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Meet the Idaho Statesman’s new executive editor, Rhonda Prast

12 Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop opens in the Central Addition

16 Meet the conductors vying to become the Boise Philharmonic’s new music director

32 Bread from Gaston’s Bakery is served at restaurants around the region 37 Two new breweries are in the works — plus two you should road trip for 38 Koenig Vineyards’ new tasting room brings Italy to Idaho

42 Pete Zimowsky recommends mountain road trips to help you escape the heat

37 20

45 Make the trip to stargaze at Bruneau Dunes State Park 20 This fall’s Heritage Home Tour focuses on Boise’s Elm Grove Park neighborhood 22 After a tree fell on her charming house, Robin Bosworth gave it an update 26 Jeannine and Bill Ryan expanded their much-loved North End home

46 Make some time for exploration before summer comes to a close ON THE COVER: Robin Bosworth’s charming North End bungalow. PHOTO BY DARIN OSWALD


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Savor the last days of your Idaho summer In this issue, Pete Zimowsky shares some great spots for road trips that will help you beat the Valley’s late-summer heat (page 42). From the Seven Devils Mountains near Riggins in Central Idaho to Galena Summit near Sun Valley, there are so many beautiful places to explore in the Gem State. As summer starts to wane, it’s time to make your plan for getting the most out of what’s left. Maybe it’s in-town adventures with visits to the Downtown Boise Saturday markets, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival or a float down the Boise River. When you hit the markets, be sure to try a croissant from Gaston’s Bakery. On page 32, James Patrick Kelly catches up with Gaston’s Mathieu Choux, who owned the very popular Le Café de Paris in Downtown Boise. Today, Choux’s wholesale bread business is rising (pun intended!) by leaps and bounds. And be sure to head online once you’re done reading about Gaston’s and all the features in this issue. Katherine Jones has a

is a publication of the Idaho Statesman



video interview at Treasure with Choux, plus you’ll find several other story-related videos online as well as more photos and stories. For instance, the Oct. 2 Heritage Home Tour benefits Preservation Idaho. Online at, learn more about Preservation Idaho and why renovations in historic districts can be tricky. In this issue, you’ll find a preview of the tour starting on page 20. Thanks to Robin Bosworth and Jeannine and Bill Ryan for sharing their North End Boise homes with readers. This month, we welcome a new executive editor to the Statesman. Rhonda Prast is an expert in digital journalism — which will help us bring you better, more extensive online content to complement your print magazine. You can meet Prast starting on page 8 in an interview with Dana Oland. Enjoy! We’ll see you again Oct. 1.

CONTACT US: Editorial: (208) 377-6435; fax: (208) 377-6224 or Circulation: (208) 377-NEWS

TO ADVERTISE WITH US: To reserve space in the Oct. 1 issue, call Michelle Philippi at 377-6302 or email her at The advertising space deadline is Sept. 9.


IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM/TREASURE Treasure Magazine is published quarterly by the Idaho Statesman, 1200 N. Curtis Road, 83706. Copyright 2016 Treasure Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Treasure Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.


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honda Prast’s life changed through images by classic photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange. She was in her junior year at Arizona State University, Phoenix, where she was majoring in advertising design, a career she had her heart set on since high school. Then she enrolled in a history of photography class — just an elective to fill her schedule — and the connection she felt to the striking images of life, captured in shadow, highlight and rich tones of gray, compelled her to join the college’s newspaper staff. It all clicked — her childhood spent playing with her family’s camera, her appreciation of art and an attraction to newspapers. “I used to love taking pictures of my siblings,” she says. “And by the time I was 11, I loved newspapers. It would come in the evening, and I would grab it, sit on the porch and read the whole thing. But I never thought it would be a career. It didn’t come together until I was halfway through college.” She changed her major and never looked back. “The imagery of those famous photos and the stories they tell moved me,” Prast says. “Sometimes you run into something in your life that resonates and puts you on a different path.” That path took her to graduate school at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and to some of the top papers in the country, including the Miami Herald, Seattle Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Kansas City Star. That path now brings her to the Idaho Statesman, where Prast replaces Vicki Gowler, who retired in March after a decade at the paper’s helm. Prast started at the Statesman on Aug. 1. This is Prast’s first executive editor position. She is Statesman Publisher Debra Leithauser’s pick to lead the organization further into this new era of journalism, 8

which is driven more and more by digital and visual content. “The intersection between digital and print is done. We’re past that now,” Prast says. “And print isn’t dying; it’s changing while digital is expanding. We’re going to need to constantly be fast and nimble, to jump on things as they happen and be able to do the deep reporting that readers want. What that means for a Boise audience, I’m still figuring out. But news is essential for people every day and everywhere, and that’s the challenge. The expectations keep ramping up, and we have to keep up with them.” Like any good photographer, Prast is a consummate observer. “I still love the ability to be the fly on the wall,” Prast says. “I like to stay behind the scenes and let other people take credit for stuff.” She met her husband, photographer Steve Rice, at a photojournalism event when she was at the Providence Journal in Rhode Island and he was at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut. They married in 1984 and headed to the Miami Herald together. They have two daughters, Lauren, a graduate student in public health at the University of Washington, and Callie, 14, who is a competitive gymnast. Prast’s and Rice’s careers ping-ponged them across the country. After Miami, they moved to Seattle, where Prast was the art director for the Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine. They then settled in Minneapolis, where they both worked for 13 years at the Star Tribune. In 2010, they left Minnesota to teach digital journalism at the University of Missouri. Prast left Mizzou in 2012 to join The Kansas City Star; Rice is an assistant professor in convergence journalism, which focuses on multimedia reporting techniques. In Boise, Rice plans to focus on freelance video editing work. Over her career, Prast has worked in nearly every aspect of the newspaper industry —

photography, reporting, editing for news and features, art direction for magazines, page design and production. At the Star Tribune, she produced award-winning multimediaprojects that bridged the span between print and online. In Kansas City, she created a cohesive strategy for its newsroom across all of its digital platforms, led the effort to develop topic-specific apps, and helped solidify the paper’s connection to its readers though mobile connections and social media. “I feel I have a really special perspective,” Prast says. “I’ve worked in communities all around this country, and I’ve done so many different things. I’ve been able to draw on my experiences and wrap it all into the digital world. I’ll be able to pull out all that knowledge for Boise.”


This is your first time leading a newsroom. What are you most looking forward to? Getting to know people in the area. I have a lot to learn, quickly. I want to get out and talk to folks about the Statesman and the issues that are important to them. Deb and I are hoping to establish a wider, deeper connection with the community by creating events, forums and conversations. ...

Who or what inspires you?

Creative, positive and funny people inspire me to be more of an innovator in the newsroom. Those who find ways to give back to their community in big and small ways are always a huge inspiration. My father, at 82, is the most positive person I know,

and he seems to find a “daily miracle” everywhere he goes. And living in vibrant, diverse communities triggers inspiration — I’ve been lucky to live in Miami, Seattle, Minneapolis and Kansas City. Each city has prompted the urge to do something creative.

If you weren’t a journalist, what would you be doing? Hmmm, I would probably be working to protect dolphins, or I’d be involved in a creative capacity in the film industry, maybe as a talent agent.

Dolphins? They’re so intelligent. They’re interesting, funny and can communicate with humans. I’m fascinated by them. The stories of them

getting killed in Japan are very painful to me. I’m a real animal lover. I used to see them off the coast of Florida, and I’ve always had a deep interest and appreciation for them.

Are you a dog or a cat person? I love both, but I’m pretty partial to cats. Especially orange cats because they truly have the best personality. I’ve had a cat since I was 6. My 16-year-old cat, Milo, is making the move with us to Boise. We might get an Australian shepherd puppy at some point once we’re settled. We had a 14-year-old Aussie who died a few years ago, so we have a special love in our heart for Aussie blue merles.

continued ÷ AUGUST 2016


Wine or beer?

When I lived in Seattle, I was introduced to lovely Washington wines — white wine. But I’ll have beer with Cuban and Mexican food. Depends on what’s for dinner. My favorite drink is a mojito. I had never had one until I moved to Miami, and I thought, “This is amazing.”

What three movies would you most like to watch on a trans-Atlantic flight? “Hoosiers’’ because I love actor Gene Hackman, any “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” movie for the nonstop action and visual wizardry, and the (2004) movie version of (Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s) “The Phantom of the Opera.” I absolutely love musical theater.

Did/do you have a mentor? I’ve been fortunate to have colleagues at several media organizations who have looked out for my best interests and encouraged me to position myself in more challenging roles. Angus McDougall, former photojournalism professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, was a trusted adviser as I started my career as a photo editor. I try to mentor younger female journalists, especially those interested in a digital focus.

In all of history, with whom would you most like to dine? While driving, I’ve been listening to the recorded audio tapes of interviews between Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in early 1964. It’s a fascinating inside look into the Kennedy era at the White House and her influence on culture and the arts — and the political workings of the office. So dining with her would be continuing the conversation — in a way.

What will people find most surprising about you? I’ve done a fair amount of home renovation with my husband (who can do anything), and I helped build a Habitat for Humanity house with President and Mrs. Carter in 1991. My husband and I love to go to home and garden centers. I love historic architecture. I’d like to save every house featured in the back page “Save This Old House” feature of This Old House magazine. I’m a big recycler, and I love to wander through thrift stores.

What is on your bedside reading table? I enjoy reading murder mysteries nightly because it clears my mind from daily problems. It’s my little mental escape. John

Sanford is a favorite. I’m also reading the Pulitzer winner for fiction: “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. One of my go-to authors is Ann Patchett, who has such a beautiful writing style. Once you start reading, it’s hard to put her books down. Since I’ve read all her novels, I’m debating reading them again.

What is on your playlist? Always a mix and constantly changing: Michael Jackson, The Eagles, soundtrack from the TV show “Nashville,” Paul McCartney, Haley Reinhart, Adele and sometimes Cuban and Hawaiian music. I also love the cast album from “Aida.” My 14-year-old is introducing me to a new generation of music.

What is your guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate-covered marshmallows from Trader Joe’s. Normally I don’t really crave sweets, but I love those.

What motto do you live by? Work hard and be nice. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. To contact the Idaho Statesman’s new executive editor Rhonda Prast, email her at

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Decorated with antiques and journeyman memorabilia, Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop is committed to offering high-quality merchandise.

Custom bags from Anderson Supply, a Nampa-based company, are available at Peace Valley Dry Goods.


Co-founders Chris Thomas and Ryan Peck, right, opened Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop at 418 S. 6th St. in Boise. The two men say the barbershop perfectly complements the clothing they offer.

The “working man’s” clothing style is a common theme at the new shop with flat-top tables resting on sawhorses offering denim jeans, jackets and high-quality cotton shirts.

Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop is in Downtown Boise’s Central Addition neighborhood. Learn more about the Central Addition on page 15.

