Autumn Food And Wine Festival with Chef Mark Jeffers

Next month marks the beginning of fall, which means that Lake Tahoe’s premier food event, the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, is just around the corner. Voted one of the nation’s best food festivals by USA Today, the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival is in its 32nd year, featuring a weekend chock-full of first-rate experiences for foodie lovers at Northstar California.

Among the weekend’s festivities are a number of events mid-mountain at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. As such, today we have Chef Mark Jeffers, executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, sharing a few things he’s most looking forward to at his first Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival.

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Getting kids involved in the kitchen.

I love having the opportunity to let children explore their creative side and get involved in “the kitchen.” And this is exactly what kids will be able to do during The Ritz-Carlton’s Backyard Brick Oven Experience on the first day of the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival.  Kids can stretch dough, choose toppings and fire their creations in our outdoor backyard brick oven. It’s a fun and casual way for families to start the weekend’s celebration as they arrive to town on Friday.

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The Tahoe Long Table Harvest Dinner.

Naturally, I’m most excited for our signature event, the Tahoe Long Table Harvest Dinner. Taking place in an intimate al fresco setting on the Fireside Terrace, it’s the perfect venue to showcase the talent of our chefs.  We’re pulling out all the tricks for this family-style dinner to create culinary memories for those who attend. What's more, autumn is my favorite season for fresh products, so I can't wait for the Autumn Food and Wine Festival to pair those still amazing sweet summer fruits with incoming savory fall vegetables. 

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Champagne brunch, obviously.

We offer a Champagne Brunch every Sunday at Manzanita, with it continuing to gain popularity as we elevate the offerings, which most recently has included the addition of Bloody Mary cocktails and an unlimited champagne bar. I think our Champagne Brunch is the perfect way to start the day before heading down to the Grand Tasting at Northstar California.

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Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition.

It's a honor to be a part of the festival’s main event, the Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition, featuring food from 25 of the region’s top chefs. I’m thrilled to showcase a taste of Manzanita at this year’s grand tasting to both locals and visiting guests to the region who may have not had the opportunity to dine with us yet. Of course I’m also eager to sample and sip the offerings from my fellow culinarians throughout the region.

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Chef cook-off.

Lastly, after hosting Best of Tahoe Chefs earlier this year at the resort, I’m very excited to see some familiar Lake Tahoe chefs compete at the Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook-off.  Chefs are competitive by nature, so this will be quite the showdown, featuring two of the region’s top chefs going head-to-head. This year I’m scoping out the competition so I can cast my ticket to compete next year!

Chef Mark Jeffers has led dining programs at some of the top hotels in The Ritz-Carlton collection, including The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. He now serves as executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, where he oversees all culinary operations at the resort. Look for him throughout this year’s Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival weekend, and don’t miss his culinary creations at the Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition.

Chef Mark Jeffers has led dining programs at some of the top hotels in The Ritz-Carlton collection, including The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. He now serves as executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, where he oversees all culinary operations at the resort. Look for him throughout this year’s Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival weekend, and don’t miss his culinary creations at the Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition.