Written by Suzie Dundas

Summer 2019’s Sierra Scoop is all about the North Shore, with a variety of major food and restaurant moves.

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The Tahoe Food Hub, which serves North and South Lake Tahoe as well as Reno and Carson City, may best be known for the Farm to Market Program (F2M) that connects local farmers with businesses and individual consumers.

As of mid-May, it also may be known for its Tahoe Food Hub Farm Shop, which opened near the Truckee airport and replaces the former Tahoe Food Hub storefront near Alpine Meadows. The new shop will be open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturdays. It will carry produce as well as specialty items such as dairy products, tortillas, and salsa.

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Tahoe Food Hub Director Susie Sutphin welcomes visitors to the new Farm Shop in Truckee. Photos by Susie Sutphin/Tahoe Food Hub

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Tahoe Food Hub Director Susie Sutphin welcomes visitors to the new Farm Shop in Truckee. Photos by Susie Sutphin/Tahoe Food Hub

Later this year, its programs for locals will expand, including the Harvest to Order Program (H2O) that allows locals to shop online and pick items up in the Farm Shop. According to Tahoe Food Hub Director Susie Sutphin, the new space will allow the food hub to expand its meat program, thanks to large freezers, and host events including pop-up dinners, guest speakers, and cooking workshops throughout the year. The larger space also will allow the food hub to expand the F2M, now in its sixth year.

“Our goal is to build a local food system, and our Farm to Market Program is creating the infrastructure for that to happen,” Sutphin says. “We have bootstrapped this effort from the beginning, being cautious and deliberate to grow and expand with intention. After six years, we are ready to let off the reigns and really see what we can do.”

Tahoe Food Hub
12116 Chandelle Way, Ste. D
530-562-7150 • Tahoefoodhub.org

Residents in Tahoe may also have noticed there’s a new lunch option in town offering ceviche, tortas, quinoa bowls, and other creative options. It’s called the Truckee Food Shop, and it first opened its doors in late May.

It’s the first restaurant from Mexican-born Eduardo Diaz De Leon, who first went to law school in Mexico before heading to culinary school at the Dubrulle International School of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, Canada. De Leon says his experiences with Mexican, Californian, and Pacific-Northwest cuisine influence the Truckee Food Shop’s menu, which always is in small batches and cooked daily in house.

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Photo courtesy of Tahoe Food Shop

Though De Leon worked in high-end restaurants and as a private chef before relocating to Truckee in 2010, he says the Food Shop’s atmosphere is designed to be affordable and low-key.

“I've cooked everything as a private chef for wealthy families, but there's no reason the same quality of food shouldn't be for everyone,” he says. “The Truckee Food Shop fulfills a dream for me — a beautiful space amid the mountains where I can create delicious, healthy-tasting food.”

Truckee Food Shop uses compostable boxes and encourages guests to bring their own containers for to-go orders.

Truckee Food Shop
12030 Donner Pass Road, Ste. 3, Truckee
530-214-8935 • Truckeefoodshop.com

North Lake Tahoe residents who are in the know about the lake’s cocktail scene may be familiar with Old Trestle Distillery, but what they may not know is that the business has been expanded and revamped with master distiller Jake Holshue at the helm. Holshue, who hails from Montana but has worked at distilleries around the country, says that he aims to create spirits truly native to the North Shore. In addition to using alpine water as the base, Old Trestle even employs a part-time forager whose primary role is to locate new ingredients for gins and whiskeys, such as manzanita blossoms and western juniper.

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Master distiller Jake Holshue examines a bag of dried manzanita blossoms, which will be used in Old Trestle Distillery’s spirits. Photo by Suzie Dundas

While Old Trestle’s popular Theory Gin #1 is available at select Truckee restaurants, bigger plans are in the works: Old Trestle has announced plans to open a high-end tasting and cocktail-pairing restaurant on Truckee’s West River Street. The plan has recently passed the Truckee Planning Commission approval process.

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Photos by Suzie Dundas

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Photos by Suzie Dundas

Old Trestle Distillery
10434 River Park Place, Ste. 2, Truckee // , CA 96161 // 1
406-812-0240 • Oldtrestle.com

Other moves around the lake include...

  • Poke on the Lake
  • Northstar California announced its summer events, including an ongoing dinner series, “Sips & Salutations” wine and yoga classes, and dog-friendly brunches at Sawtooth Grille:
  • Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows is bringing back all the usual favorites, including:

      The Art, Wine, & Music Festival – July 13-14

      Brews, Jazz, and Funk Fest – August 10-11

      Foam Fest – August 30

      AlpenWine Fest – Sept. 1

Tickets for most can be purchased in advance online: SquawAlpine.com

  • A new restaurant opened in Schaffer’s Mill in early June. Under the direction of Michael Cappucetti, locally know as Chef Cappy, The Sawyer will offer creative American cuisine with a focus on shareable plates as well as plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free offerings. Reservations are required for non-Schaffer’s Mill residents:
  • In South Lake Tahoe, Empanash opened on Ski Run Boulevard. The family-owned restaurant serves homemade empanadas, with vegetarian and dessert options. It’s open daily until 8 PM midweek and 9 PM on the weekends.

A contributor reflects on sharing a little slice of Eastern Sierra paradise.
Story and photos by Jamie Della

I opened the cherrywood cabinet to showcase the array of herbs and spices for the three men visiting from China. Two years ago, my boyfriend Joey and I opened Sweet Water Hideaway Airbnb guesthouse in the Eastern Sierra in hopes of sharing and learning from our guests. Since then, we have hosted about 200 people from 20 countries.

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From left, Siwei, Joey, Jamie, Hao and Donglin

Donglin and Hao nodded enthusiastically and looked to Siwei, an English teacher living in Bejing, to translate. Siwei explained that they loved to cook and hadn’t had a chance to make any food, any comfort food, since their arrival in Los Angeles several days ago.

“May we cook for you?” Siwei asked.

When we arrived at the guesthouse with a bottle of wine to share, the table was covered with small dishes emanating an array of foreign-yet-comforting, layered flavors. We dove in with forks and chopsticks as Siwei explained that they had prepared homemade dishes found throughout China’s many regions, with ingredients bought at our local grocery store. Hao, from Guizhou, close to Hong Kong, was particularly proud of the “three slices salad” from his home town and the many hot peppers he could eat.

Donglin, who lives in Jiangsu near Shanghai, was overjoyed to share green tea he had brought from China, which we drank from ceramic pinch pots with both hands. When we asked if they were friends, Siwei told us they had found each other through a backpackers’ website called Qiangyou, although they were on a road trip with minimal hiking. I felt as if we had traveled across the world, yet we slept in our own bed that night.

Sofie and her father Peter, from Denmark, hiked up McGee Canyon (between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop) and brought back beautiful Sierra wildflowers for a shared dinner at sunset. They had traveled the Golden Triangle, a loosely followed road trip made by many Europeans, Asians, and East Coasters eager to explore the vastness of California through San Diego, Los Angeles, Death Valley, Yosemite, Tahoe, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Big Sur. Jeremy and his family from Northern Ireland spent the night in South Lake Tahoe before coming to our guesthouse, where their strapping sons jumped off pylons in unison, like a bloke’s version of Ethel Merman.

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The picnic table is set for summertime dinner with Sofie and Peter from Denmark

Bonnie, Raven, Susan, and Billie — nurses from Reno — joined us around the campfire in our backyard then invited us to the guesthouse for Bonnie’s exquisite, butter-rich dessert.

I couldn’t agree more when Bonnie said, “One of the great joys of traveling to an Airbnb is the opportunity to cook with and for each other. The kitchen is a magical crucible for delicious food and strengthened friendships.”

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Virginia Valdez Sandfer, a repeat guest, always brings a bottle of Matchbook Wine

Dave and his family arrived during fishing season in the Sierra and treated us to a barbecue of freshly caught rainbow trout. We shared Great Basin’s Icky IPA with Fiona and Graham from England, who told a knee-slapping yarn about reckless bidding on a pig at an auction during a beer festival. Gino’s soups from Great Full Gardens were a hit with Stuart, who rang in the New Year with us. Virginia and Shawn have made it a biannual trip to visit our guesthouse and bring Matchbook Wine from the Sacramento area so we can toast to our friendship.

Hosting an Airbnb gives me the gift of expanding my horizons, meeting new friends, and showcasing our slice of heaven here in the Eastern Sierra.

Jamie Della is an artist, whether throwing pottery in her home studio, crafting words into stories and books, creating a meal to share with friends, or cultivating the art of hospitality. She forever remains inspired by the wild beauty of Mother Earth and her global community.

Sweet Water Hideaway Guest House

Airbnb.com/rooms/17515341

 

Written by Sarah Parks
Sponsored Post

We all love those kitchens on the HGTV network, with the old farm table, vintage wood signs, and beautiful hanging lights.

Well, with a Reno DIY franchise expanding into Sparks, you don’t have to watch in envy anymore. Now you can stylize your own kitchen and bar over a glass of wine with custom-made signs. From farmhouse classic to vintage and timeless pieces, cultivate your inner DIY skills at a hands-on wood sign workshop!

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Dust Off Your DIY skills

Board & Brush is a custom wood sign workshop, helping creatives from all over Reno-Tahoe roll up their sleeves and put their imaginations to use. With a fully stocked bar serving beer, wine, or your favorite drink, Board & Brush allows guests to choose from many different sign designs for a variety of occasions and create them on the spot.

“There are more than 200 wood sign projects alone,” says Ashly Sloan-Brinkley, owner of Board & Brush in Northern Nevada. “We have porch welcome signs, baby signs, holiday and seasonal signs, USA-themed signs … And we release new designs every month, so there are always new things.”

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If you’ve never held a hammer or power tool, Sloan-Brinkley says, you don’t need to worry. Each workshop teaches you the skills and techniques you need to build a beautifully made, custom piece.

“When you come into the studio, you get to choose your stain colors, paint colors, finishes … so the whole look is designed by you in the workshop,” Sloan-Brinkley says.

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KITCHEN Dairy Farm Cow 20x24

Board & Brush provides a variety of experiences, from private workshops to gatherings for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, corporate events, and birthday parties.

Following the Signs

What started out as a girls’ night out with wine and crafts in the company founder’s Wisconsin basement soon developed into a business idea where people could come together and make something beautiful, all while enjoying some drinks with friends.

With more than 250 locations across the U.S., Board & Brush’s newest studio is opening right here in Northern Nevada. When the South Reno location opened two years ago, Sloan-Brinkley had not anticipated the amazing response.

“We actually had a lot of people coming in saying they were traveling from Sparks, Fernley, Fallon, and Spanish Springs. So I figured if people were willing to travel that far to come to the Reno location, it would make sense to open one up farther north.”

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KITCHEN Farm Trio 14x14 Framed

The Sparks location opened June 23 with a grand opening celebration. Sloan-Brinkley encourages everyone to come on down to check out the new location and book an event.

“It’s a super fun night out with friends. It’s a very social activity, and you also get to do something that maybe you’ve never done before,” she says. “Then you get to go home with a piece of artwork that you’ll actually hang on your wall, put on your front porch, or give as a gift.”

Board & Brush Sparks

2868 Vista Blvd. #108, Sparks

775-432-9007 • Boardandbrush.com/sparks

Board & Brush Reno

775-384-2466 • Boardandbrush.com/reno

Sarah Parks has always loved crafting. From going to crafting shows with her mom as a kid, to DIY’ing most of her own wedding, you’ll be able to catch her making custom signs at Board & Brush.

Reno-Tahoe’s dishing up limited spring crops (Hello, asparagus!).
Written by Claire McArthur

 

Late spring is marked by a number of things in the Reno-Tahoe region: idyllic warm days intermixed with surprise snow storms, new seasonal menus at your favorite haunts, and for those locavores following the grow cycle, the short-lived asparagus season.

As someone who finds ways to put five times the recommended amount of vegetables in every dish, it is no small thing for me to say that asparagus is my favorite veggie. I love it shaved, tossed in olive oil and placed atop a white pizza à la Smitten Kitchen. It’s the perfect potluck snack when wrapped in prosciutto and baked until crispy. And when blanched and puréed with butter, cream, chicken broth, and a dash of lemon into the classic French soup, crème d'asperges, it is nothing short of divine.

It’s an especially impressive vegetable when you consider that a crop will continue to produce yearly from its underground crown for upwards of 20 years.

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Two years ago I attended a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Lake Tahoe course devoted to growing asparagus in the Sierra Nevada. I was lucky enough to receive a half dozen crowns that are known to do well in mountainous terrains. As directed by the gardening gurus, I’m allowing my crop to establish itself for a couple of years before taking a harvest. It is by no means a crop for those who crave instant gratification.

So while the asparagus stock is available, make sure to pick up a bunch, along with other limited but lovely in-season crops we have hitting stores and farm stands across the region.

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NeuDay Farm in Winnemucca is just one of the many farms across the region producing beautiful radishes right now. Photo courtesy of NeuDay Farm

Lattin Farms (Fallon)

  • Asparagus (limited)
  • Green garlic

NeuDay Farm (Winnemucca)

  • Lettuce greens
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Chard

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Rhubarb is a harbinger of spring for farmers and home gardeners alike. Photo courtesy of NeuDay Farm

Ready to use that fresh bunch of asparagus? Try this recipe.