“I think it’s important for Boise as a city to remember we’re built on industries that are locally based.” RYAN PECK, CO-OWNER OF PEACE VALLEY DRY GOODS AND BARBER SHOP 12


channels creativity, sustainability New store in Downtown Boise’s Central Addition is part barber shop, part menswear and more BY NICOLE BLANCHARD


tepping into Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop is both a step into the past and into the future. The 6th Street combination menswear/barbershop is a blast of Americana, from the worn-out boxing gloves slung over the corner of the barber mirror to the antique sewing machines and 1950s toolbox used as displays for men’s clothing classics. At the same time, the storefront is part of a craft revival that’s booming across the U.S. and, specifically, in Boise’s Central Addition neighborhood. Friends Ryan Peck, who co-founded Boise Rock School in 2008, and Chris Thomas teamed up to make the one-stop shop. Thomas, whose years in retail management offered industry know-how, also handles the shears and shaves alongside fellow barber Ryan Blizzard. The space just off Myrtle Street is a unique one that appealed to Thomas for years, and so it’s only fitting that the pair chose a unique name. Peace Valley, Peck says, is what local Native Americans called the Boise area when they met to trade. (The shop is waiting on a Peace Valley map from the Idaho State Historical Society that Peck and Thomas say they’ve seen only in one other location — the Idaho State Tax Commission.) Two hundred years later, this Peace Val-

ley is flush with men’s staples — raw denim jeans, custom-work shirts, leather belts and more, all carefully selected by Peck and Thomas. “We don’t carry or won’t carry anything we wouldn’t want to wear ourselves and we don’t back,” says Thomas. The store’s namesake dry goods are durable and handmade. The two-seat barbering area and adjacent wooden benches are a nod to old-school barbershops, meant as much for a close shave as for friendly conversation. It’s representative of the energy-conscious, local-business-friendly neighborhood that the Central Addition is striving to be. “I think that’s why we’re here,” says Peck, rattling off a list of the shop’s nearby creative cohorts, which include art center MING Studios and sign-maker Rocket Neon. “It just didn’t make sense for us to be next door to a Jimmy John’s. It’s not just the art; it’s the artists.” And Peck and Thomas are big on connecting with other artists. It’s why they seek out quality clothing from small U.S. brands like Railcar Fine Goods, Rogue Territory, American Trench and more that often specialize in just one or two basic items. “The concept that I really like about it is our whole aesthetic that you don’t need a whole closet full of stuff,” Peck says. “You should have things you really like that fit you well and will last for years and years.”

About Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop The shop at 418 S. 6th St. has been offering trims and threads for several weeks, and coowners Ryan Peck and Chris Thomas say they’re still working up to a full fall-season inventory and hope to have a “grand opening” later this month or next. Currently, the business is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last barbering customers are seated 30 minutes before close. Peace Valley standard prices are $25 for a haircut, $30 for a shave. Walk-ins are welcome, and those hoping to make an appointment can do so online at (208) 985-5015.

That celebration of small specialty businesses has even led them to local partnerships. Peace Valley works closely with Nampa’s Anderson Supply Co., which offers handmade backpacks and bags. Peck and Thomas originally worked with owner Trish Anderson to create custom shaving kits. “I was super stoked on it,” said Anderson, who operates her own storefront in Nampa. “There is a rebirth in purchasing products that are not so disposable, that aren’t cheap.” After realizing Anderson Supply Co. fit so AUGUST 2016


closely with Peace Valley’s values, the business owners decided to do more. For Peace Valley, Anderson created tote bags lined with vintage automobile upholstery, which fit in perfectly with the shop’s air of old-school cool. “Boise wants Boise. Boise wants local. Boise wants a story,” said Peck. “We have to provide an experience.” To Thomas and Peck, part of that experience is in finding other makers who are equally as passionate about their crafts. The pair talk about product suppliers like they’re old friends Trish — because they are. “If you do what you love, Anderson we’re going to love what you do and probably purchase it and wear it,” Peck says. “I can get behind that all day, people doing what they love. You don’t want to lose that.” Peck says he’s confident that Peace Valley’s brand of homegrown business is what Boise needs — he’s seen similar success with Boise Rock School. And not only that, it’s what the Central Addition, with its Energy Zone and focus on sustainable geothermal systems, is looking for. Thomas and Peck point out that Peace Valley’s products are made to last much longer than “fast fashion,” even if that initially means a heftier price tag.


With a whiskey bottle converted into a spritzer, Chris Thomas attends to customer Austin Zander of Boise.

“This is your price point, but this is what you get for it. So that’s part of it, educating consumers on why that’s important, but not in a pretentious way,” Thomas says. “Plus, you’re buying a pair of jeans that you don’t need to run through the washer. And that’s efficient, right?” says Peck. Peck says they’re excited to be part of the area and watch it develop around their shop. And as they work to build a client base and plan for the business’s future, Thomas and


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Nicole Blanchard, a copy editor at the Idaho Statesman, was raised in Mountain Home. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University and a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

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Central Addition looks at past to shape its future The history of Boise’s Central Addition neighborhood (bounded by Myrtle and Front streets to the north and south, and 2nd and 5th streets on the east and west, according to Preservation Idaho) stretches back to 1890, when the subdivision was first created. Back then it promised to become a fashionable spot to live, but railroad line construction soon sent it into social decline. Since then, the area has had its ups and downs — in 2014, area business owners and residents created the Central Addition Working Committee to develop a master plan for the neighborhood, which had lost many key historic homes to fires and demolition, and struggled with a perceived disconnection from adjacent Downtown Boise. Co-owner Mike Cooley of George’s Cycles has seen the area grow — and been a part of that growth as the bicycle store moved in February from Avenue A over to 312 S. 3rd St., within the Central Addition. As part of CAWC’s master plan, the Central Addition is split into three parts: the Energy Zone (where Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop resides), the Neighborhood Core and the Community Retail area. Goals for each area differ slightly, but the main focus is on improving pedestrian access, encouraging

multi-level development that supplements housing and bringing in more small and local businesses (like Peace Valley and George’s), creating a true neighborhood feel. “The neighborhood is kind of bonded together and a cohesive group,” Cooley says. In addition, the city hopes to extend geothermal energy and fiber-optic lines in the area to promote values of sustainability and energy efficiency as it plans for future urbanization of the neighborhood. For George’s Cycles, these loftier goals were just out of reach (“We did try to do the solar and geothermal projects, but they were beyond our budget,” says Cooley), but the business did its part to preserve the Central Addition’s history and save resources. “We didn’t tear the building down, so we reduced our carbon footprint,” Cooley says. “We took an old building and made it modern.” Cooley says the added visibility and promise of future foot traffic is a boon for the business, but one of the most interesting parts of being a member of the neighborhood has been watching it blossom. “We purchased the property our building is on almost two years ago, and the number of projects that have taken off since then has been staggering,” he says. Nicole Blanchard


Mike Cooley, owner of George’s Cycles, deliberately moved his business into the heart of the Central Addition neighborhood.

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MEET THE CLASSICAL 7 Introducing the candidates who are vying to be the Boise Philharmonic’s next music director, replacing Robert Franz Aram Demirjian BY DANA OLAND


et ready for a thrill ride as the Boise Philharmonic searches for its next music director. Seven conductors from all corners of the country will come to Boise this season to work with the orchestra as well as to explore the city and the possibility of becoming the organization’s next artistic leader. In January, music director Robert Franz announced he would step down from his position after eight seasons. It shocked many of his audience members, the musicians and Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale members he worked closely with. “I feel really good about the artistic quality of the orchestra ... and the community we’ve created,” Franz said. “There is a deep sadness in me for leaving, but the artistic director in me says it’s time.” That decision opened the door for these seven accomplished musicians to step up to lead in Boise. The lineup is Knoxville

continued ÷ 16

Knoxville Symphony music director In Boise: Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist pianist Andrew von Oeyen From: Boston “My interest in conducting flows from my love of orchestral music,” says Demirjian, 30, who started cello at 8. “By 14, I was so fascinated by the phenomenon of the orchestra — all the moving parts, the energy going into different musical lines — all in service of a greater musical harmony. It quickly became clear I wasn’t going to be satisfied just playing my part.” In June, Demirjian completed his tenure as an associate at the Kansas City Symphony, where he helped found the popular “Screenland at the Symphony” series in which the orchestra plays the score during a feature film. He’s a hot commodity right now and is a finalist for music director jobs in Fresno, Calif., Illinois and Boise. “What excites me about Boise is the artistic opportunities you might not get in larger cities because the connection between its cultural organizations and its audience is closer and less filtered. We don’t have to emulate another orchestra. We’re going to do what’s right for our community, and that opens up a whole realm of possibilities.” Fun facts: Studied government at Harvard University and is getting married in the fall. His sister Karoun is a reporter for The Washington Post in Moscow.

Michelle Merrill Detroit Symphony assistant conductor In Boise: Oct. 21-22, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with soloist violinist Caroline Goulding From: Canton, Texas When Michelle Merrill was 8, she went trick-or-treating and got something extra with her candy: a card offering piano lessons. “I asked my mom and dad if I could take lessons,” Merrill, 32, says. “We weren’t a musical family, but they said sure.” The lessons unlocked her passion for music and led her to become one of the few women in the world on the classical music podium. She later picked up the saxophone, which became her principal instrument. Now heading into her third season in Detroit, Merrill will made her subscription series debut in 2016. She continues to win international acclaim and is a soughtafter guest conductor. She’s excited about the potential to make music in Boise. “It fosters new music, American music and Idaho music, striving to reach its patrons with its own identity,” she says. “Connection to people is how orchestras remain a living piece of art.” Fun facts: Her husband, Steve, is the Jacksonville (Fla.) Symphony’s principal percussionist. Their cat Pepper loves violin music.

Keitaro Harada Cincinnati Symphony associate conductor In Boise: Nov. 12-13 , Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with soloist pianist Kevin Cole From: Tokyo Keitaro Harada, 31, became a conductor to get a girl. He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan when he was 17 to further his saxophone studies and met a Korean violinist. “Koreans and Japanese dating is a big no-no,” he says. “So I met her mother for dinner to ask permission.” At the end of dinner, she suggested he pursue conducting. “I said, ‘If I do, can I date your daughter?’ She said only if I become a world-class conductor.” That started him on his life’s pursuit, and though he no longer dates the violinist, he is grateful to her mom. He found his true passion as a conductor and went on an international trek to fulfill that goal. Now he hopes to come to Boise. “What’s most important is my chemistry with the orchestra,” Harada says. “I’m looking to see how I’m able to make a difference. If it’s a good match, then we can learn from each other and create something exciting.” Fun facts: Harada still performs with his saxophone. He opened Richmond Symphony’s “Rush Hour Concert” series, which brought the orchestra into a local brewery.

Alastair Willis

Eric Garcia

Freelance conductor, Seattle

Bass School of Music (Oklahoma City) director of orchestral activities

In Boise: Jan. 27-28, 2017, Grieg’s Piano Concerto with soloist pianist Joachin Achúcarro From: Acton, Mass. Alastair Willis took his first piano lessons in Moscow, where his international correspondent father worked. When they settled in England five years later, Willis discovered the trumpet and a love of choir. At Bristol University, Willis conducted the student orchestra and choir. “I realized I would be able to affect the music better from the front of the room,” Willis, 45, says. His studies eventually brought him back to the U.S. He has been an assistant in Cincinnati and an associate at Seattle Symphony, and recently stepped down after four years as the music director for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the Pacific Northwest and performs as an international guest conductor. Now he’s ready for his next home base. “As I get older, I get wiser,” Willis says. “My life’s aims are to invest in a community and make a difference longer-term. To be on a journey and grow together with a group of musicians and a community — this is what I’m after.” Fun facts: Willis earned a 2009 Grammy nomination with the Nashville Symphony and opera. His sister, Sarah, plays French horn for the Berlin Philharmonic, where she was the first female brass player.

In Boise: March 10-11, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist violinist David Kim

Andrés Franco Signature Symphony music director (Tulsa, Okla.), Pittsburgh Symphony assistant conductor In Boise: Feb. 17-18, Elgar’s Cello Concerto with soloist cellist Edgar Moreau From: Medellín, Colombia Andrés Franco will tell you to be careful how you choose your college electives. He came to Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University in 2000 to study piano. Then his college adviser suggested he take a conducting class to “broaden his horizons,” he says. “I loved orchestral music but had no interest in conducting at the time. I took the class anyway.” One day, his teacher asked him to cover a rehearsal with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra. He agreed, and as Franco struggled through, his teacher watched from the back. “It was a test,” Franco, 39, says, and it became his passion. He earned a second master’s in conducting and launched into a successful career, racking up debuts with major symphonies each season. “Orchestras are important in general, and not just because of the music and entertainment,” Franco says. “There is a moral role. You’re in charge of preserving cultural values. Institutions like operas, ballets and orchestras operate as catalysts for creativity, and creativity will play a bigger role in the economy of the 21st century.” Fun facts: His father was his first piano teacher. His wife, Victoria Luperi, is principal clarinetist for the Fort Worth Symphony.

From: Temple, Texas Eric Garcia’s musical career started when he got his first drum set at age 4. “I grew up wanting to be a rock drummer,” he says. By age 10, he was jamming to the radio dial — jazz, rock, pop — when he happened on a classical station and was captivated. “My parents were encouraging,” Garcia, 38, says. “I’d buy a new classical CD every week, watch PBS and check out scores from the library.” He began to compose at 13, and saw any concert he could to watch the conductor. He learned piano so he could better break down a score. And as much as he loves to compose, “It was never as exhilarating as conducting,” he says. It also connects him with people. “The arts feed off of one another, and a symphony is a vital player,” Garcia says. “It reaches out to the youth and to the community to ignite their imagination and encourage them to open their ears, and stretch their imagination to things that are possible.” Fun facts: He loves classic foreign films, barbecue at Franklin’s in Austin, Texas, and Coney Island. He recently rescued a Chihuahua/ terrier mix named Eddie.

Brett Mitchell Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor In Boise: April 7-8, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale From: Seattle Brett Mitchell owes a lot to his high school music teacher Lesley Moffat. She encouraged him to get up in front of his peers and conduct his own composition when he was 16. “She was an amazing, amazing teacher,” Mitchell says. Mitchell, 37, started piano as a kid and originally pursued the pianist and composer route. But the more he went down that path, the lonelier it became. “As a pianist you spend so much time alone practicing, and the end result is going on stage alone,” Mitchell says. “As a conductor, you spend time alone, but then you get together with 80 of your colleagues and play music. At the end of the day, I’m a people person.” Mitchell seeks to make classical music accessible to everyone. “Some people think of classical as this stuffy unapproachable genre,” he says. “If you’re in New York City, there are opportunities to hear great orchestral music every night. It’s regional centers, like Boise, that are geographically isolated, that need to have access to this music.” Fun fact: His wife, Angela, is a soprano and producer for WCLV Classical 104.9 in Cleveland. AUGUST 2016


Get tickets Season tickets: $90-$459 in Boise, $81$260 in Nampa; Single tickets: $24.50$70.50 in Boise, $22.50-$45 in Nampa. 344-7849. Boise Philharmonic will host seven candidates for its music director’s position. The guest conductor for the Dec. 9-10 Holiday Pops is still to be announced.


Robert Franz, shown leading the Boise Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops concert in December, stepped down as the orchestra’s artistic leader at end of the 2015-16 season.

(Tenn.) Symphony Music Director Aram Demirjian, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Assistant Michelle Merrill, Cincinnati Symphony Associate Keitaro Harada, freelance conductor Alastair Willis, Signature Symphony Music Director and Pittsburgh Symphony Assistant Andrés Franco, Oklahoma City College Director of Orchestral Studies Eric Garcia and Cleveland Orchestra Associate Brett Mitchell. They are, as a group, ambitious, brilliant and on the vanguard of bringing classical music to new venues and a younger, techsavvy audience. They all have impressive credentials and seek to connect Boise to its history, arts and community through music. The Boise Philharmonic — an 80-member orchestra and 100-voice chorale — is the logical next step for any of them, says Jeanie Smith, a board member who helped head the search committee this time and in 2007 when the orchestra hired Franz. Between then and now, there’s been a shift in the classical music industry. Eight years ago, when Franz took the job, he replaced James Ogle, who had 18 years at the podium. Franz was the first music director in the organization’s history who had commitments to other orchestras (at the time Buffalo, N.Y., and Houston). Today, Franz continues to make Boise his home base. He is an associate conductor at Houston Symphony, is music director of Windsor Symphony in Ontario, Canada, and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska. This round, the search committee doesn’t blink at the possibility of the next music director leading a second orchestra (or third?), says Steve Trott, who also was on both search committees. “We were spoiled with Jim. He was here for a long time and was dedicated only 18

here,” Trott says. “That’s the old model, and it doesn’t work anymore. If you require that, you’ll lose 75 percent of your applicants.” This round of candidates all have other gigs, meaning they are associate or assistant conductors at major orchestras, guest artists at symphonies around the world or already heading their own, smaller orchestral groups.

THE SEARCH WAS ON This process is part of the life cycle of an orchestra. Musicians come in and move on to larger symphonies; music directors leave to pursue new challenges. “When we first heard the news that Robert was leaving, a number of the musicians were devastated,” says violinist Geoffrey Hill, now in his fifth season with the Philharmonic. “Others were like, ‘OK, this is the change we need.’ I think generally the consensus is that we’re excited. I hope at the end of it all, we have a really tough decision to make.” These moments are bittersweet, says Michael Faison, executive director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts. “It’s hard when you lose strong artistic leaders, but I’m pretty excited by the new blood and to see what changes and inspirations they bring,” Faison says. As soon as Franz announced his departure, philharmonic Executive Director Sandy Culhane and Board President Julie Kilgrow organized a search committee of 12 people — six musicians who were nominated by the orchestra, and six board and community members. The team is headed by Trott, Smith and former Phil executive director Anthony Boatman, who all had done the previous search. They received 197 applications from 20 countries.

“I was still receiving them six weeks after the deadline,” Boatman says. “The talent of our orchestra is appealing,” Culhane says. “Conductors want to come to Idaho because of the quality of life, and they want to work with our musicians. And we have a full chorus and youth orchestra — which some similar-sized orchestras do not — so we’re a full and vibrant organization.” The committee broke into three groups, each headed by a musician — concertmaster Geoffrey Trabichoff, principal horn Brian Vance and trombonist Dan Howard — that culled through the resumes. That process brought the pack down to 20; then as a group, they got it down to 13. “The whole process was very musiciandriven, and everything was done by consensus, not majority,” Trott says. “The overarching issue for the committee was to create a good environment for the musicians. We want them to feel good about where they are professionally and personally, that they’re growing and satisfied with the work.” Then the community members started calling references, while the musicians were calling colleagues they knew in the finalists’ orchestras. The committee interviewed the 13 candidates via Skype. And that brought the field to the final seven. “So, we’re getting a three-dimensional look at who these people are,” Trott says. Meanwhile, Culhane and Kilgrow organized the anchor pieces for each concert, the soloists and concertos. They were lucky and came up with some big names, including Basque piano superstar Joaquin Achucarro and violin prodigy Caroline Goulding. Then each finalist was asked to build two to three programs around the concerto centerpiece. That’s when the juggling took place — of trying to find the right dates and choose the programs that would allow the conductor access to the full orchestra and the best chance to show their talent. “We have seven who look good, but who’s got the chemistry when they hit the podium? And we only find that out when they get here,” Trott says.

THE SEVEN FOR NEXT SEASON The classical music world is small, and these seven share close professional and per-

sonal connections. If they’re not personally connected, they are very aware of each other. Demirjian also is a finalist for the Illinois Symphony in Springfield, a position recently vacated by Willis; Willis was an assistant conductor in Cleveland, where Mitchell is currently an associate. Willis and Garcia both were assistant conductors for the Seattle Symphony. Both saxophone players, Harada and Merrill met at a saxophone intensive several years ago. Harada and Mitchell both worked under noted conductor Lorin Maazel and roomed together. Demirjian and Andrés Franco share a Kansas City connection (Demirjian was at Kansas City Symphony and Franco at Philharmonia of Kansas City) and run into each other frequently. “It’s such a small world,” Mitchell says. “You know when you’re younger you see everyone as competition. Now, the only thing that makes having this opportunity better, is I have friends who are doing the exact same thing.”


LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE “Robert leaves a sparkling musical legacy,” Faison says. “The music he was able to get out of the orchestra was so inspiring. I remember the Mahler Symphony No. 2 a few years ago. It was the most exciting musical experience for me in the past decade. I leapt to my feet, and I don’t do that very often.” During his tenure, Franz expanded the orchestra’s repertoire to include more ambitious masterworks and championed collaborations with his neighboring local arts groups. He expanded the orchestra’s reach into area schools by bringing musicians into classrooms across the Treasure Valley, brought the Boise Master Chorale under the philharmonic’s umbrella and worked with Boise State University to develop a graduate string quartet program that continues. He put an emphasis on performing the work of Idaho composers, including Jim Cockey, David Alan Earnest and David Biedenbender, and elevated the level of musicianship within the orchestra through new hires and nurturing the group as a whole through thoughtful programming. “Robert has really prepared us for this,” Hill says. “We’re at such a higher level than we were eight, nine years ago that the orchestra will be so responsive to these seven conductors.” Dana Oland is a former professional dancer and member of Actors Equity who writes about performing and visual arts as well as Treasure Valley culture for the Idaho Statesman and Treasure Magazine. Read more arts coverage in her blog at AUGUST 2016


Peek inside

the historic homes nestled near Boise’s Elm Grove Park


A tree fell on the roof of Robin Bosworth’s home, causing significant damage. In the resulting remodel, Bosworth decided to transform the attic into a new master bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom. DARIN OSWALD DOSWALD@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM

Jeannine and Bill Ryan’s home was built in 1936 and is Spanish Mission Revival in style. When the Ryans gave their home an update, they were careful to retain the home’s appropriate style. KYLE GREEN KGREEN@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM



his year’s annual Preservation Idaho Heritage Home Tour feels like a forgotten corner of the North End. It’s quietly residential, yet very accessible to popular areas like Hyde Park and Camel’s Back. Anchored by Elm Grove Park, just a few short blocks west of Harrison Boulevard on Irene Street, this area thoroughly represents Boise’s emblematic label as the City of Trees. “As someone newer to Boise, I was not familiar with the Elm Grove Park neighborhood,” Preservation Idaho Board President Paula Benson said. “I was surprised and delighted when I first walked the neighborhood. The large trees provided great shade on that sunny day, and each house was unique and beautifully tended. Every day we were there, we saw families playing in the park.” While most people think of the North End as the area east of Harrison Boulevard, the definition grew toward the west side of the boulevard when the Expanded North End Historic District was created about a dozen years ago. “It really seems to embody the best of what

people look for in a place to live and raise families,” Benson said. Like many Boise neighborhoods, there is a variety of architectural styles in this area, which is always an enticing draw to the tour. In the following pages, you’ll get a closer look at two of these homes and see how they have been preserved and updated for that timeless feel that is so attractive in these hidden corners of town. “The neighborhood is walkable, beautiful, peaceful and visually interesting. I love it!” Benson said. The Heritage Home Tour is Preservation Idaho’s most popular annual fundraiser and is also its largest fundraiser of the year. Preservation Idaho receives no state or federal funds. It relies entirely on memberships, donations, grants and fundraisers. That’s where this event comes into play. “Heritage Home Tour is a fun day that also serves to help people better understand and appreciate the role and the value of preservation in our everyday lives,” Benson said. — Dusty Parnell

Preservation Idaho’s Heritage Home Tour Elm Grove Park neighborhood Sunday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get your ticket ahead of time at the Preservation Idaho website, Early Bird pricing for non-members is $25 from Sept. 1-20. Otherwise, it’s $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Registration and check-in will be at Elm Grove Park (2200 W. Irene St.), and tickets will also be available the day of event. For more information, call 208-424-5111 or email

At Treasure: Read more about Preservation Idaho and the tour, plus learn more about historic remodels and see more photos from the Ryan and Bosworth homes. AUGUST 2016


A tree falls in Boise STORY BY DUSTY PARNELL




The Bosworth home got an update after it was damaged by a tree, but it still retains the history and feel of its charming North End neighborhood

RIGHT: Robin Bosworth refinished the kitchen cabinets after adding new countertops.

