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Martin Yan coming to Tahoe for Food and Wine Festival

By September 21, 2010

Arts and entertainment columnist

In 1978, a new face appeared on PBS that taught many of us how to prepare healthy, fascinating Asian dishes. With a warm smile and gentle humor, Master Chef Martin Yan taught us ÒIf Yan can cook, so can you!Ó

From Chef Yan, I learned how to handle all the knives in my kitchen. One of my prized possessions is a genuine ÒMartin YanÓ cutting board and all-purpose kitchen knife. I can slice, dice and scoop ingredients with the best of them.

Chef YanÕs talent for food prep is as fun to watch as it is to taste. HeÕs been the celebrated host of more than 3,000 cooking shows including ÒYan Can CookÓ and has written more than 30 cookbooks.

Fans of Chef Yan and foodies in our area have a unique opportunity to see him in action, just Òup the hillÓ in South Lake Tahoe.

The ÒLake Tahoe Food & Wine FestivalÓ will take place Oct. 1-3 at HarrahÕs and HarveyÕs Lake Tahoe. This inaugural event is getting a tremendous kick-off with some of the heavy-weights in the culinary world, including Yan himself.

Events include lots of food and wine, plus discussions, presentations and demonstrations by celebrated food and wine experts including: Chef Yan, Gary Vaynerchuk, author and host of the video blog ÒWine Library TV;Ó Elizabeth Falkner, master chef and owner of Citizen Cake patisserie and Orson restaurant in San Francisco; and Anthony Bourdain, chef, raconteur, author of bestsellers including ÒNo ReservationsÓ and ÒMedium Raw,Ó and host of the popular travel and food series, ÒAnthony Bourdain: No Reservations.Ó

Of course, food and wine are the biggest stars at this event. A spectacular “Epicurean Expo,” featuring sumptuous dishes from HarrahÕs best restaurants across the country and the finest wines of Napa Valley and beyond, will highlight the weekend.

Yan will cook

The Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival kicks into high gear on Friday night with an ÒAsian Delights DinnerÓ at Gi Fu Loh restaurant at HarrahÕs. Gi Fu LohÕs Master Chef Hung Wong and Chef Yan will join forces to present an authentic, Cantonese-style five course dinner, presenting Asian specialties in an intimate setting. Later, Chef Elizabeth Falkner brings her high-energy presentation to the stage, featuring the unstoppable creativity that have made her one of the most recognizable faces of the Bay Area culinary scene.

Next door at HarveyÕs popular 19 Kitchen ¥ Bar, Gary Vaynerchuk will host a Wine Pairing Dinner. Gary will match up some of his favorite vintages with an exquisite, multi-course meal prepared by the HarrahÕs culinary team.

On Oct. 2, SaturdayÕs events get underway with ÒBeyond the Fork Epicurean Expo: An Affair for the SensesÓ at HarrahÕs Special Events Center. The even will feature tastings and demonstrations.

On Sunday, Oct. 3, a Farewell Brunch at HarveyÕs 19 Kitchen ¥ Bar will feature a variety of delectable dishes from the ÒHarrahÕs Seven Stars Cookbook.Ó Editor of the new Harrah’s cookbook, John Schlimm, will help host.

Additional events during the ÒLake Tahoe Food and Wine FestivalÓ include a special Saturday night Lafite Rothschild WinemakerÕs Dinner and a unique, one-day Tahoe Tech Talk Conference, featuring Gary Vaynerchuk and a panel of the top innovators in the internet and social media. For more information and to register for this special conference visit

For more information and to purchase tickets to the festival visit

Send your event for consideration in SusanÕs column to [email protected]

Susan Laird

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