Curried Cream of Asparagus Soup

(courtesy of Jane Cudahy; adapted from “Beyond Parsley” (1984) by the Kansas City Junior League. Serves 6 to 8)

2 pounds fresh asparagus, peeled and cut into pieces

3 cups chicken broth

2 shallots, finely chopped

¼ cup butter

5 tablespoons flour

3 cups half and half

1 teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons sherry or lemon juice (optional)

In large saucepan, cook asparagus pieces, broth, and shallots until tender. Put in food processor and blend until smooth (strain if necessary to achieve desired texture). In the same saucepan, melt butter and add flour, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Next, add asparagus purée and half and half. Stir to combine. Add seasonings and optional sherry or lemon juice. Simmer 15 minutes. For garnish, make homemade croutons coated in butter and crisped up in the oven.

 

Claire McArthur is a freelance writer who is transported back to her family dining room in Kansas City every time she makes this asparagus soup recipe during the early spring months. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Delicious event returns to the Nugget this Memorial Day weekend.
*Sponsored Post

cuisinecorks

May 25-26, 2019

 

The second-annual NuggetCuisine, Corks & Crafts Festival will be the taste of the town this Memorial Day Weekend. The two-day event returns to the Nugget’s expansive Convention Center May 25-26 and promises to be packed with all things culinary.

Here’s what you’ll find…

 

CELEBRITY CHEF SHOWCASE

Chef, restauranteur, author, winemaker, and TV personality Fabio Viviani will headline the entertainment lineup with his Pasta Perfecto! Performance, including a post-show Q & A session, along with a book and bottle signing. A limited supply of Fabio Viviani Wines and his book, Fabio’s 30-minute Italian Cookbook, will be available for purchase during the event. 

Best known as a fan favorite on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Viviani also is a pioneer in fast-casual Italian dining. His presentations are infused with warmth and humor. Check out a few Fabio's Kitchen episodes for a taste of what you might expect.

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Lara Ritchie, esteemed local chef, owner, and culinary director of Reno’s Nothing To It! Culinary Center, will open the Chef Showcase with her Small Bites, Big Taste program. Chef Lara promises to show you that there is Nothing To It when it comes to creating great appetizers! Be sure to check out Lara’s Nothing to It! booth at the Vendor Expo for the latest in cooking gadgets.

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BATTLE BORN BEST CHEF COMPETITION & BRUNCH

Local chefs participate in a fun-filled event hosted by master chef and culinary storyteller Clint Jolly. Come cheer on your favorite chef while you stroll past tasting booths and enjoy an exquisite Sunday brunch prepared by the Nugget culinary team. Last year’s champion, Darrin McKillip from US Foods, will lead this year’s panel of judges. The competitors will each receive custom handcrafted cutlery from the official Battle Born Best Chef Competition Sponsor, Town Cutler.

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WINE & SPIRITS WALKS

 Savor the flavor of an array of wine, spirits, craft beers, and foods while you explore themed tasting booths presented by Southern Wine and Spirits, Morrey Distributing, US Foods, and other local partners. You may even enjoy a sampling from Anthony’s Chophouse menu, an all-new steakhouse coming to the Nugget this summer.

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FREE CULINARY & CRAFTS VENDOR EXPO

 Visit a variety of vendor booths presenting an array of crafts and culinary products and engage in free stage demos with experts offering tips and how-to’s, 2 – 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday.

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LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Enjoy the exotic sounds of Spanish guitarist and DJ Milton Merlos.

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EVENT SCHEDULE

Saturday, May 25

  • 2 - 9 p.m. FREE Culinary & Crafts Vendor Expo (Sierra Ballrooms)
  • 4 - 9 p.m. Celebrity Chef Showcase(Grand Ballroom - Festival Pass required)

Pasta Perfecto! – Chef Fabio Viviani

Small Bites, Big Taste – Chef Lara Ritchie

Wine & Spirits Walk (themed tasting booths)

Live entertainment with Milton Merlos

Sunday, May 26

  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.          FREE Culinary & Crafts Vendor Expo (Sierra Ballrooms)
  • 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.Battle Born Best Chefs Competition & Brunch (Grand Ballroom – Festival Pass required)

Culinary competition hosted by chef Clint Jolly

Sunday brunch buffet

Wine & Spirits Walk (themed tasting booths)

Live entertainment with flamenco guitarist Milton Merlos

TICKETS ON SALE NOW at NuggetCasinoResort.com.

 

1-Day Pass $45 (plus tax/fees) includes admission for all Saturday or Sunday events/tastings

2-Day Pass $80 (plus tax/fees) includes admission for both Saturday and Sunday events/tastings

 

* Vendor expo admission is FREE. Festival ticket required for these events.

nugget

Truckee non-profit praises community support as they reach the historic milestones.

