The third time was a charm for From the Ashes Idaho, an outdoor barbecue extravaganza that took over Settlers Creek in Post Falls on Saturday morning and afternoon.
After debuting in 2018 and returning the following year, From the Ashes Idaho went quiet in 2020 due to the pandemic but returned with a bang on Saturday, selling out 800 tickets and hosting more than 820 people, after adding vendors, volunteers and entertainment to the total attendance number and subtracting no-shows.
The weather could not have been more perfect – aside from literally 15 seconds of rain – and there was plenty of food to go around, with lines moving fairly quickly when there were lines of attendees at the well-spaced, family-friendly event.
Colin Barker of TT’s Old Iron Brewery & BBQ in Spokane Valley, Anthony DiBernardo of Swig & Swine in Charleston, S.C. (who is a From the Ashes Idaho founder) and Porter Kinney of Porter’s Real Barbecue in the Tri-Cities were the From the Ashes Idaho three pit masters.
Their offerings included ribs, pulled pork, deep-fried pork skins, corn pudding, coleslaw, large corn on the cob, barbecue chicken, salmon, brisket, tri-tip served with chimichurri sauce and watermelon salad. The ribs, corn on the cob and brisket were especially popular with attendees.
“Do you want fatty or lean brisket?” Kinney asked one From the Ashes Idaho guest at this tent. “Fatty, for sure,” the guest said. “That’s my man!” said Kinney, who unwrapped and sliced new brisket while one colleague offered bacon-wrapped jalapenos.
Jill Davis, Dylan Campbell and T.J. Taylor of Ten/6 in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane’s Ricky Webster of Rind and Wheat and Chad White of Chad White Hospitality Group were the three guest chefs, and Jeana Pecha of White’s Zona Blanca Ceviche Bar and Dane Rice of Sysco Spokane were application station chefs.
Their offerings included very popular beignets and smoked chocolate chip cookies, pork banh mi and pork bao buns and salmon tostadas and salmon a la carte.
“This is a really great event, and I’m glad it’s back,” said White, who along with Barker is celebrating the second anniversary of their TT’s Old Iron Brewery & BBQ this weekend with a celebration on Sunday.
“I really love working at outdoor events like this – this is definitely my wheelhouse,” said Pecha, who recently relocated to Spokane from Los Angeles to work as executive chef at Zona Blanca downtown.
“People are really enjoying the smoked chocolate chip cookies,” said Webster, whose Rind and Wheat is in Browne’s Addition. “We might run out early. I hope we don’t!”
From the Ashes Idaho entertainers were Aaron Cerutti, Carter Hudson, Rusty and Chrissy Jackson, Erin Parkes, Dan Powers (who also served as stage manager) and Jackson Roltgen. They performed on a stage at the center bottom of a hillside with tables and chairs.
One guest enjoyed Spokane singer-songwriter Hudson so much that he asked event organizer where Hudson was on-site until he tracked him down so that he could give him a tip and ask where his music was available.
From the Ashes Idaho sponsors were Certified Angus Beef Brand, Sysco Spokane, Prairie Fresh, Blue Sky Broadcasting, Visit Idaho, Spiceology, event founder Wendi Haught, event founder Chris Varela of Settlers Creek and Herbig Design.
Producer-partners were KC Enterprises, Athol Orchards in Athol, Lacey Green Photography in Coeur d’Alene, La Vita Bella Olive Oil in Coeur d’Alene, Belmont Farms in Athol and Wishing Star Foundation of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.
This event should be a must-attend on the annual calendar for barbecue lovers, no question, and now is for yours truly.
“This was such a powerfully amazing event thanks to everyone’s creativity, talent and incredible hard work – they made sure our guests had the most amazing food experience of their summer,” event founder Haught said.