BELOW: Leading

to the new upstairs master bedroom is a staircase in the corner of the front room.


hen you live in a historic district, there can be a lot of hoops to jump through to do even the simplest remodel or renovation. But after a tree fell on Robin Bosworth’s house in the North End a few years ago, she didn’t have much choice. When she bought the house 10 years ago, at the peak of the market, it was just right. “I looked at a ton of houses in the North End that just needed so much work,” she said. “I could have gotten them for so much cheaper, but this one was move-in ready.” Working as the chief financial officer of Sysco for 37 years, she has been in Boise for 25 years and Idaho for 40. She was fond of Boise’s classic North End, often considered by most as the part of town east of Harrison Boulevard and perhaps near the Boise Co-op or Hyde Park. “I thought I wanted to be over there, but what I found was that once you came over on this side of Harrison Boulevard, the lots are a lot larger,” she said. “I kind of like it better over here under the umbrella.” The umbrella she talks about is the great number of shade trees that embrace the neighborhood around Elm Grove Park. Thousands of trees were planted in this part of the North End when it was originally platted more than 100 years ago. It’s partly how the City of Trees got its moniker. But it was also that umbrella that caused Robin to rethink the design of her house when the tree fell onto her roof two years after moving in. “I got to know my neighbors pretty dang quick,” she said. “Most people came over to see this tree sitting on someone’s house.”

Inset shelving, a common space-saving feature of mid-century construction, is present throughout the Bosworth home.

Her neighbor Daniel McCown was there to help. His grandfather reportedly owned several homes in the neighborhood, and he is versed in how to deal with these issues. Bosworth said she was going to replace the roof anyway, so there was an upside. Thanks to that tree, she decided to raise the top of the house by about 18 inches and turn the upstairs space into a complete bedroom. “There was plenty of room up here; it just wasn’t finished,” she said. “The upstairs bathroom turned out way nicer than I expected. It had challenges because of the peaks. We had to move the walls out to get the mirrors in, and we had to modify a little bit to fit the space.” The tile work in the bathroom came out nice, and she added a 75-year-old monastery window from India that became a n inner

continued ÷ AUGUST 2016


Robin Bosworth’s North End home sits on a large lot flanked by a small canal. To add some privacy without walling off the water feature, she added a series of wood panels along the canal.

Robin Bosworth was able to improve her North End home's attic space after a tree fell on the roof not long after she purchased the property. The original top of the house would be about where the pillows rest on the master bed. The master bathroom features a freestanding, clawfoot tub with a partial wall that reveals the brick of the home’s chimney.


window in the closet/hallway for another unique touch. “Even though the upstairs is new, I think I maintained the feel of the house in that space,” she said. “I like my bedroom upstairs; it’s very comfortable and not too tight.” And when it gets too warm up there, she moves to the downstairs back bedroom, brightly lit thanks to the French doors that open into the large, private backyard. Many elements of the house that gave it personality stayed. There are arches, niches and built-ins that are still intriguing. “The fireplace is the same,” she added. “It even has the same mantel.” Along the way, other things were fixed or changed. There was a crack in the ceiling “all the way from the back to the front” of the main floor that needed to be addressed. The linoleum in the kitchen had to go, as well as the drop-down ironing board closet in there. More cabinet space was needed as well. And the back door had to be custom built. “I made the kitchen just a little bit bigger and a bit more navigable,” Bosworth said. Windows in the house were replaced, too. (Remember those old ones with the rope pulleys?) “You couldn’t use vinyl, you had to use wood,” she said. “That was one of the things that was a real challenge.” The stairs to the upstairs area were also a challenge. “We belabored that for a couple of

The Bosworth home

The original roofline of the Bosworth home was approximately where the garage roof (left side) slopes up to meet the addition just below the small white frame bedroom window. The redwood deck was added as well after breaking up the cement patio and using the fragments to skirt the deck.


The back of the house before the roofline was raised.

weeks,” she said. “But I’m really happy with how it turned out.” Many of those challenges come not with the house but with the historical aspect of the home’s location. Nearly every change needs to be approved by the committee that oversees and approves changes to houses in a historical district. “They were pretty picky about what I used for materials,” Bosworth said. “I had to

go in front of the committee, which is rather intimidating. It’s like going to court. They all sit up in front, and you have to present what you want to do. Luckily, I took my architect with me.” An example of the “pickiness” was her proposal for two dormer windows in the revamped upstairs room. The committee allowed only one. But overall, things went well.

This home was built in about 1931 by Ray McKaig, who built several houses in the general Elm Grove Park neighborhood. McKaig was known as a political figure who left the ministry and eventually moved to Boise to create the Idaho Nonpartisan League in 1917. That group then became the Idaho Progressive Party, a coalition of Nonpartisans, Democrats and Republicans. Political junkies of today will probably not be surprised that dissension within the party later led McKaig to support the Republican Party. This particular wood-frame bungalow has elements of Tudor Revival, which was a popular style during the 1920s and 1930s. The Tudor Revival house in general is characterized by a steeply pitched gable roof, faux half-timbering and an asymmetrical entrance. Real estate ads at the time described these models as “the English Style” and were deemed “strictly modern.” The Bosworth home exhibits several of these elements, including the pitched roof, exterior front chimney of clinker brick and a modified arched entryway. The house was likely constructed from a plan book and originally consisted of one bedroom, a kitchen and a living room. Bosworth remodeled the home after a tree fell on the roof, but it still retains original details, including the fireplace, built-in bookshelves and built-in spice racks. — Source: Preservation Idaho

“The idea was to maintain the lines that were already there,” she said. “If you looked at (the upstairs windows), you wouldn’t know it was an addition.” The home is now about 800 square feet on the main floor, with a basement and upstairs master bedroom suite that are about 400 square feet each. Her advice for working on a North End home is simple: “If you’re going to make changes to the front side of your house, you need to investigate what they allow or don’t allow,” she said. “Do your research before you start ripping it apart.” The large yard is also a special delight to her. “I came from the country,” she said. “We always had a lot of property, and I like the idea that I have a small house with a large outdoor space, because the outdoors is like home. It really centers me. I’m so happy I bought it. This is home. Maybe it’s just the little things I did to it to make me feel like it’s mine.” The large panel fence in the backyard “came out awesome” and gives her plenty of privacy from the neighbors. She also says

continued ÷ AUGUST 2016


people are in awe of her front yard, although she has no secret as to why her low-maintenance yard stays so lush and green. That’s not the only comment she hears. “You would not believe how many people stop out front and say, ‘What color is this house?’ and they want to know where can they get that paint color,” Bosworth said. (It’s gun-metal gray with some white and black trim.) “I’ve seen other houses that were kind of that color, but maybe it’s just the combination that makes it stunning.” Overall, the entire project came out great. So great that her daughter insisted on being married in the backyard three years ago. “It was absolutely stunning,” she said. As an active outdoor person, the location is also great for her. “I’m a biker, I’m a skier, I’m right where I want to be.” And it’s just a beautiful place to call home. Even having a tree fall onto her house turned into a good thing, despite the work and challenges of the repairs and upgrades. “It was kind of fun,” Bosworth said. “I had just gotten a divorce, and I got to make all these decisions on my own. So it was hard, but I’m very pleased with the total outcome of what I did, and I think I made some really good choices.”

The dining room is a monument to mid-century architecture common in the North End — with interior archways, inset shelving and rich pinewood flooring.

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The living room in Bill and Jeannine Ryan’s home features arched windows that look out onto their North End neighborhood.

Sometimes, history finds you The Ryans’ backyard sitting area with a fire pit is a great spot for spending a summer afternoon.

Bill and Jeannine Ryan fell in love with the North End right away BY DUSTY PARNELL




he North End is a popular place to live for good reason. When you’re sitting in Jeannine and Bill Ryan’s house, it almost feels like you’re at your grandmother’s house. You look out the arched windows and get that nostalgic sense of Neighborhood with a capital “N” that is so hard to find anymore. But finding a house in the North End can be challenging. In many cases, you have to be in the right place on the right day. Or sometimes the house has to find you. “Down at the corner this past year, there was a young couple with twins, and one day

continued ÷ AUGUST 2016


The new, larger kitchen has an island and dining nook. The house is now about 2,100 square feet — about 600 square feet of that is downstairs and includes a home theater. This bedroom in the Ryans’ house is light and airy.


they were gone and a new couple with young kids was in the house,” Bill said. “There had never been a ‘For Sale’ sign or anything on it. People were just making contact without it ever passing through (a Realtor’s) hands.” That’s much the same way the Ryans found their historic home. “We bought this house from some people we met at our daughter’s Montessori, and we bought it on a handshake,” Jeannine said. But it was all set in motion more than 20 years ago when they left Steamboat Springs, Colo. They had decided Boise would be their next home. “We just drove right to the North End,” Jeannine said. Their first home was a rental — only about a half dozen blocks away from where they are today. They were there for six years. When they decided to buy, they did a lot of

This bathroom got a classic update.

legwork first. “We looked a lot in other places,” Jeannine said. “We walk a lot, and we walked up and down the streets and dreamed of houses. We always loved this house, and we found out these people were moving. They wanted out, and we wanted in.” Married for 30 years, the Ryans raised three kids in this house. Bill manages ServiceMaster Restore in Boise, and Jeannine is a therapist at Children’s Therapy Place. The house, now 80 years old, has seen a lot. Their oldest daughter, Sarah, 28, had the front bedroom growing up. She was allowed to fix it up as she wished, which she did — with zebra print carpeting and pink walls. “It was a short-lived phase,” Sarah admitted.

continued ÷


This bathroom features elegant, contemporary fixtures.

The Ryans were careful to keep the classic features of their home, such as the fireplace, as they remodeled.