Written by Tamsin Edwards

Photos by Erskine Photography

The community of Truckee was graciously thanked by the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association (TDMA) this week, ahead of the association’s 50th-anniversary celebrations next month.

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Since 1969, TDMA has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically with the local merchant community to support and sustain a vibrant and vital downtown for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike. The longstanding non-profit has dedicated itself to understanding the evolving needs of the community, ensuring economic success of businesses, providing sustainable and necessary maintenance of the infrastructure of the area, and, most of all, preserving the historic beauty and cultural heart of this small mountain town. Its members are passionately driven to cultivate community and connection, and this is evident in the number of events they have established, supported, and helped coordinate over the years.

Continental Cuisine

Truckee is a foodie’s haven. After a long day on the slopes in winter, or an afternoon spent lakeside in summer, historic Downtown Truckee provides a multitude of delicious options for the hungry visitor. Nestled among historic archways and saloons, and with the backdrop of a whistling train or live music, it offers everything from world-class culinary dishes to rustic and charming cafés, with many a hip brewery or old-fashioned milkshake thrown in for good measure.

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Culture, art, and an extensive history permeate the relaxing streets in many different guises throughout the year, and TDMA has been at the forefront of establishing many of them. Events such as Festive Fridays, summer’s famous Truckee Thursdays, the Fourth of July parade, and the Trick or Treat on Downtown Streets and Halloween Parade but a few of the cultural highlights of downtown that draw crowds and much-needed business to the area.

Sustained Support

Communication and collaboration with multiple Truckee-based supporting organizations — such as the Town of Truckee, Sierra Business Council, Truckee Arts Alliance, and the Truckee Chamber of Commerce — has been vital to the continued growth of TDMA and enabled it to provide a much-needed link for the merchants on the street and the decision-making boards, proving to be a winning formula over the many years that the TDMA has been in operation.

“By working together as one voice, we are more productive,” says Mike Preaseau, vice president, TDMA.

Cassie Hebel, TDMA’s executive director, echoes his sentiments on the importance of working as one for the benefit of all.

“TDMA is about community,” Hebel says. “We work to ensure economic vitality, historical preservation, and beautification of the heart and soul of Truckee for a viable, sustainable, and livable Truckee we call home!”

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An evening of celebration will be held on May 16th at 6 p.m. at the Community Arts Center. For more details on TDMA, visit Historictruckee.com

Tamsin Edwards is a South Lake Tahoe resident who frequently escapes to Truckee for a dose of much-needed culture, history, and art. You’ll find her most weeks of the summer at any one of the drool-worthy food stands during Truckee Thursday celebrations.

Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival Returns to Tahoe City

Stretch Your Mind Around These Types of Yoga
Sponsored Post

The ancient practice of yoga is thought to have started in the Indus Valley in India as early as 3000 BC. Yoga began as a practice to marry the soul, body, and heart to achieve divine enlightenment. Whether you believe in enlightenment or the spiritual aspirations of yoga or not, it is unarguably a wonderful way to unite the mind and body to build strength and awareness.

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Today, there are many types of yoga, all offering holistic approaches to well-being. Here is just a handful of the many types of yoga that exist including some unique modalities that you may not have practiced before.

Thai Massage

You may be surprised to see massage on here, but don’t be fooled. Thai massage incorporates massage principles into an assisted yoga practice. This modality dates back 2,500 years and is said to be a method practiced by Buddha’s physician, Shivago Kormapaj. No oils or lotions are used. Instead, Thai massage uses acupressure and deep stretching to relax and reinvigorate muscles.

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Mandalas on the Mat

Mandalas are geometric figures whose center represents the universe. All designs moving from that center represent the expansion of the universe. Like a color-therapy book, creating a mandala through yoga is relaxing and creative. Once the design has been laid, the flow of linking breath with movement will color the experience and leave practitioners feeling inspired, calm, and centered.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga blends bhakti (devotional chanting), raja (meditation), and shakti (the practice of power and energy) yogas. These modalities combine to create a form of yoga that is empowering, invigorating, and builds strong bonds between the people who practice it. It is a highly expressive form of yoga, which embraces imagination and creative expression through mantras, breath, and dance. It would be difficult to attend a Kundalini class and not leave feeling buoyant and invigorated.

Yoga 3

Yoga Medicine

Yoga medicine is a practice of fluidity, connection, and inspiration. It creates a lifelong practice of incorporating postures, breath, and meditation. Movement therapy is an intuitive approach to each individual that invites practitioners to explore their mental and physical needs and to respond in kind. This practice encapsulates foundation and strength while allowing the body to move in its most inherent, rhythmic way. It is designed to slowly build upon basic foundations, achieving balance and awareness in the body and mind over time.

