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**Idaho’s Farm To Chef Connection** A Foodie’s Guide to Idaho’s Farm-to-Fork Movement

If you’re a foodie who loves locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients, then you’re in for a treat in Idaho. Idaho is home to a thriving farm-to-fork movement, with chefs across the Gem State forging genuine connections and building solid relationships with local farmers who commit to using farm-grown ingredients in their dishes. This focus on farm-to-table fare made from locally sourced ingredients has helped put Idaho on the culinary map. Notably, several Idaho chefs were named as James Beard Nominees in recent years, and we even feature one James Beard Finalist in this series!

Great things happen when farmers and chefs connect. Food gets fresher and healthier while nourishing local economies. That’s what Idaho Preferred’s new video series on Farm-to-Chef Connections is all about!

Idaho Preferred, a program that promotes locally grown and raised products, and the farmers, ranchers and food crafters behind the products, has highlighted the importance of these connections in a special six-part video series. The series features Idaho chefs from Boise to Sandpoint to Twin Falls and Moscow, with menus that consistently showcase the unique terroir and flavors of each respective region’s local Idaho food scene.

At the heart of this movement are the farmers and ranchers who are growing and raising the ingredients that make Idaho cuisine so special. By supporting Idaho farmers and incorporating their farm ingredients into their dishes, these Idaho chefs are helping to strengthen local economies and enhance our overall quality of life.

Watch each episode below as we explore these tasty connections all over the state!

In Boise, we feature Chef Kris Komori of KIN, Chef Edward Higgins of The Lively and Chef Nate Whitley and business partner Remi Courcenet of Terroir Wine & Butchery, all of whom are among Southwest Idaho’s chefs leading the way in the farm-to-fork movement. These chefs have built strong relationships with local farmers, and consistently feature fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced directly from area farms on their menus. In March, 2023, five time James Beard nominee, Chef Kris Komori, advanced as a James Beard Finalist and will be traveling to Chicago later this year for the prestigious award ceremony.  

Chef Alex Jacobsen and his wife, Brittany, of Pearl’s on the Lake, are another culinary couple who are committed to using locally sourced ingredients in his dishes. Located on the eastern shores of Lake Pend Oreille in Hope, Idaho, the restaurant is a real treasure! Chef Alex has committed to working closely with several North Idaho farmers and incorporate Idaho-grown products into his menu. The result is a rotating, seasonal menu that is mouth watering.

Yellow Brick Café, located in downtown Twin Falls, Idaho, is led by Head Chef and Owner, Kathy McRae, and Chef Jimmy Vasquez, who are also among the Southern Idaho chefs passionate about sourcing local food. Chef Kathy and Chef Jimmy plan seasonal menus months in advance, and contract with numerous local farmers who grow produce to accommodate the Cafe’s seasonal, rotating menus. This preparation to source local farm ingredients for the cafe’s dishes has paid off, as the establishment has been nominated for several awards, including most recently “Idaho’s Best” Awards.

Husband and wife team, Chef Alex and Melissa Barham of Lodgepole are a dynamic duo who have been leading the way in the farm-to-fork movement in Moscow, Idaho. Moscow is a community proud of its agricultural heritage, and the Barhams love the ample opportunities to source and procure fresh, Idaho-grown produce from local Palouse farmers. The Lodgepole menu is a truly a celebration of the distinct flavors of Idaho.

Overall, the farm-to-fork movement in Idaho is a testament to the power of locally sourced, farm-grown ingredients. By supporting Idaho farmers and committing to using fresh, Idaho-grown farm products in their dishes, these Idaho chefs are helping to promote local agriculture, strengthen Idaho’s economies, and create delicious meals that showcase the unique terroir of our beautiful Gem State. If you’re a food explorer looking for a culinary adventure, be sure to put these Idaho farm-to-fork restaurants on your list of must-visit destinations.