get hot meals.


click to enlarge LAURIE PEARMAN

Russian Food Festival

Mid-May 2013

St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church, Boise

stseraphimboise.org

If all you know about Russian cuisine is vodka and stroganoff, it's time to explore the rich cultural heritage of the area's Russian community--with your stomach. Each spring the community comes together for two days of celebration with not only food, but traditional Russian folk tales crafts and tours of the St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church. Those of you who want to catch a bite at the festival can gorge yourself and then take home even more so you can stock your freezer to get you through the rest of the year.


Greek Food Festival

Friday, June 7- Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Boise

serfes.org

The Greeks have gotten a lot of props for the whole inventing democracy thing, but they're also pretty damned good with a party. And no party is bigger for the Treasure Valley Greek community than the two days of the Greek Food Festival.

The grounds of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church are filled with the enticing scents of classic Greek dishes. And with any good party, there's always a wine and beer garden, plenty of music and dancing. Opa!


click to enlarge MATTHEW WORDELL

Savor Idaho

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Idaho Botanical Garden, Boise

savoridaho.org

While Idaho's wine industry has been overshadowed by those in neighboring states, the vineyards in the Gem State are holding their own.

Each June the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission gets wineries from across the state together for an afternoon in Idaho Botanical Garden, wine glass in hand, sampling the fruits of the labor of Idaho wine makers. And since nothing goes better with wine than a little food, some of the best chefs from around the area are on hand with an array of offerings.


click to enlarge JOSH GROSS

Deli Days

Mid-June 2013

Ahavath Beth Israel Congregation, Boise

ahavathbethisrael.org

Show up hungry when you head to Deli Days, because you will eat--a lot. Deli Days is the ultimate kosher celebration in the Treasure Valley, and it's sometimes the only two days when you can find homemade pastrami, corned beef on rye and kosher hot dogs. The event is a fundraiser for the congregation, housed in the oldest synagogue west of the Mississippi River--it has been used since 1896. But Deli Days is about more than food. The festival is filled with music from local musicians, as well as a community. But, yeah, it's mainly about the food.

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