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Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a form of yoga that we might consider “traditional” today. It focuses on asana (postures) and pranayama (breath) to engage the muscles and the mind through a flowing practice. Hatha translates from Sanskrit to “a union through discipline of force” and provides the means to build strength, promote relaxation, and to focus the mind.

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Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga focuses on precision. Postures are held for longer periods of time, and props are often used. This allows for practitioners of Iyengar to sink more deeply into poses and to perform adjustments that generate awareness of the practice on the body and mind. It was founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, a yogi who is largely credited with helping to popularize yoga in both the Western and Eastern hemispheres. Today, Iyengar is recognized as a deeply restorative practice, with a slower pace that allows for more dynamic movement and greater relaxation.

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Do you want to grow your yoga practice, or learn a new modality? The third annual Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival in Tahoe City brings together Tahoe-based instructors and healers for three days of exploration, inspiration, and camaraderie. The yoga practices above will be featured, as well as nature hikes, meditation, and a wide range of other wellness modalities. All workshops and meals are included in the $299 weekend pass, and lodging is available on site for discounted rates. You can view the full schedule of events here.

New event space, parties, product line, and menu at The Depot.
Written by Annie Flanzraich
Photos courtesy of The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery

Hold on to your hats (feathered or not). The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery in Reno is racing into its fifth year with singular parties, a new event space, and a way to bring the flavors of its kitchen, distillery, and brewery home.

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Fête by fête
The Depot’s parties celebrating Derby Day, Oktoberfest, and New Year’s Eve always have been a bit extra — in the best of ways. Now that the Fourth Street restaurant, craft brewery, and distillery has a new 9,000-square-foot event space (more on that in a bit), expect those shindigs to be even more extra.

On May 4, The Depot will host the 5th Annual Derby in that new event space — also known as Rick House. Tickets to the event, which are $35 and must be purchased in advance (get them here), include unlimited mimosas, Ranch Hand American Ale, mint juleps, hot brown sandwiches, and more. Fellow Fourth Street neighbor Nevada Sunset Winery will offer a private tasting of some of its wines at the event, says Brandon Wright, The Depot’s co-founder, brewmaster, and distiller.

Attendees will be able to watch the “most exciting three minutes in sports,” as Wright calls it, thanks to 16-foot video projection on one of the interior walls. For the other four hours and 57 minutes of the event, participants can peruse wares from local vendors, such as the Biggest Little Fashion Truck. Derby wear is encouraged, so, sport that seersucker. In need of a hat? Wright suggests participating in a Derby Day hat making class The Nest will host on May 1 in preparation for the event.

“It’s a good day to get out, enjoy the weather, and watch the race, and it’s a great excuse to day drink,” Wright says, adding, “But please, drink responsibly.”

The Depot has other events on tap for the year, including a new block party called Art On 4th that will take place during Artown on July 18. Presented by the Brewery District, of which The Depot is a part, the event will include a walking tour, live art, beer, food, music, and more. The Depot will be serving ballpark fare before the Reno Aces play the El Paso Chihuahuas at nearby Greater Nevada Field that night.

“Come have a dog and eat a beer with us and check out our longstanding neighbors or one of our cool new friends on the block,” Wright says.

As we move into fall and winter, The Depot also has plans for an Oktoberfest event and, of course, its annual New Year’s Eve affair.
“We like to party,” Wright says. “That’s why we’re in this business. We enjoy throwing these big events, and they’re just as much fun for us as they are for everybody else.”

Space to socialize
The Depot’s new event space — located to the west of its flagship, historic, three-story brick building — opened in December. It houses slumbering, 23-gallon barrels of whiskey and can accommodate about 200 revelers, yogis, or corporate warriors.

“We had people inquire as we were giving tours of the facility if they could have their retirement party or gathering, business lunch, whatever it may be,” says Nick Strowmatt, executive chef and general manager. “And we made it happen.”

The space’s two separate areas allow for multiple configurations or event opportunities, including corporate events, private whiskey tastings, yoga classes, and wedding receptions.

“It allows us to be super flexible and really create a unique experience every time we do one of those banquets,” Strowmatt says. “We can really tailor it to what the guest wants, and I think that we’re able to do that in a way that nobody else does.”

Inside, the space’s unadorned walls, high rafters dotted with bistro lights, and muted color palette make it a space that’s easy to transform with decor.

“It’s kind of a blank slate,” Strowmatt says. “We can do whatever we want in there.”

Provisions for all
Also implemented, in part due to popular demand, is Depot Provisions, a product line that allows gourmands to bring the restaurant’s artisanal flavors to their own kitchens.

“Our mission from day one has been to try and make as many things as we can, both to control the quality and the process,” Wright says. “For example, we wanted a house bloody mary mix that would complement our spirits, particularly our vodka.”

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Now, The Depot Craft Provisions’ Bold and Spicy Bloody Mary Mix is available on its own for $8 or paired with The Depot’s East Slope Vodka for $40. Find it at The Depot and other local retailers such as Raley’s.

Wright and Strowmatt also are collaborating with Hub Coffee Roasters to release barrel-aged beans.

“It’s kind of a perfect fit,” Wright says. “As our barrels run their course and reach the end of their lives for whiskey, we use them for aging coffee. Then, the Hub takes the beans and roasts them.”

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Hub Coffee Roasters in Reno uses bourbon barrels from The Depot to age coffee beans before roasting them

The coffee beans are honey-processed and sourced from Colombia’s Finca Santa Elena. Then they’re left unroasted to age in barrels, which formerly housed The Depot’s award-winning Biggest Little Bourbon. Beans aged in The Depot’s Rye Whiskey barrels are coming this summer.

“We’re really looking forward to that,” Wright says. “We use chocolate malted rye in our whiskey, and it brings this awesome kind of bittersweet chocolate note into the spirit, and it should impart that in the coffee as well.”

The rye-rested coffee should be available at The Depot and Hub locations in the next six to eight weeks, he says.

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The Depot’s popular Viking Blonde Barleywine is aged in Bourbon barrels

Canned, not bottled
Beginning this summer, The Depot will be offering canned versions of its beers for the first time, thanks to a new 35-foot-long canning system. The line outputs 65 cans per minute, which allows The Depot to can 900 gallons of beer in about six hours.

“We’ve been bottling some of our specialty ales and lagers since we opened, but because of the nature of the way we do it, and the scale at which we do it, it prohibits us from putting out some of our more seasonal beers,” Wright says. “We’re really looking forward to getting out into the market with new varieties and our IPA.”

The facility also will produce Battle Born Beer, Wright says. “We’ve been working with the owners in the Battle Born brand for about two years.”

Summer flavors
Warmer weather also will bring new items to The Depot’s menu — but don’t worry, the shishito peppers, mac and cheese bites, and burgers aren’t going anywhere.

“We’re going to start a rotating special,” Strowmatt says. “We’ll have six entrées that’ll change week to week and allow the chefs to play and get some new and exciting flavors out there.”

The rotating items will be inspired by seasonal ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible, keeping the menu fresh.

“We’re going to take a little bit more license with our creativity and move in that direction,” Strowmatt says.

 

Annie Flanzraich is a freelance writer and editor whose birthday is July 18. So she knows where she’ll be celebrating.

What’s in Season April 2019

Reno-Tahoe farmers prepare for spring planting.

Written by Claire McArthur

Photos by Charles Schembre, Desert Farming Initiative

It may be spring according to the calendar, but in the Reno-Tahoe region, it’s that time of year that I, with a tinge of irritation, refer to as “sprinter.” It only takes one look up at the snowy mountains to know what I’m talking about.

Some farmers are beginning to plant outside the hoop houses and tunnels, as the weather allows, but the produce is still aplenty from inside the protected grow houses.

It’s a tough balancing act for farmers each year to decide when to start planting and what to grow. The soil must be in the right temperature range and have the right moisture content. Cold, wet soil can invite rot or disease and is often more compact, which could impact the root growth. Overly drenched fields also have the potential for equipment to get stuck.

Though most of our regional farmers’ markets are still a couple of months off, that doesn’t mean you need to skip the local produce. Reno’s year-round market, Riverside Farmers’ Market, is held every Saturday through May from 9 a.m. to noon at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center (925 Riverside Drive) in Reno. In June, the market switches to Thursday evenings at the other side of the building.

Our beloved regional food hubs, Great Basin Community Food Co-op and Fallon Food Hub, also are great places to see what our farmers are growing this time of year.

And let’s not forget about the exciting opportunity to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with your local farmer.

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Many farmers have green mixes available for purchase at this time of year

So whether your tastes lean toward the spring side of “sprinter” — colorful salads and bright veggie dishes — or still dwell in winter — hearty stews and roasts — make sure to incorporate as much local, seasonal produce into your meals as possible. It’s good for your body, it’s good for your farmer, and it’s good for our communities.

