Who Wants to Build a Foodfort?
Mar 17th, 2016
Beginning in 2012, Treefort Music Fest has taken downtown Boise by storm – and has continued to up the ante year after year. The music festival will feature more than 400 artists over a five day period from March 23 – 27, drawing attendees from all over the country.
This year, a brand new feature called Foodfort is launching. The event will take place throughout the music festival, from March 25 -27 and will consist of local growers, chefs, culinary pioneers and members of the agriculture industry. All parties will unite to discuss innovations, swap ideas and enjoy delicious local food. Foodfort will showcase two separate components: Tastes and Talks. For Tastes, 10 local chefs, including Chef Dean Fuller of Albertsons (on March 26), will prepare two different dishes using local ingredients. These dishes can be purchased for tokens in the Foodfort-Alefort tent. For Talks, panelists from the Boise food scene will discuss food-related topics, including everything from food photography to cured meats to coffee.
Did we mention there’s beer? Foodfort will be integrated with Alefort, the music festival’s own beer fest. Alefort will encourage the pairing of great local eats with local and regional brews.
We sat down with Chef Dean Fuller to discuss his involvement with the inaugural event. He will be at Foodfort on March 26. Here’s what he had to say:
When you approach an event such as Foodfort, do you start with a particular theme in mind, or how do you decide on your creations?
“First, you look at what size of food you’re going to do, and this is going to be bite size. We’re going to try to pair it with beers, so you take that into consideration. My biggest thought is always what can I get from Idaho – what can I get local? We have quite a bit of local products here that Albertsons uses in stores, such as Falls Brand, Double R Ranch, Zacca Hummus. [There are] all these companies that are local if you look for them. A lot of times, I think about what’s available that time of year, and then I create something with that. Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to do this,’ I look and say, ‘at this time of year, asparagus only comes up for two months out of the year and takes two years to crop, so when it comes up, I try to do asparagus dishes, or when tomatoes are in, or apricots or cherries.’ You try to design food around what’s coming out of the field that week.”
Will you be using primarily Albertsons products at Foodfort, and if so, can you tell us a few of your favorite items and why?
“I’ve had a long relationship with Double R Ranch for the last eight years. I opened a steakhouse chain for a hotel company. I didn’t know Double R at the time, but I bought their product and naturally sold twice as much of their product as I did other products. I had two prime ribs and kept selling out of the Double R, but not the other one. When I developed the steakhouse, I ended up using only their products in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Boise. They are just an incredible company.”
Foodfort will feature local growers, chefs, culinary pioneers and members of the agriculture industry. How important is the local piece to you?
“It’s the most important thing. I designed everything that I’ve done on using as much local product as I can. It keeps the local dollars in the community. Because of that, with Idaho Preferred, I’m basically the caterer for all of their events. I did a dinner at Celia Gould’s house, the director of Department of Ag., for 15 international food writers who were writing about Idaho food cuisine. I really enjoy it. Almost any time of year here, you can have almost 100% of what you want. The top items that Idaho exports [are] dairy and agriculture.”
What does it mean for you and Albertsons to be a part of Foodfort this year?
“I was really glad to support Albertsons right into it. Your grocery store is your community. It seems to me that throughout the country, they buy what they can locally from each area. It’s really neat they are supporting the event and supporting local products.”
Chef Dean Fuller also hinted at the fact that he may or may not be preparing a local street taco using Double R Ranch meats, Fresca tortillas and local dairy products. Stop by Foodfort on March 26 to find out what Chef Fuller is serving!
For more information about Foodfort, click here.
Use social media to share your experience at the event! Make sure to tag @Albertsons and use the hashtag #foodfort on Twitter or Instagram.