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Idaho’s Farm to Chef Connection: The Lively

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 you dine out, remember to look for the Idaho Preferred logo to ensure the establishment commits to using locally sourced, Idaho grown ingredients.

Collaborating with Idaho’s Farm and Ranch Families

His resume and credentials are impressive; he has worked in food meccas around the world including San Francisco, Tokyo, Boston, Portland, and Hawaii. He trained in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan and earned New York’s Insieme Restaurant a Michelin Star. Even so, Tendai Buddhist Priest and The Lively’s Executive Chef, Edward Higgins, values simplicity and resourcefulness.

That’s why relocating to Boise was an easy decision for Edward. He was happy to join the food community in Southwest Idaho with its abundance of agricultural resources available just outside his door. “It’s a pretty amazing place for someone who does what I do.” 

We caught up with Chef Higgins on a day when he was making a family recipe, Agnolotti, using eggs and pork from Southwest Idaho farm, McIntyre Pastures.

“McIntyre is an easy fit,” Edward said. “They take the time to do it the right way, with a hands-on approach that gives them the ability to do what it is they feel produces the best flavor, not some predetermined profit margin.”

Edward shared that he was raised in a family that valued the local economy, and relied on building strong relationships, “the theory being if you are to keep it simple, it has to be good, and in order for it to be good, it has to be from a verifiable source, someone with integrity, sharing the same values that you have.”

Chef Higgins makes it a point to regularly stock the Lively’s kitchen with ingredients from local Idaho farmers, ranchers and food crafters. Folks like Purple Sage Farms, Ballard Dairy, Idaho Springs, Gutierrez Family Farms, and Acme Bakery, are but a few of the purveyors with whom Chef Edward has built solid relationships. In fact, these farm and ranch families are fondly referred to as “collaborative partners” at The Lively, and are regularly featured on the seasonal menus.

Higgins sums up his basic kitchen philosophy this way: “We take what is already here and humbly do what we can to not screw it up, put it onto a plate and highlight what’s beautiful about Boise and the treasure valley and beyond.”

Patrons have many options when it comes to enjoying a culinary experience at The Lively, from elevated dining to a proper afternoon tea and even one-off special holiday events. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the farm-fresh small plates or cocktails in the speakeasy, Bar Gibbon, which boasts “drinks for everyone,” including mocktails for the sober-curious crowd that are as impressive as any of the spirited drinks. All drinks are made with only the finest ingredients—spirits, fresh-squeezed juices and house-made shrubs.

If you have been wanting to try The Lively and the Bar Gibbon, there is no better time than now, since the speakeasy is taking part in this year’s Taste of Downtown Boise event, featuring Nonna’s Meatballs.