The Ryan home This home was built in 1936 during a building boom following the creation of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). That same year, George Bremer created the Bremer Construction Company and platted subdivisions in Jerome and Twin Falls counties. He also bought property in Boise in the Elm Grove neighborhood and on the Bench near Owyhee and Kootenai streets. Between 1936 and 1938, his company built more than 100 homes. In 1938, he left the construction business to become the national underwriting supervisor for the FHA. The Ryan house was one of 11 homes the Bremer Construction Company built in the two-block area between Hazel and Bella streets and 21st and 23rd streets, offering buyers a choice of several plans. This one-story, gable-roof home has some features of the Spanish Revival style, including an arched door and windows, decorative vents and stucco siding. A similar plan was used for a home around the corner from this one. Longtime Boise residents Ruth and Winston U. Countryman also lived in this home for many years. — Source: Preservation Idaho

When they moved in, they also had a kitchen right out of the ’60s, with a Frigidaire Flair stove. It was a unique appliance with a pullout cooktop and overhead ovens all atop a cabinet. “It was the weirdest,” Sarah said. “Did we sell that?” “No. But I still have the manual,” Bill said. “It was cool,” Jeannine said. “Like the Jetsons. I think we put it in the junkyard or something.”

THE 2010 REMODEL “For years and years, we laid around trying to decide what the best way was of redesigning it so it would flow,” Bill said. They did wan a bit more space. They also wanted to update the fixtures and work on the heating and air as well as do some rewiring and insulation. The house needed a kitchen update, too, and they added a basement home theater. The house was originally two bedrooms and one bathroom; now it is three bedrooms and three bathrooms. “The design was always challenging, but it really flows a lot nicer,” Bill said. The Ryans worked with Harrison Renovation Company on the remodeling project. Trent Howie, along with his Realtor wife, Anne, renovates historical homes. Howie took the architect’s plans the Ryans provided and modified just enough to use the space a bit differently. “When my wife and I design, we try to 30

Before the remodel, a hallway opening was in the corner of the living room by the blue chair. Read more about historical renovations at

eliminate hallway because they waste space, for one, and two, they’re not super traditional,” Howie said. “Some of the floor plans we do down here is what I call New Historical, because most everyone wants a walk-in closet and a walk-in shower. ... “I remember with the Ryans, we tied in some new hardwood flooring, laced in with

the old, laced all together so you couldn’t tell where we’d repaired it,” Howie said. “And we put this little dining nook in. There was a little spot in their house that was just a dark hole that they never got a chance to figure out how to use, and we opened that up to the kitchen and a set of windows on the south side of the house.”


ABOVE: The exterior of the addition in

progress. LEFT: The Ryans pushed out the back of

their home to create a larger kitchen and master suite.

What had been one small window and a dark space between the kitchen and living area was now a brightly lit space. The small window was moved to the laundry room, and the two new windows in that area had previously been in the back bedroom. Meanwhile, the master suite was enlarged and improved, too. The most successful transition was the elimination of the hallway and the walling up of that hallway entrance in the living

room. That also helped increase the size of the front bedroom. The backyard, though, is another story. It was one giant pile of rocks. A previous resident had brought in rocks — lots of rocks. “It took me years to figure out how to redistribute those rocks,” Bill said. But he moved the rocks around and it is now a private, pleasant place to relax. “There’s always shade, but no matter what time of day it is, there’s a sunny part,” Sarah said. They love the history of the neighborhood, and they love the ability to walk or bike to Hyde Park, Camel’s Back Park or the grocery store. “We don’t venture far from the North End,” Bill said. But when they do venture out, they make their home available for others on Airbnb. “It’s a perfect place to vacation in because it’s close to everything, and it’s not fancy,” Jeannine said. It’s a special place to call home. “We’ve been in this part of Boise since the day we moved here,” Bill said. Dusty Parnell is a freelance print, radio and print journalist who has been working in the Treasure Valley for more than 25 years.

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Cooking is an art in Italy. BRING IT HOME. 2458798-01



Baguettes and croissants straight out of With its delectable breads now served in many restaurants, Gaston’s Bakery is growing, but owner Mathieu Choux still focuses on giving each customer the same high-quality taste of Europe. BY JAMES PATRICK KELLY SPECIAL TO THE IDAHO STATESMAN




athieu Choux has an apropos name for a guy who’s a Frenchborn pastry chef. Choux pastry, known in France as pate a choux, is the buttery dough that makes crème-filled éclairs and profiteroles so irresistibly flaky. What else is a guy with a name like that supposed to do with his life? Choux, the man not the dough, doesn’t fuss with éclairs, though. He has earned a fanatical following around these parts over the years for his straight-out-of-France baguettes and flaky patisserie goodies that he once sold retail at Le Café de Paris, and now sells wholesale under the name of Gaston’s Bakery. Choux arrived in the City of Trees in

2001. A good friend had moved to Boise to go to school, and Choux took a liking to the area during his visits. Soon after he moved here, Choux opened Le Café de Paris, a bakery and restaurant on Capitol Boulevard — giving Boiseans a true taste of French baguettes and pastries. “I noticed there was such a need for good bread here. The wholesale part of it was an afterthought at the time,” Choux says. His crusty baguettes leave customers exclaiming “ooh la la” and wanting more — crumbs clinging to their lapels. “People were loving it, especially the baguettes and croissants, which have always been popular,” he says. Even though Boise boasts a French name, it was hard to find a real baguette in the City of Trees up until that time aside from Big Wood Bread in Ketchum, which was making daily deliveries to the Boise Co-op, and Zeppole Baking Co., which had ramped up its production.


Mathieu Choux closed his popular Le Café de Paris in Downtown Boise to focus on his wholesale baked goods business. Gaston’s Bakery products are served at many Treasure Valley and regional restaurants. 32

Not long after Choux debuted his bakery and restaurant, he also started selling his products at the Capital City Public Market. “Because of his European background, Mathieu gets the whole fresh market thing,” says former Capital City Public Market director Karen Ellis, who now runs the Boise Farmers Market. Choux is a fourth-generation chef who grew up in the restaurant industry in Chalon-sur-Saone, a small wine country town in Burgundy where his family owned and operated a brasserie that served high-end French fare. But he also worked at a local market on weekends. “My first job outside the restaurant, when I was in high school, was selling produce for a local farmer at the Sunday market in my hometown,” he says. To this day, Choux continues to sell

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Gaston’s breads are served all over the Treasure Valley in area restaurants, and its bakery products are sold in several local stores. You can also find a Gaston’s booth at both Boise Downtown Saturday markets. Esabel Everett, center, and Hadley Nelson staff the Boise Farmers Market booth.

Where to get the bread In addition to a multitude of restaurants and coffeehouses, you can buy Gaston’s Bakery products at these retail outlets and farmers markets:

Zoe Everett restocks bread at the Gaston’s booth at the Capital City Public Market.


3651 W. Overland Road, Boise


888 W. Fort St., Boise 2350 N. Eagle Road, The Village at Meridian

WHOLE FOODS MARKET 401 S. Broadway Ave., Boise



300 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise

3540 E. Longwing Lane, The Village at Meridian



All Treasure Valley locations


600 S. Rivershore Lane, Eagle Sets up on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 10th and Grove streets, through Oct. 29. The market moves inside (the site has yet to be determined) through Dec. 24.

CAPITAL CITY PUBLIC MARKET Sets up along the 8th Street corridor on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through Dec. 17.

Watch a video showcasing the wonders of Gaston’s Bakery and meet owner Mathieu Choux. At



Nicolette Doty packages fresh bread for a customer at Zeppole Baking Co. at the Capital City Public Market.

You’ll find lots of baked goods and treats at area Saturday markets. Here are some highlights: BOISE FARMERS MARKET Acme Bakeshop: Artisan breads such as baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, brioche, pretzels and more. Sweet Valley Cookie Company: Chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, snicker doodles, oatmeal-raisin cookies and frosted sugar cookies. Blue Feather Bakery: Small-batch hand pies and personal fruit pies and other baked goods.

Hand pies from Blue Feather Bakery are at both Boise Downtown Saturday markets.

Volcanic Farms: Freshly baked fruit pies, including berry, apple, peach and pumpkin later in the season.

Black Canyon Fudge: Freshly produced fudge made with real cream and butter. Seasonal flavors include raspberry cream, key lime pie, dulce de leche and pumpkin.

CAPITAL CITY PUBLIC MARKET Zeppole Baking Company: Crusty loaves of bread, pastries and those yummy pestocoated breadsticks. A Touch of Dutch: Dutch-style cookies such as stroopwafel (caramel-filled waffle cookie), gevuldekoeken (almond shortbread cookie), spiced cookies and more.

Blue Feather Bakery: See description from the Boise Farmers Market. Blue Dog Bakers: Specialty baked goodies for your pooch. Expect to find bones and other tasty snacks for Fido.


(in Heritage Park from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 15) Grateful Bread: Freshly baked breads, muffins, cinnamon rolls and desserts. Great Harvest Bread Company: A gamut of breads, fruit bars, big cookies, scones and cinnamon rolls. The S’mores Station: You guessed it. Gourmet S’more-inspired desserts and other creations. Sweet Linnea’s: Assorted cupcakes, seasonal cakes, breads and more.

Acme Bakeshop has a booth at the Boise Farmers Market. 34

Megan’s Mobile Cupcakes: Real buttercream-frosted cupcakes and freshly baked cookies.

baguettes, croissants and other baked goods at the Capital City Public Market, and he jumped on board at the Boise Farmers Market, too, when it debuted in 2013. People have come to rely on his flaky treats at both markets. Lifelong Boisean George Loucks, a regular at the Boise Farmers Market, typically heads straight to the Gaston’s Bakery booth when he arrives at the market. “The ham and cheese George croissant makes for a very fine breakfast,” Loucks says. Loucks “I also like the chocolate croissants — because they’re not too sweet like American pastries.” Le Café de Paris, in the shadow of the Capitol rotunda, usually had a long line out the door on weekend mornings with those looking to score patisserie goodies. The full-service restaurant served traditional breakfast and lunch items as well, including pain perdu (think French toast), quiche Lorraine, croque monsieur (ham-and-swiss cheese sandwich) and nicoise salad. At night, the emphasis was decidedly on Burgundian cuisine with classic dishes such as escargots in puff pastry, beef a la bourguignon and duck confit with sautéed apples and fried potatoes. Choux, who was building outside accounts for his baked goods while operating the retail bakery and restaurant, decided in 2014 to solely focus on the commercial side of the business. “I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t we just close the restaurant and only do wholesale?’ ” Choux says. “It turned out to be a good decision.” He named the bakery after his grandfather, Gaston. While Choux continues to build the business, his philosophy stays constant when it comes to how he operates on a day-to-day basis. “We are a smaller bakery on a larger scale, at least that’s how we think,” Choux says. “We have grown a lot, but one thing that never changes is the way we do things, like hand-forming our breads, using butter and all the time-honored bread-making techniques.”

MOVING ON UP About a year before he closed the restaurant, Choux moved into a 6,500-square-foot production facility on Overland Road in Boise. “We were baking everything in the basement of the Paris spot, but we outgrew that space,” he says. Remnants of Le Café de Paris — like the old signs and such — now adorn the interior walls of the building as reminders of the past. Folks can even pick up freshly baked

Gaston’s Bakery employees include some refugees from the Republic of Congo — like Ruta Ruzoreza, left. It works well, says owner Mathieu Choux, because Choux speaks French, as do many of the refugees.

loaves of bread and croissants at the small retail shop (open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily) right inside the front door. Choux uses a large deck oven — which runs at 450 degrees for baguettes and hardcrusted breads and between 325 and 350 degrees for pastries — to produce a bevy of freshly baked goods. The list includes poulichette baguettes, boule-style round loaves, ciabatta, focaccia, brioche, hamburger buns, various croissants, fruit Danishes and more. “The oven goes on at 8 a.m. and stays on till 2 or 3 in the morning. We just have one oven, but we probably need another one,” Choux says. With all the big accounts that Gaston’s Bakery has landed in recent years, more equipment and employees seem like imperatives if the bakery plans to keep up with the orders. “I used to employ around 20 workers, but we’ve grown so much I had to hire more

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Olivier Dusabe bakes pan after pan of Gaston’s baguettes. AUGUST 2016


The Mystery of the Eiffel Tower Remember the 10-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower that once stood next to the sidewalk patio at Le Café de Paris? It was hard to miss while dining al fresco at the restaurant or even driving by on Capitol Boulevard. Well, Mathieu Choux didn’t purchase the eye-catching tower as most people assumed. “I heard they were using it for something at the Boise River Festival when that was going on, and when they were done with it, someone just dropped it off next to the restaurant one night,” Choux says. “I don’t know who did it.” After being a fixture for about five years, the tower disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared. “A customer asked me one morning, ‘Where’s the Eiffel Tower?’ I don’t know where it went or who took it away. The whole thing was really strange,” Choux says. There have been rumors that it ended up somewhere in the North End and even as far away as McCall, but only one person knows for sure what happened to Boise’s little Eiffel Tower — and he or she isn’t telling.

This Eiffel Tower added a bit more French ambiance to Le Café de Paris. The tower’s whereabouts now is a mystery. 36

Mathieu Choux, owner of Gaston’s Bakery, prepares a large order for shipping.

staff this summer,” Choux says. His workforce, now more than 30 strong, is a diverse mix of people, many of whom are recent transplants from the Republic of Congo. “They speak French, so it’s easy to communicate with each other,” he says. These flour-dusted workers busily move about among the metal cooling racks and piles of 50-pound bags of flour — mostly milled grains from the high plains of Montana and Colorado — producing the various baked goods during three shifts per day. The jobs include mixers, bread formers (this is where new workers start out, at a large stainless steel table forming loaves), bakers, packers and delivery drivers, not to mention those who hawk the freshly baked goods at the Saturday markets. Besides maintaining more than 200 restaurant and coffeehouse accounts around Southwest Idaho, the bakery also distributes its products through Idaho’s Bounty and U.S. Foods, which delivers to restaurants and resorts throughout the West. About three years ago, Gaston’s Bakery started making frozen, uncooked croissants (in cases of 15) for Sur la Table, a nationwide kitchen store that was founded in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1972. Customers can simply buy the croissants (kept in freezer cases at the stores) and thaw, proof (allowing the dough to rise) and bake them at home. “It’s really easy. They (Sur la Table) even have a video on their website about how to bake the croissants,” Choux says. Choux also secured a contract with Albertsons about two years ago to make sandwich breads for the deli sections, and he expects to also have baguettes in stores around these parts by the end of the year.


The larger accounts are surely the bread and butter for Gaston’s Bakery. Yet farmers markets and the smaller accounts, like restaurants and coffeehouses, are equally as important to Choux, who has built strong relationships with his customer base over the years. “Mathieu’s a good friend, and if anything ever goes awry, I just call him and he takes care of it,” says John Berryhill, chef and owner of Berryhill and Bacon. “He’s very customer friendly. Plus, he’s got that sexy French accent.” Berryhill has relied on Choux for everything from hamburger buns to croissants to custom slider buns. “He makes a slider bun for us that’s slightly larger than regular slider buns, and we played with stuff for a while at Bacon to get the pastries right,” Berryhill says. Gaston’s Bakery makes custom breads for other local eateries as well, including eggwashed potato hamburger buns for Boise Fry Company and sandwich breads for Dustan Bristol’s On the Fly deli. “We make a special white bread and rye panini bread for Dustan,” Choux says. Gaston’s Bakery is growing to be a tour de force in the bread world, but Choux has never lost sight of who helped to get him there. “We look at it the same way. It doesn’t matter the size of the account, whether it’s a few loaves or cases of bread,” he explains. “All of our customers are important to us.” James Patrick Kelly, the Idaho Statesman’s restaurant critic, is the author of the travel guidebook “Moon Idaho.” The latest edition hit the shelves in March. Kelly also teaches journalism at Boise State University.

Two new breweries on the way BEER NOTES BY JAMES PATRICK KELLY


ad Swede Brewing is shooting for a mid- to late-September opening in a 4,800-square-foot industrial space near the Boise Costco. The brewery ( at 2772 S. Cole Road will operate a 15-barrel system to produce a wide variety of handcrafted brews, including a super-hoppy IPA, rye wheat, brown ale, stout and an array of seasonal beers — offered in pints, growlers and 22-ounce bottles. “We’re always developing beers. What will become our mainstays will be decided by our customers,” says owner Jerry Larson, who retired as an engineer at Hewlett-Packard earlier this summer. Larson has been brewing beers at home in small batches since 1979, but in recent years he’s turned his attention to the idea as a business venture. “About eight years ago, I got back into making beer big time and started thinking this could be something more,” Larson says. The 1,000-square-foot taproom will pour six house brews and keep two local ciders on tap, as well as offer a selection of wines. In terms of design, Larson and his wife, Susie, are going for a shabby-chic décor. “It will have a rustic, comfortable feel, with mismatched tables and chairs like you would find at your house,” he says. The brewery will not serve food but will host food trucks on occasion. Larson is also cool with people bringing in food (a platter of Costco poached shrimp, perhaps?) and having pizzas delivered to the brewery. The Larsons haven’t yet nailed down the hours and days of operation, but it’s looking like the taproom will be open Wednesday through Sunday.

CLAIRVOYANT BREWING COMING SOON Clairvoyant Brewing Company ( is now hoping for an October opening in Boise’s up-and-coming West End, an industrial area between Downtown Boise and Garden City. Owners Ryan Kowalczyk, Mike Edmondson and Tim Carter will share the brewing responsibilities at the small brewery. The trio of beermakers had originally hoped to open the brewery in June, but they had to push the date back a few months due to


Jerry and Susie Larson are the owners of Mad Swede Brewing, which is scheduled to open in September in Southwest Boise near the Boise Costco.

construction and other considerations. The brewery’s lineup of handcrafted brews (draft and 22-ounce bottles) will be made from a seven-barrel system. The focus is decidedly on hopped-up IPAs, but you’ll likely also find porter, pale ale, kolsch-style lager and a California common beer. Housed in a former auto repair shop (2800 W. Idaho St.), the brewery will have a 99-person taproom that will be open Thursday through Sunday. A sidewalk patio also is in the works.

NEW BREWPUB IN BUHL Magic Valley Brewing ( recently opened in Buhl, a small town in south-central Idaho known more for dairy cattle and farm-raised trout than handcrafted beers. The diminutive brewpub (208 Broadway Ave. N.), owned by Rich and Judy White, keeps 10 taps flowing and dishes up homespun pub fare. Rich White, formerly of White Water Brewing Co. in Rio Vista, Calif., handles the head brewing duties. He puts out a half dozen or so mainstay brews and some seasonal beers, which he makes in 1.5-barrel batches. The draft lineup typically includes an IPA, jalapeno IPA, brown ale, pale ale, stout and more. One of the taps gives rotating play to beers made by other breweries in the area. Beers from Von Scheidt Brewing in Twin Falls make appearances from time to time. In terms of food, expect to find Scotch eggs, Idaho potato skin nachos and a meat, cheese and cracker platter that’s good for

soaking up the beer. The menu also includes hot and cold sandwiches and a few entrées. Magic Valley Brewing is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

ROAD TRIP BREWERY: BARLEY BROWN’S BEER Next time you’re in Baker City, Ore., stop by Barley Brown’s Beer (barleybrownsbeer. com) for a burger and a brew. The microbrewery (2200 Main St.) has been putting out handcrafted beers in its taproom along the main drag in historic Baker City since 1998. You will find 22 taps flowing with Barley Brown’s brews, including Jubilee Golden Ale, Handtruck Pale Ale, Disorder Stout and a super-hoppy Forklift Double IPA, to name a few, as well as the award-winning and much-loved Pallet Jack. The nearby restaurant (2190 Main St.) serves lots of beer-friendly food. Appetizers include deep-fried green beans, nachos and deep-fried pickles. Besides salads, sandwiches and burgers, expect to find entrées such as bangers and mash, beer-battered halibut and chips, juicy steaks and grilled salmon. The taproom is open 2 p.m. to close (late) daily, and the restaurant is open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. James Patrick Kelly, the Idaho Statesman’s restaurant critic, is the author of the travel guidebook, “Moon Idaho.” The latest edition hit the shelves earlier this year. Kelly also teaches journalism at Boise State University. AUGUST 2016


Koenig Vineyards brings a touch of Italy to Idaho Italian-style architecture and beautiful views await visitors to the winery’s new Sunnyslope tasting room, which is set to open to the public in early September.


t this time of year, most Pacific Northwest winemakers are spending vacation time with their families in advance of the crush of harvest. Greg Koenig didn’t have the luxury of much relaxation this summer, yet it’s been perhaps the most satisfying time of his winemaking career. The graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s famed architecture program has been applying the finishing touches to the 20-year-old dream of an Italy-influenced tasting room and terrace for Koenig Vineyards. “It will be nice to have it all on campus — the winery, the barrel room, the tasting room and really be able to promote it as Koenig Vineyards,” he said. “When people come here, they will be able see the vines, look at the dirt, see the climate and enjoy the view. And 99 percent of the grapes we use will be within view.” The Sunnyslope Wine District is a 45-minute drive west of Boise, but the atmosphere created at Koenig Vineyards may transport some visitors well beyond their impressions of Idaho wine country. The 7,000-square-foot addition includes a catering kitchen, stone courtyard with outdoor seating and a limestone fountain. A threestory tower offers guests a view of Greg Koenig’s 7 acres of vineyard, the Sunnyslope Wine District and the Snake River Valley. Club members will have access to an area that will be roped off from the public. “Koenig’s new tasting room will be another great way to experience Idaho wine country,” said Moya Dolsby, executive director for the Idaho Wine Commission. “The 38

GREAT NORTHWEST WINE By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue

passion he and his team have put into the building and wine will be wonderful to experience firsthand.”