Here’s what’s currently in season in the Reno-Tahoe area:

Desert Farming Initiative (Reno):

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Hoop houses and other indoor grows allow farmers to produce certain vegetables, like this butterhead lettuce, year round

  • Kale (green curly and Tuscan/dino)
  • Rainbow carrots
  • Romaine and butterhead lettuce
  • Spring green mix
  • Spicy greens
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Plant starts (tomatoes, peppers, kale, lettuce, and basil)

 

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Desert Farming Initiative has Siberian kale available to purchase right now

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Just because we’re not at the peak of produce season doesn’t mean you can’t keep your meals colorful and local. Desert Farming Initiative is producing this gorgeous little gem lettuce right now

 

Dayton Valley Aquaponics (Dayton):

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Slicer tomatoes
  • Sweet baby bell peppers
  • Hot chiles
  • Persian cucumbers
  • Mixed microgreens
  • Sierra blue tilapia

Prema Farms (Reno):

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Radishes are a great vegetable to add some crunch and spice to your salads, but they are also delicious sautéed in butter or roasted in the oven.

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Carrots
  • Japanese hakurei turnips
  • Winter baby arugula
  • Mixed salad greens
  • French breakfast radishes
  • Bacchus radishes
  • Beets
  • Bok choy
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach

Looking for an idea for how to use ripe spring produce? Try this delicious side dish.

Spiced Roasted Rainbow Carrots

(courtesy of Claire McArthur, freelance writer and home cook. Serves 4)

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Rainbow carrots are a beautiful vegetable to roast this spring (and chock full of nutrients, to boot)

1 pound rainbow carrots

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 fresh lemon

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel carrots and remove tops (save to use later in a stock or to make this delicious carrot-top pesto recipe). Depending on the size of your carrots, you can leave them whole or cut into slender sticks. On a baking sheet, drizzle the carrots with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon, and a few healthy grinds of salt and pepper, then toss again. Roast carrots in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until tender. Spritz with the fresh lemon and enjoy!

Story and photos by Asa Gilmore

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There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have had pickled eggs, and those who have not.

 

Of those who have had pickled eggs, most have had them in a proper bar—at least that’s where I was introduced to them. The kind where the bartender knows your name. The kind where having an American lager and a pickled egg is a pretty normal occurrence.

 

But what most people don’t know is that pickled eggs are a gourmet dishes.

 

There are varying levels of pickled eggs. The ones you buy in the store ... well, they taste like vinegar. They are to pickled eggs what “yellow cheese” is to Gruyère—they have the basics, but they’re not exactly the same thing.

 

Pickled eggs have an incredible amount of variety. Onions, garlic, all kinds of peppers, beets, and even asparagus and cauliflower can be included. But at a basic level, truly excellent pickled eggs should have a good brine, a hint of spice, and enough beets to give them color and flavor. And that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

 

Step-by-step guide to making perfect pickled eggs:

 

The first step, of course, is making hardboiled eggs. This is actually a somewhat complex task, as anyone who has hard boiled 75-plus eggs at once (as I have) will tell you. There are several schools of thought on this. If you’d like to explore them all, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats provides a thorough manual on how to do this. However, in my own personal experience, this method from The Pioneer Woman blog has been most reliable.

 

Once you have the eggs peeled and ready, you can move on to the true artistry of the pickled egg. All of the following may be modified according to your own taste. As an example, I made the most amazing batch of scorpion pepper pickled quail eggs just recently. And it was based on this same brine and recipe.

 

First of all, the brine. In a ratio of 1:1:1, mix distilled water, sugar, and white vinegar (apple cider vinegar or balsamic can certainly be used, but I would recommend starting with the basics until you know what flavor you’re going for). Simmer it until the sugar has dissolved.

 

While that is happening, slice some fresh beets and layer them in the bottom of a sterilized mason jar. Season to taste. I suggest adding some whole peppercorns, red chili flakes, and long slices of white onions (onions absorb flavor, white onions especially). I also add yellow banana peppers and jalapeño, according to your taste. You can add other vegetables if you want—cauliflower also will absorb the beet juice, as will asparagus and others. The peppercorns and beets are the main flavor enhancers.

 

Once the bottom layer is in place, add some eggs and another layer of beets and spices. Repeat this process until the jar is full, pour in the brine, seal, and put it in the refrigerator.

 

Do not touch it for at least a week. Two weeks is better. In my opinion, they begin to peak about three to four weeks in.

 

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When they’re done, the eggs will be both colorful and flavorful, soaked through to the yolk with the red from the beets. The longer you leave it in the brine, the more flavors it will absorb. If you like your eggs spicy, expect it to take longer.

 

Like I said, there are two kinds of people in the world. Pickled eggs are delicious.

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