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‘Culinary King of the Mountain’ Returns With New Lineup of Top Idaho Chefs

Shore Lodge hosts competition as part of annual Spring Culinary Festival

The kitchen is heating up once again as Idaho’s top chefs prepare to battle it out for one of the Gem State’s most sought-after titles, Culinary King of the Mountain. On April 11, McCall’s Shore Lodge will host the cooking competition as part of the resort’s second consecutive Spring Culinary Festival, April 10-12. Joining the iconic resort’s own Executive Chef Steven Topple will be Chris Kastner of CK’s Real Food in Hailey, Idaho; Wiley Earl of Àlavita and Fork restaurants in Boise and Aaron Wermerskirchen of Juniper on 8th, also in Boise.

The festivities will begin on Friday, April 10 at 6 p.m. with an evening of education and entertainment. Event guests will be welcomed to one of four simultaneous cooking classes, each taught by a featured chef. Following the demonstration, guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle, enjoying heavy passed appetizers and a no-host bar, at a special Meet The Chefs reception beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The events continue the following morning with the Culinary King of the Mountain competition, which will operate much like Food Network’s hit show “Chopped”, at 9:30 a.m. Each chef will lead a team of three sous chefs, comprised of the first 12 people to book the all-inclusive VIP Chef’s Package. At the start of each of the three 30-minute rounds, the teams will be given a mystery basket of ingredients to incorporate into each dish they prepare, starting with appetizers, on to entrees and finally, desserts. Each round will be assessed by an esteemed panel of judges, including Guy Hand, writer for Edible Idaho; Justin Ennis, winemaker at Joseph Phelps Vineyards; and a yet-to-be-announced celebrity chef.  Chef Alan Turner of Agri Beef will return as the event’s emcee. At the end of three single elimination rounds, the Culinary King of the Mountain will be crowned. During the competition, attendees can also shop the farmer’s market, featuring local and regional farmers, wineries and purveyors.

That evening, the chefs will put the rivalry aside and come together for a five-course collaborative wine dinner featuring one dish from each participating celebrity chef expertly paired with a varietal from Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Winemaker Justin Ennis will be on hand to share the nuances of each wine and food pairing.

The weekend will draw to a close on Sunday, April 12 with a celebratory champagne brunch.

The 2015 Shore Lodge Spring Culinary Festival is available for attendees at $739 per couple or $529 per person, plus taxes and gratuities. The package includes two nights in a signature Shore Lodge Lake View Suite and entrance into all events throughout the weekend.

Those looking to compete alongside Idaho’s best chefs, limited to 12 lucky guests, can book the VIP Chef’s Package, which includes a two night stay, entrance into all events and a spot on one of the four teams along with welcome kit, filled with culinary goodies and their own professional grade chef’s coat. The Chef Package is available for $879 per couple or $589 per person.

A la carte event tickets are also available. For more information and to make reservations, visit