FROM GRAPE LANE TO HOSKINS ROAD There will be an adjustment period for longtime fans of Greg Koenig. His wines have been poured as part of Koenig Distillery and Winery, the space on Grape Lane he’s shared from the beginning with his brother, Andy. There are nearly two decades of memories in the building that two young architects loosely designed within a modern Italian hilltown industrial theme. “Hopefully, we will not disappoint too many people, but I’m sure there will be some who will like the old place better,” Greg said with a chuckle. That building now will operate solely as the production showpiece for Andy’s distillery. “I designed that with my best friend in architecture school, David Colgan, who went on to become a pretty successful architect in Atlanta,” Greg said. “At the time, it was so unique for Idaho to have ‘that crazy distillery thing,’ and it was fun to show people there was a new side to Idaho wine when we opened that in ’99. My mom and dad loaned us a lot of money to build that, but it gave us some credibility among people from out of the state, and it set the table for people’s expectations for what Idaho wine could be.” Four years later, Martin Fujishin, another product of the Snake River Valley farming industry, began working for Greg. It took more than a decade until visions for a winery-only tasting room started to come into focus early in 2015. “Back when I first started there were drawings on the wall — hints and schematics of what this would look like,” Fujishin said. “It’s taken longer than we’d hoped, but

Koenig Vineyards The new tasting room is at 21452 Hoskins Road, Caldwell, ID, 83607,, 208-4558386. Look for a September public opening.

Greg really wants to make sure everything is done right and that it lasts well into the next generation.” There’s no looking back as the dream has come true for Greg and his wife, Kristen. “I never regret not having gone on to become an architect. I love being a winemaker,” Greg said. “It’s been 20 years now, and I still love it — the agriculture, the marketing, the science. It requires a little bit of everything. “Besides, the fun part of architecture is only about 5 percent of the job — the design part,” he added. “The other 95 percent is drudgery, dealing with all the codes and being inside the office all day.” And yet, much of what Koenig has created on Hoskins Road is based on his experiences as a college student. “It’s a tradition going through the pro-

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Koenig Vineyards will soon have its own tasting room in the Sunnyslope area, near Caldwell.

Wood beams and stone complement each other in the new tasting room.

Greg Koenig studied architecture at the University of Notre Dame before becoming a winemaker. AUGUST 2016


gram at Notre Dame that you spend a year in Italy, so I took some of those lessons in urbanism and applied them to this,” Greg said. “The detail is modern and clean, and I also wanted to create a nice outdoor space.” From a business standpoint, the timing is just right for Koenig Vineyards. “I didn’t need a tasting room like this 20 years ago, but this has been fun, especially with all these years of waiting and designing something with ideas that I’ve always wanted to build,” Greg said. “Some of the elements that have gone into this have been on the drafting table since a couple of years after college, but it required the space, the time and money to do it right. “And when you are the client, you get to do it your way,” he added. “At the same time, I’ve had to be budget-minded. It’s not like someone coming from some California tech company who is starting a winery in their spare time.”


Greg Koenig has been making award-winning Idaho wines for about two decades. Italian architecture influenced the look of the new tasting room area at Koenig Vineyards.


Greg, an Idaho native, grew up in Sun Valley, where his parents owned and operated the Knob Hill Inn. He and his brother fondly look back on childhood time spent near Kuna, where their mother was raised on a dairy farm. Those roots, combined with memories of the distilleries and wineries in their father’s hometown in Austria, continue to inspire them. Both brothers remain committed to Idaho

fruit for their craft beverages. “I’ve always admired Greg’s commitment to keep things local and not doing something just to propel his own winery forward,” Fujishin said. “If one of us does well, we all do well. It’s important for all of us in Idaho to make the best wine we can, and the Sunnyslope Wine District — where we are in — is the heart of Idaho’s wine industry.” Across the Sunnyslope from Koenig Vineyards is Ste. Chapelle, the Gem State’s largest winery by far, at 125,000 cases. But aside from Sawtooth winemaker Meredith Smith, recently promoted by Seattle-based Precept Wine to take over at Ste. Chapelle, no one in Idaho makes more wine than Greg Koenig. Not only is he in charge of his eponymous brand, but Koenig also teams with Fujishin to produce wine for Bitner Vineyards, Williamson Vineyards, 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards and yet-to-be-released Scoria Vineyards and Winery. Fujishin Family Cellars operates a tasting room a couple of minutes away along Idaho 55, but those wines, while made under Fujishin’s direction, also are vinified at Koenig’s production facility. Combined, they make about 20,000 cases. By creating a 3,000-square-foot barrel room and 4,000-square-foot retail space, it will give Greg Koenig and Fujishin more room to work on all those brands. Koenig Vineyards production stands at about 4,800 cases annually. He

plans on growing to as much to 6,000 cases. “You definitely have to reach ahead to get ahead,” Greg said. “We’re going to have a sizable mortgage for the next 10 years, but based on the models of how the industry has been the last seven to 10 years and where it’s going, this should be a good investment.”

A FOUNDATION FOR THE NEXT GENERATION Throughout the design and the construction, Greg has kept in mind that his new tasting room is being built for the long haul. “Dad taught me and my brother to learn how to do this type of work,” Greg said. “It’s given me the opportunity to dust off some of my old skills. It’s kind of frightening how it all is coming back, using the concrete drill and the mortar mixer. Some of it is déjà vu and a flashback to the construction company I worked for in Sun Valley while I was in college.” This project also has allowed him to pass along some of those craftsman skills to his son, Alden. “He’s only 14, and you can’t find a summer job at that age much beyond baby-sitting or working at an ice cream shop, so I’ve put him to work,” Greg said. “This summer, he’s worked almost every day that he’s not in basketball camp. I’ve always hoped that he would be interested in working at the winery, and he literally grew 8 inches in the last nine months, so he’s strong, tall and quite capable now. There are 2,000 individual beams and boards that we have in the new tasting room, and he painted every one. The terrace has 5,000 square feet of pavers, and he’s moved every one of those, too.” There’s hope Alden someday will make Koenig Vineyards an Idaho winery with three generations of winemaking in its history. Greg’s maternal great grandfather made a bit of wine in the Snake River Valley for personal consumption during Prohibition. At this point, though, Alden’s work experience is limited to construction and finishing work. “He’s learning some lessons, and four summers from now, he’ll be off to college,” Greg said. The Koenigs’ daughter, Amelia, also has become more involved in the family business. Fujishin said, “It’s nice to see how proud Greg is to have his kids involved and for both he and Kristen to see that this is actually happening.”

SPECIAL FEATURES FOR NEW TASTING ROOM Visitors will be able to gauge the location of the new Koenig Vineyards tasting room from a distance because of the three-story tower that overlooks the grounds. After parking and walking across the stone terrace, they will enter a 2,000-square-foot tasting

The front entrance of the new Koenig Vineyards tasting room offers beautiful views.

room. Their first impression may well be the stately beams of Douglas fir. Some are 32 feet long, and they all come from Specialty Beams in Montana. “Everyone is going to think they are fake because you don’t see that anymore,” Greg said. Those touches of the Pacific Northwest incorporated into the neo-Italian construction are intended to make for a heightened experience for visitors. “We’re going to try to be open daily, as that seems to have worked well for (Garden City winery) Cinder,” Greg said. “I have a good tasting room staff of seven, including a full-time tasting room manager, and I’d like to hang on to them. A lot of customers have Monday and Tuesday off or want to avoid the crowds on the weekends. Every time I go over to Ste. Chapelle, their tasting room is busy, no matter what time or day of the week it is.” And thanks to the new kitchen, Kelli Paddock, Koenig’s tasting room manager, will enjoy an expanded role as professional chef/owner of Prepared Catering. “We’re looking to tap into her talent a bit more and use her to create some real nice experiences for wine club members,” Greg said. And for a two-week period, club members will be the only folks to experience the new tasting room at Koenig Vineyards. “The original tasting room will stay open during that time,” Greg said.

KOENIG’S VERSION OF IDAHO WINE Koenig Distillery will continue to operate on Grape Lane. Andy’s acclaimed vodka, brandy, bourbon and rye whiskey will be sold in Greg’s new tasting room at the winery; however, they will not be poured or sampled at Koenig Vineyards. “There are five or six wineries out here, and then if you add spirits to their tasting,

there’s the liability and danger issue,” Greg Koenig said. Ultimately, Greg hopes his new tasting room, kitchen, courtyard with fountain and tower will create an informative and memorable experience for guests. They will be able to sample special wines such as the Cuvée Alden Red Wine, Cuvée Amelia Reserve Syrah, his new Fraser Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, his traditional Riesling ice wines and perhaps 2012 The Devil’s Bedstead Zinfandel — the No. 12 wine on Great Northwest Wine’s Top 100 wines of 2015. “I want visitors to be able to spend a couple of hours here and talk to somebody,” Greg said. “They might be able to see the winemaker drive by on the tractor, who was able to stop in the tasting room and took the time to talk to them.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Koenig brothers planting vines near the Grape Lane facility. Visitors to the new Hoskins Road tasting room will drive between some of Greg’s younger 7 acres of vineyard. A stone’s throw away are some of the Williamson family’s vines. And on the slope just above the tasting room is the new J Victor Vineyard, a 32-acre planting the Koenig brothers are orchestrating for Micron executive Jay Hawkins. “I’m not very good at modern marketing, and I’m very bad at spin, but when I get the chance to host groups at my winery, I’m more in my element,” Greg said with a chuckle. “Here, surrounded by the vineyards, giving tours of the barrel room and with the lovely smells of fermentation during harvest, with the catering kitchen and the terrace and the tower, I’m able to show people my version of what Idaho wine is about.” Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information website. Learn more about wine and see more of their stories at AUGUST 2016


Looking to escape the late-summer heat? PETE ZIMOWSKY SPECIAL TO TREASURE MAGAZINE

Idaho has many forest roads that lead to beautiful vistas and trailheads — and cooler weather BY PETE ZIMOWSKY



pale-blue moon beams as it rises over an alpine ridge from the east — illuminating ghostly looking fir snags tangled among granite boulders in Idaho’s formidable Seven Devils Mountains. In the west, the sun is a fiery ball dipping below blue-gray clouds and just barely touching the rimrock of the Oregon side of Hells Canyon. In the distance and fading fast into darkness are Oregon’s purplish Wallowa Mountains. To the immediate south, the Seven Devils are turning black in the fading light. What a magnificent sight to see while hiking late into the evening at 8,200 feet in elevation in summer. What’s also magnificent is that getting to this ridge in the western Idaho mountains didn’t take a strenuous 6,000-foot elevation



Sharon Dowdle, of Meridian, enjoys the cool breeze and a book near Heaven’s Gate Lookout. The high-elevation vista was brisk in the low 60s during a late July day while the Treasure Valley sweltered in the 90s.

gain on a hiking trail. Instead, and don’t call it cheating, the hiking area was reached on a drive from about 1,900 feet on the valley floor of the Little Salmon River near Riggins. The drive was on a fairly decent U.S. Forest Service gravel road to the high-country trailheads. It was a welcome way to explore Idaho’s high-point hiking adventures. Idaho has many forest roads from Sun

Valley to Riggins and beyond that lead to vistas and trailheads at 8,000 to 9,000 feet in elevation. They are the perfect places for ridgeline hiking, camping and fishing in mountain lakes, or to just veg out in the cool mountain air when the valleys are in the high 90s. The Sevens Devils Road out of Riggins has it all, from beautiful photography oppor-


Wildflowers continue to bloom at higher elevations through late summer.

tunities to hiking. On a recent camping trip, the temperatures in Boise were nearing triple digits. In the Seven Devils, it was in the low 60s at the camping areas near Windy Saddle and in the 40s at night. “It’s beautiful,” said Sharon Dowdle of Meridian. She was sitting in a camp chair below Heaven’s Gate Lookout reading a book and taking in the on-top-of-this-world scenery. “I’m so impressed with Hells Canyon.” She relaxed while friends hiked to the lookout. The area west of Riggins has two campgrounds and several trailheads for a variety in hiking. Located above the Hells Canyon Wilderness, the Windy Saddle Horse Camp is a small campground with five tent pads, picnic tables and fire pits. Campers who pick this campsite like the openness of the ridge. The campground has long camp spurs for trailers, an overflow parking area for stock trailers or day use, hitching rails and a loading ramp. Nearby Windy Saddle Trailhead is the main access point into the Hells Canyon Wilderness from Idaho. Located on the saddle is also a road going up to Heaven’s Gate Lookout, which offers great view of the Seven Devil mountain range and Hells Canyon area. The trails off the ridge offer 1- to 5-mile out-and-back hikes or 26-mile, weeklong backpacking trips. Nearby Seven Devils Campground, which is the most popular in the area, has 10 camping spots with tables, fire pits and restrooms. It is a 150-yard hike to Seven Devils Lake, where there is trout fishing and opportunities to photograph mountain goats. All in all, this area is definitely a coolingoff point for southern Idaho’s annual August


Heaven’s Gate Lookout in the Seven Devils Mountains is a great place to visit and get a perspective on the surrounding areas of Idaho and Oregon.

heat wave, but make sure to bring water. No water is available at the campgrounds and trailhead. Getting there: From Riggins, go south on U.S. 95 for 1.3 miles to Seven Devils Road, also known as Forest Road 517. Turn right on Seven Devils Road and go 17 miles to the summit, where there are turnoffs for the Seven Devils Campground, the Windy Saddle camping area and the road to Heaven’s Gate Lookout. Here are another four places to find high-elevation hiking areas and other fun via forest roads:



New Meadows Council

McCall 55 93

Cascade 95






Snowbank Mountain is intriguing. Motorists see it to the west while traveling Idaho 55 about 7 miles south of Cascade. Most of the time, it has snow on it. Snowbank Mountain is a large twin-hump mountain in the West Mountains to the west between Cascade and Round Valley. At 8,322 feet, it’s a quick drive to gain elevation from the Long Valley floor at about 4,700 feet. The mountain peaks stand out because of the Federal Aviation Administration’s radar facility on top. That presence is why it’s a well-maintained gravel road to the top of the mountain, which offers excellent high-point picnicking and hiking opportunities. Once you’re on top of the Snowbank











Hailey 84


Mountain Home


ridge, there are hiking opportunities on several cattle trails and some hidden trails to alpine lakes. Just hiking the granite ridgeline with views of Oregon to the west and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to the east makes it a wonderful scenic day trip from Boise. Getting there: From Boise, take Idaho 55 north toward Cascade. About 7 miles before

continued ÷ AUGUST 2016


Cascade, look for the restaurant at the Clear Creek turnoff. Turn left onto Cabarton Road and follow it until it crosses the North Fork of the Payette River. Just a short ways is another left turn onto a forest road. There’s a barn at the turnoff. From there continue up the Snowbank Mountain Road about 10 miles to the top. The road can get very washboarded and dusty by August. Before reaching the top is the trailhead for Blue Lake, a 1-mile hike to a mountain lake that is well worth the time. Blue Lake is considered one of the best beginner hikes in southern Idaho and is especially good for children.

TRINITY MOUNTAIN The Trinity Mountain Recreation Area, north of Mountain Home, is very popular in summer because nearby Trinity Lookout is the highest drivable point in Idaho, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Trinity peaks soar out of the Boise Mountains at more than 9,000 feet in elevation. Trinity Mountain is the tallest in the range at 9,700 feet and very impressive. It’s an area that is unforgettable. The recreation area, located between the drainages of the South and Middle forks of the Boise River, offers fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping. For example, there are 17 campsites on Big Trinity Lake and there are more sites near the incredible smaller lakes in what is called Rainbow Basin. If you’re an avid hiker, there are hikes to at least a dozen alpine lakes in the area. The only drawback to the area is that the

long drive on bumpy Forest Service roads makes it a challenge, but it’s well worth it. Getting there: From Boise, take Interstate 84 to the second Mountain Home exit for U.S. 20. Head north and east toward Sun Valley. At 35 miles, take the turnoff to Pine and Featherville. The Forest Service says travel 29 miles on Forest Highway 61 to Forest Service Road 172. Go 15 miles northwest to Forest Service Road 129. Continue 3 miles to the Forest Guard Station junction. It’s a long drive but a great extended weekend trip.

GALENA SUMMIT If you need a good paved highway to reach your high-point hiking goal, nothing beats Idaho 75 north out of Sun Valley to Galena Summit. You go from about 5,800 feet in Ketchum to Galena Summit at somewhere around 8,900 feet. On the entire drive you’ll see the Harriman Trail, which runs right along Idaho 75 north of Sun Valley and offers several trailheads along a 23-mile route. Elevation varies from 6,200 to 7,200 feet with easy hiking along the Wood River. Stop at Galena Lodge at the northernmost end of the trail for a gourmet lunch and craft beers. Galena Lodge also has a trail system in case you want to stick close to the lodge. Once on top of Galena Summit, you’ll find the Titus Lake trailhead. This is a moderate hike to an alpine lake and is great for beginner hikers and children. You’re at high elevation already, and you only need to take a mild hike with a little downhill to the

lake. This is a great opportunity to enjoy Idaho’s Smoky Mountains. Getting there: Drive north on Idaho 75 from Sun Valley. You can’t miss Galena Lodge or the summit.

TRAIL CREEK SUMMIT Trail Creek Summit rises about 8,200 feet in elevation from Sun Valley and is a quick day hiking area from the resort town. The Trail Creek area has several campgrounds and lots of undeveloped camping in base areas for hiking many of the mountain peaks in the Boulder and Pioneer mountains. It’s truly a gateway to this wonderful mountain region east of the Sun Valley area, including favorite places like Pioneer Cabin, The Devil’s Bedstead and Copper Basin, to name a few. It would take all of August to explore the mountain peaks in this area, many of which reach 11,000 feet or more in elevation. Getting there: Simply take Trail Creek Road out of Sun Valley to the top and start exploring all the way down to the Lost River and U.S. 93. The road can be very dusty and washboarded late in the summer. Pete Zimowsky (aka Zimo), retired outdoors writer from the Idaho Statesman, just can’t put down his camera and continues to write occasionally about adventures around Idaho and the Northwest. This overlook to Blue Lake, near Snowbank Mountain, is about 300 yards from the trailhead, which is farther up the road. BRUCE WHITING BEWHITING@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM




ead to Bruneau Dunes State Park on Friday and Saturday nights to take a gander at constellations and the chance to track a shooting star burning bright as it passes Orion. The Bruneau Dunes Observatory not only is a good place to spy a nebula or a distant galaxy, but did you know the popular state park also offers solar viewing? A sun telescope gets set up outside the observatory building at 7:30 p.m. so people can safely take a close look at the burning orb. “Visitors can clearly see prominences (an arc of gas that erupts from the sun’s surface) and sun spots,” assistant park manager Bryce Bealba explains. Staff and volunteers are there to help park guests operate the equipment and answer any questions about what they are seeing through the specially adapted solar telescope. As soon as the solar viewing ends, head into the Steele Reese Auditorium for a hosted program about topics related to space and the night sky, followed by observatory viewing through the park’s 25-inch Newtonian Reflector telescope. “The entire observatory building rotates so that the telescope can track objects throughout the night sky,” Bealba states. Observatory presentations are offered Friday and Saturday nights in August (9 to 11:30 p.m.), September (8:30 to 11:30 p.m.) and midway through October (8:30 to 11:30 p.m.). Admission costs $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students (ages 6 to 18), and is free for kids 5 and younger. There’s a $5 motor vehicle entrance fee to the park, unless you already have a handy $10 Passport sticker on your windshield (purchased at the DMV) that gives you access to all Idaho state parks throughout the year. Campsites and camper cabins are available if you don’t feel like driving home after the observatory viewing, but make reservations ( bruneau-dunes) soon if you plan on spending the night.

LATE SUMMER IN SUN VALLEY Sun Valley Resort ( has no shortage of fun stuff to do this time of year. On Sept. 2, check out “A Salute to Broadway Under the Stars” featuring Tony


See the sky through a solar telescope at Bruneau Dunes State Park.

Award winner Kelli O’Hara and Grammy Award-winning baritone Nathan Gunn — backed up by Craig Jessop and the American Festival Orchestra. The Sun Valley Opera Company is celebrating its 15th season of outdoor shows at the Sun Valley Pavilion. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($75-$250) can be purchased at or by calling (888) 622-2108. Fans of layback spins and triple Salchow jumps can catch a Sun Valley on Ice show at the resort’s outdoor rink next to the Lodge Terrace. On Aug. 13, three-time U.S. National Champion Ashley Wagner takes to the ice. On Aug. 27, Gracie Gold will hit the ice for a spectacular show. She’s an Olympic bronze medalist and the 2016 U.S. gold medalist. Tickets range from $25 to $129, the latter of which includes a dinner buffet on the terrace. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 8:45 p.m. On Sept. 3, Olympic gold medalists Charlie White and Meryl Davis, one of the most famous ice dancing couples in the world, will bring their razzle-dazzle to Sun Valley. Tickets cost $45-$159 (the higher-priced tickets include a dinner buffet). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 8:30 p.m.

MCCALL-AREA FUN On Aug. 20, Brundage Mountain Resort ( is hosting its second annual Family Festival and Hot Summer Night Pass Holder Appreciation Party. Enjoy a barbecue, live music, nature trail hikes, disc golf and even a treasure hunt for the kids. Season-pass holders receive free chairlift rides from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Make plans to attend the 8th annual MCPAWS Oktoberfest ( in McCall on Oct. 1. The family-friendly event, a fundraiser for the MCPAWS animal shelter, starts at noon at Alpine Village (600 N. 3rd St). It features lederhosen, live music, dancing, food vendors, craft brews, raffles and even the chance to adopt a pet. Check out the costume contest at 2 p.m. There’s a $10 entry fee, which gets you a souvenir drink koozie and a free beer coupon.

CROSSINGS WINERY’S NEW CHEF Crossings Winery ( in Glenns Ferry recently hired a new chef with an impressive resume. Christian Phernetton started at Tannins restaurant in late June. He’s a Boise native who cut his teeth cooking in high school at Peter Schott’s, then one of Boise’s renowned restaurants. He went on to Christian hold chef positions at topPhernetton notch restaurants in Miami, Virginia, Chicago and the Bay Area. Phernetton is in the process of retooling the lunch and dinner menus, which will receive a modern upgrade in the coming weeks. Make reservations at (208) 366-2313. James Patrick Kelly, the Idaho Statesman’s restaurant critic, is the author of the travel guidebook “Moon Idaho.” The latest edition hit the shelves earlier this year. Kelly also teaches journalism at Boise State University. AUGUST 2016


A hiker and his dog traverse a trail off Heaven’s Gate Lookout, with views of the mountains north of McCall in the distance. SEE RELATED STORY ON PAGE 42 PETE ZIMOWSKY SPECIAL TO TREASURE MAGAZINE

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” 46







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