No question about it – it was a spectacular summer in Sun Valley. Chances are you spent (and are still spending) hours and hours outdoors enjoying this amazing place: hiking, biking, rafting, golfing, swinging a tennis racket, and so much more. With autumn in the air, though, now is the perfect time to focus on wellness and beauty at the Spa at Sun Valley and undo a...
If there's one thing we can all appreciate, especially if we've been skiing, snowboarding or even fishing, it's a good meal. If the meal is a healthy one and is created with a bit of flare, all the better.
Providing tasty, healthy and fun food is what the River Run Day Lodge has always been about. Sure, the lodge's après ski scene, which usually includes live music and a festive full bar, is popular. But the one thing you'll notice whenever you hang out at River Run is that everyone isn't just drinking and dancing, they're all eating as well.
"Serving good food has always been important and we've had a lot of good chefs here over the years, " Cuc Ho said in a Vietnamese accent.
Cuc has been cooking at River Run, and restaurants throughout the valley, for 30 years now. Beloved for his big smile and positive personality, Cuc is also well respected for his ability to provide tasty, healthy food while manning the fire-fueled woks at River Run.
"You do give them a show," Cuc says about his ability to make wok dishes to order while patrons ooh and ahh as flames dance from stovetop. "I love my job. I love to cook. I love the customers, the ones who've come back for years and even the ones who are here for the first time and think it's all so cool."
Heck, people are such big fans of Cuc's cooking and his style, they've even made a Youtube video about it.
Cuc said the most popular wok dishes are his Pad Thai, Stir Fries (both Chinese and Vietnamese styles), and varieties of Curry. "We make everything fresh everyday and it makes a difference people appreciate," he said.
"The crowd here in Sun Valley is very health conscious. We serve a lot more Turkey Melts than we do Cheeseburgers," River Run's head chef, Jeff Elliott said. "Heck, even the 60 year-olds around here have the bodies of 30 year-olds!"
Jeff is in his first season at Sun Valley, after following up a career in the Coast Guard (where he served on the Presidential Honor Guard) by earning a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu in Florida. Jeff has practiced his culinary skills at both Copper Mountain in Colorado (where he often cooked for the U.S. Ski Team) and at the King Salmon restaurant in Alaska's Denali National Park before moving to Idaho. He's quickly become a fan of the topnotch skiing here and the healthy and friendly attitude of the community.
"I love it here. It's got the best of everything from Colorado and Alaska. It's got the feeling of being out in the wilderness, but you're not too far from anything you want to do. The skiing is great. The people are nice. It's a pretty special place," he said.
To help keep the people here nice and healthy, Jeff said the menu at River Run focuses on a couple of key aspects: being fresh and fast.
"Fast is important here, so we try to provide a high quality, fresh food in a food court atmosphere. That's what people expect when they come to eat here," he said.
Jeff explained that their salad bar—the only one on Baldy—is extremely popular and is always stocked with fresh vegetables and fruits. Their fresh daily soups and vegetarian chili, along with Cuc's wok creations and pizza from the wood-fired oven, are also very popular items at River Run. They also offer gluten-free options for just about everything on the menu, including pizza.
But whether you want a hardy, protein-filled breakfast, a light and healthy lunch or sweet treat after a day on the slopes (River Run always offers fresh pastries and cookies), Jeff and his team take pride in providing it.
"You've got to eat what makes you happy, " he said.
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