The Ashland Culinary Festival is a yearly event that brings together some of the Valley’s biggest names in the Industry to celebrate Southern Oregon’s bounty of food, drink, talent and creativity. Career chefs, aspiring junior chefs, “foodies,’ local vendors and the general public all congregate at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites for one weekend of cut throat competition in which 12 outstanding local chefs, and their respective sous chefs, compete for the title of “Top Chef.”
Guests will sip, sample and explore the over 30 vendors offering local wines, brews, spirits, food and culinary themed products from around the Rogue Valley. Last year’s Festival saw over 1,500 tickets sold, and this year is projected to be even bigger. Standing Stone is incredibly proud to enter the competition with our Executive Chef, Raider Babcock representing the brew pub along with Sous Chef Jeff Hunt by his side. With a combined total of 40 years culinary experience, they are both ready to put their best knife forward when it comes to the competition.
Asked what their plan of attack is: “We plan to utilize these amazing ingredients as creatively as possible,” said Raider. “We’re not scared. A lot of people are scared of [secret] ingredients. We just see it as an opportunity to showcase them.”
“[Competitions like this] get the wheels turning for new ideas, new sauces, new toppings,’ said Jeff. ‘We also work exceptionally well together.'”
With a look of confidence Raider added, “It’s going to be a blast to showcase our abilities. We can’t wait.”
“The weekend also includes a ticketed event on Friday night (with a Mixology Competition and samplings), hands-on educational workshops, the 3rd annual Junior Chef competition, a Top Chef dinner and much more. With lodging packages available and many fall adventures to experience in and around Ashland, this will be an exciting, culinary event that welcomes both locals and visitors from around the West Coast.” – Ashland Chamber of Commerce.
Raider was recently invited to film a segment for KTVL Channel 10’s upcoming series “West Coast Flavors,” which will showcase the skills of some of the participating chefs in this year’s festival. During filming, Raider met with the show’s host, News Anchor and Reporter Trish Glose, and talked about Standing Stone’s dedication to sustainability, a healthy community and lessening the restaurant’s eco-footprint. One of the topics he also touched on was our very own “One Mile Farm (OMF),” where we raise our own, free range cows and sheep just one mile away from the restaurant.
It was also here that he demonstrated his skills behind a kitchen range, executing a current restaurant special: OMF beef tenderloin served with blackened corn, roasted mushroom and kale risotto in a creamy, parmesan sauce & house made red wine demi-glace.
This specific special not only features our own grass fed, grass finished beef, but it highlights the use of locally grown, fresh produce and house made sauces. It is currently available to our customers, for those of you who would like to sample a taste of Raider’s masterful execution.
As the competition approaches, we here at Standing Stone invite our loyal and local customers to check out the action, in person, at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites on November 8th – 11 th. Join us as we spread our message of sustainability and community, and participate in the local camaraderie of our Industry. Hope to see you there!