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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Yukon Culinary Festival to mark 2nd year with tastes of the Pacific Northwest

WHITEHORSE - The flavours and culinary highlights of the Pacific Northwest region are being featured this weekend at the Yukon Culinary Festival.

Running Thursday through Sunday, the event will offer talent from the territory and abroad. Visitors will learn how local foods are harvested and produced, how local dishes are prepared and how they taste.

There will be cooking demonstrations, foraging walks, farm tours and dining opportunities.

Last year's inaugural event coincided with the summer solstice in June, but organizers decided to move this year's expanded festival to the first weekend in August.

"We basically changed it because our growing season is better later in the season because our spring season runs late so a lot more crops are ready at this time of year," said Amy O'Rourke of TIA Yukon, the territory's tourism association.

"We've got more events and it covers a greater expanse and territory than it did last year so we've got restaurant crawls in both Dawson City and Whitehorse as well as evening garden dinners in both Dawson City and Whitehorse that feature a lot of the guest chefs we're bringing up."

Chef and TV host Christian Pritchard will lead the restaurant crawls. Barbecue guru and cookbook author Ted Reader of Toronto is slated to take part as are Eric Pateman, executive chef and founder of Edible Canada, Tim May, former executive chef of Clayoquot Sound Wilderness Retreat on Vancouver Island, and Michele Genest, author of the recently released "The Boreal Feast: A Culinary Journey Through the North" (Harbour Publishing), who has lived in Whitehorse for 20 years.

There will also be guest chefs from Alaska and the Northwest Territories, O'Rourke said.

The Frog Food Festival has expanded to feature local food as well as music and will also take place this weekend. The festival grounds are at Circle D Ranch beside the Takhini River and with a view of the Ibex mountain range.



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