South Tahoe’s Sample the Sierra, a farm-to-fork event, sees huge turnout |

South Tahoe’s Sample the Sierra, a farm-to-fork event, sees huge turnout

Jack Barnwell
Susie Cheatley, event manager at Lake Tahoe Golf Course, offers up a mac and cheese ball to an event-goer at Sample the Sierra on Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Bijou Community Park.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Sample the Sierra, South Lake Tahoe’s farm-to-fork festival, sizzled with success on Sunday, Sept. 6, as 1,500 locals and visitors turned out to taste local cuisine and sip a glass of beer or wine at Bijou Community Park.

More than 50 vendors participated in the event as breweries and wineries teamed up with local restaurants to pair offerings. Local and regional farms provided ingredients for culinary delights.

Live music, performed by South Lake Tahoe band Little Town and The Connor Party, hit the main stage, while festival-goers mingled and browsed a wide selection of craft booths and local vendors.

A large audience also surrounded the fourth annual Sierra Chef Challenge. Four local chefs — Riva Grill on the Lake’s Peter Brinkerhoff, Echo Lodge at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel’s Salvador Delgado, Blue Angel Cafe’s Glen Simpson, and Cold Water Brewery and Grill’s Justin Kaplan — donned aprons and cooked up a storm.

All had to improvise with ingredients provided, in addition to their own, and impress judges. Kaplan, a first-time participant, took the crown, out-cooking Brinkerhoff, a two-year winner.

The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce sponsors Sample the Sierra, now in its sixth year. The goal is to bring local restaurants, farmers, breweries, wineries, and distilleries together, along with exposing locals and visitors to the variety of regional foods.

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