On Wednesday, Thierry Rautureau of Seattles Rovers and Luc began his second season competing on Bravos Top Chef Masters, and on Saturday, hell be demonstrating his cooking skills to the hometown crowd attending the fifth annual festival.
Rautureau, winner of a James Beard award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest, was a most eager contestant when he competed on Masters in 2010. How much do I want to win? he asked during the second episode. Who do I have to kill?
The festival also features a return appearance by Chef Amadeus, who last year won the Food Networks Extreme Chef competition.
I have built igloos and cooked on Mount Rainier, Amadeus told the online magazine Toque (tocquemag.com).
But the festival, which drew more than 8,000 visitors to Lacey last year, is not just for fans of food TV. Its two days of entertainment, food, fun for the children, talks by mushroom experts, and a surprisingly popular farm tour.
Last year, we had five tours, and we sold out, said Corey Lopardi, the event chairman and president-elect of the Hawks Prairie Rotary, which puts on the event. The year before that, we had four, and we sold out. This year, we have six.
Ten tickets per tour are reserved to be sold at the festival, he said. I would suggest that if people want to go on a tour, they get to the festival earlier. Those may sell out Saturday morning.
Its neat to see where mushrooms are grown and how they are grown, he added. We get people who go on the tour every year.
Most people who buy tickets online for the tours live outside Thurston County.
We have people driving down from Seattle and Tacoma just to go on the tour, he said. Were getting a number of requests this year from people who want to stay overnight in the area.
New to the festival this year is the Saturday evening Mushroom and Wine Event, which costs $25, but includes admission to the general festival as well. Therell be food and wine and music and dancing, Lopardi said.
The event raises money for charities supported by the Rotary. We also consider the festival itself as a donation to our community and the City of Lacey, Lopardi said.