Chef Mark Tarbell featured at annual South Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival |

Chef Mark Tarbell featured at annual South Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival

Adam Jensen
Chef Mark Tarbell is among the chefs participating in the sixth annual Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival this weekend.
Courtesy photo |

South Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival schedule

Friday, Oct. 16

Sake Tasting – Harrah’s Sushi Kai, 10-11 p.m.

PEEK Kick-Off Party – Harrah’s PEEK Nightclub, 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

Saturday, Oct. 17

Grand Market Expo – Harveys Convention Center, 1-3:30 p.m.

Wine 101 – Harrah’s Friday’s Station Steak & Seafood Grill, 4-5 p.m.

President’s Dinner with Mark Tarbell – Harveys 19 Kitchen • Bar, 5-7 p.m.

Gin Blossoms in concert – Harrah’s South Shore Room, 7:30-9:15 p.m.

Whiskeys of the World – Harrah’s Cliché Lounge, 10-11 p.m.

Grey Goose Night at PEEK – Harrah’s Peek Nightclub, 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

Sunday, Oct. 18

Farewell Champagne Brunch – Harrah’s Forest Buffet, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mark Tarbell is the celebrity chef at this year’s South Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival, but he is far from the only highlight at the sixth annual event, which features a wide selection of food and spirits this Friday though Sunday, Oct. 16-18, at Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe.

Tarbell was the winner of the fifth season of “Iron Chef America.” He was also nominated for “Best Chef – Southwest” by the James Beard Foundation and has been invited to cook for everyone from the Dalai Lama to Muhammed Ali to Clint Eastwood, according to a press release for the festival. Tarbell will host several events throughout the festival, including Saturday night’s Presidents Dinner at Harveys Lake Tahoe, which includes a four-course dinner prepared by the chef.

The food and wine festival has grown steadily since its inception, and organizers try and bring new flavors to the festival each year, said Harrah’s and Harveys spokesman John Packer.

“We just kind of try and mix it up,” Packer said. “A lot of the people who come to this come every year, so you don’t want to have everything be the same.”

The festival begins Friday evening with a sake tasting at Sushi Kai on the second floor of Harrah’s and a kick-off party at PEEK Nightclub. Festival events ramp up Saturday with the Grand Market Expo from 1-3:30 p.m. The expo includes 32 booths offering samples from Harrah’s properties from around the country, local favorites and a variety of libations. Additional events on Saturday evening include Wine 101 with Master Sommelier Luis Dos Santos at Harrah’s Friday’s Station Steak & Seafood Grill and Whiskeys of the World at Harrah’s Cliché Lounge. During the latter event Master of Whiskey Tom Turner will discuss and provide samples of a variety of whiskeys.

“He’s terrific,” said Gary McGlaun, director of food operations for Harrah’s and Harveys. “He really knows his whiskey and is very entertaining.”

On Sunday the festival concludes with a Farewell Champagne Brunch at the Forest Buffet at Harrah’s.

“Harrah’s and Harveys chefs will be preparing some of the scrumptious selections, including made-to-order omelets, traditional breakfast delights, specialty salads, fresh fruits and an extraordinary dessert bar, not to mention breathtaking views from the restaurant’s 18th floor aerie,” according to the press release.

Events at the festival are individually ticketed and prices vary.

For more information visit Patrons must be at least 21 years of age to attend. Tickets are available through and at Harrah’s and Harveys box offices.

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