Side Dish



Chef Alex Tolger, a veteran of Drunken Monkey and FiftyFifty Brewing Co. and owner of MOGROG Rotisserie food truck, launched a communal culinary space called Kitchen Collab in the Truckee Crossroads shopping center. The 1,800-square-foot commercial kitchen, which occupies a former Burger King and dry cleaner, is an incubator of things edible, giving chefs and food-focused entrepreneurs a place to experiment and work in a top-of-the-line kitchen, office space and conference room. The member-driven organization also caters to those already in the industry who don’t have their own kitchen set-up—food truckers, private chefs, caterers, bakers, sauce makers, etc. Membership is now open; look for events like pop-up dinners as well.



Olympic alpine ski racer Travis Ganong and big mountain Freeride World Tour snowboarder Ralph Backstrom teamed up to launch Pacific Crest Coffee Company in Truckee’s Pioneer Commerce Center, conveniently located near Sierra Bakehouse, Truckee Brewing Company and Blizzard Crossfit. At this industrial space outfitted with wood planks repurposed from pallets, they roast and sell their beans, both single origin and blends, and serve coffee drinks including nitro cold-brewed coffee, cascara (tea-like beverage brewed from coffee cherry skins) and rooibos tea on draft.



Montagna, one of the Resort at Squaw Creek’s six restaurants, reopened with a new look and menu. Newly appointed executive chef Patrick Cleary oversees the wood-fired oven and menu of modern Italian dishes made with fresh regional produce; signature items include the molto grande meatball, Parisian gnocchi and a daily house-made fresh pasta. Dinner served nightly.



Incline Village locals Andy Brimm of Brimm’s Catering and Mountain High Sandwich Company and Erik Castaneda, who works in base operations for Diamond Peak Resort, launched a line of barbecue and enchilada sauces called Small Batch Sauce Co. The pair, who met at the resort (Brimm runs the catering operations at Snowflake Lodge), talked about and tinkered with the recipes for four years, teaming up with an organic tomato farmer in Nevada City. Find their sauces for sale at Mountain High Sandwich Company in Incline Village, Tahoe Central Market in Kings Beach and Tahoe Food Hub in Alpine Meadows.



The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village hosted the ninth annual, well-attended Wine on the Water (WOW) this summer, featuring 23 high-end wineries, food from Jason’s Beachside Grille, Manzanita at the Ritz-Carlton and Brimm’s Catering, raising over $120,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe. Proceeds support programming for over 1,800 local youth in before- and after-school programs, summer camps and sports leagues.



Taylor Flynn, owner and publisher of South Shore’s Tahoe Mountain News, has opened a three-barrel nano-brewery dubbed Tahoe Mountain Brews in his building at the corner of Third Street and Eloise Avenue. He converted the first floor into a production facility and small tasting room with red brick walls, redwood bar, hardwood floors, wine barrel tables and fireplace. With local brewer Ron Buck, he produces and pours five high-alcohol-powered beers, such as an IPA flavored with lemongrass and sage. Open Friday and Saturday nights.



Mark Jeffers, executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, which includes signature restaurant Manzanita, made an appearance on NBC’s Today Show this summer, cooking up grilled avocado stuffed with fresh crab salad and salmon burgers. He says the dishes showcase quintessential California ingredients, which he prepared on-air with his own innovative twist. Find the clip and recipe at


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