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Idaho’s Farm to Chef Connection: Lodgepole + Wing Over Farm

Moscow, Idaho, home to one of the top ranked farmers markets in the nation, is an agricultural college community proud of its locavore culture. While the area is known as America’s breadbasket, its abundant bounty of locally grown fresh produce is a factor that weighed heavily in the decision to open Lodgepole restaurant in the Palouse Region.

Husband and wife team, Chef Alex and Melissa Barham, have worked together for many years, he in the kitchen and she managing the front end of upscale eateries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Since Lodgepole first opened in 2015, Chef Alex and his wife, Melissa, have utilized connections to local purveyors of produce, protein, craft foods and wines, building a strong network within their local food supply chain. 

Today, Lodgepole is a sophisticated yet cozy locavore haven with a menu drawn from family traditions, personal adventures and classic American cuisine. The menu rotates based on the seasonal availability, but there is one mainstay dish that Chef Alex insists will never go away- his achiote-glazed pan-roasted chicken, inspired by a recipe made by his mother-in-law. 

The couple certainly walk the talk when it comes to prioritizing locally sourced products and even though it can be challenging given the short growing season, the Bahrams have committed to buying ingredients directly from area producers like Affinity Farms, Deep Roots and Spring Valley and Pokey Creek Farm. We followed along with them on a recent sourcing trip to Wing Over Farm, an urban farm located on just under 2 acres in the heart of downtown Moscow. While there, we got to learn a little about the creative and collaborative process between chef and farmer working within limitations of the seasonality windows. 

As Chef Alex says, “buying food where you are and cooking with products growing where you are at, can be challenging, but you will always get a better product…The depth of flavor is just incredible.”

Idaho Preferred’s “Idaho Farm to Chef Connection” is a special video series featuring chefs from throughout the state of Idaho who are committed to using locally-sourced ingredients from Idaho farm and ranch families.  We are delighted to feature these culinary artists and their farm-to-fork restaurants. When dining out, please look for the Idaho Preferred logo to know that your restaurant commits to using locally sourced, Idaho ingredients in their menus.