Potato Festival – a Fairbanks affair
An unique Fairbanks formal event I am looking forward to each year is the Annual Potato Festival. Festival Fairbanks hosts this seven course dinner with wine service. The Midnight Sun Chef’s Association prepares this potato dinner that features local potatoes in every of its seven courses. The Pump House, a local historic must-see place, restaurant with saloon provides a great Alaska ambiente, perfect for a potato dinner. The potatoes are donated by the local growers who also attend the dinner in addition to the paying guests.
It’s not all about eating potatoes
Yes, I love eating potatoes and hence grow various Alaska types of potatoes in our yard. But for me it is not all about munching on my favorite starch. It’s more about fashion and style. The Potato Festival is one of the few opportunities for Fairbanks women to dress up as the dress code is Fairbanks Formal. So to speak, it is also a fashion event. The restaurant and walk to the cocktail bar in the Senator Saloon is runway. There is also live music, a silent auction, and door prizes. This fundraiser’s proceeds benefit the programs of Festival Fairbanks. One of their programs is the beautification of Fairbanks’ downtown.
The seven course dinner
Potato leek pear soup garnished with crisp bacon
Beet root potato salad served in butter leaf
Seared halibut, roasted fingerling potato, pea shoot cucumber spaghetti, wasabi dressing
Grapefruit and mint sorbet with grapefruit confit
Sous-vide lamb served with butterball chipotle potato
Purple potato ice cream
Here are photos of some of the courses. Even tough I love purple potatoes – I use them for our traditional Christmas Eve potato salad dinner with Wieners – I never had thought one could make ice cream from them. 😉
Potato root salad on butter lettuce leaves
Purple potato ice cream with round coconut cookie and oblong butter vanilla cookie
The Fairbanks Formal outfits
Now let’s come to the fashion part of the Potato Festival. Here are some of the Fairbanks Formal looks that caught my attention.
What I wore to the Potato Festival
You are wondering what I wore? Since there is also music and I went for a retro 40s inspired outfit that would fit the Fairbanks Formal dress code, but would also allow my husband and me to dance during the cocktail hour. Unfortunately, this time, the musicians did not play dance music. 🙁
When you happen to be in Fairbanks on the Potato Festival night, the event is worth going from both a gourmet and fashion standpoint. Unfortunately, one never gets to Fairbanks by plain accident since the breakdown of the Eastern Blog.
Do you attend local harvest festivals? Are they having a dress code? What do you wear to these events? Send me an email, I am curious.
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Photos: G. Kramm, N. Mölders
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