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Idaho Whitewater Association kickstarts events with the dutch oven cook-off

Posted at 1:43 PM, Apr 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-04 15:43:16-04

GARDEN CITY, Idaho — Multi-day raft trips are an adventure, but with the equipment we have these days people aren't exactly roughing it out there as on every trip I've been on we eat like royalty.

However, one of the ways rafters feed big groups is an old-school method using cast iron and heating a dutch oven with coals.

Firing up the coals for the dutch oven

"I’d say cast iron and dutch oven cooking on the river is what barbecue is on the ranch," said Kevin Price, who came down for this event from Riggins. "This one I remember as a kid mom cooking chili in it, I think it is my great grandmother's so mom thinks it could have come from Wales."

On Wednesday, the Idaho Whitewater Association hosted a dutch oven cook-off and Kevin Price tried a new recipe. He called it smoked seafood alfredo.

smoked seafood alfredo

"The reason that cast iron is so popular with a lot of cooks is that once you get it heated up, it really collects and radiates the heat," said Price. "It’s a different type of cooking you have to kind of watch what you are doing because you can burn stuff with the dutch oven just like everything else."

Everything from dessert to main course meals can be cooked in a dutch oven. We saw everything from baked oatmeal to elk pot pie to tortellini lasagna.

Elk pot pie ready to eat

"Cast iron is kind of a primitive iron is what the ironworker guys tell me ask a blacksmith they know about that," said Price. "It has been around for centuries, it's very rugged and you can take it with you anywhere, it's some of the oldest cookware we have."

Idaho Whitewater Association has several events coming up as whitewater season gets underway. Their next event will be back at Cascade River Gear for an equipment sale where people can buy and sell used gear on April 20.

This non-profit helps beginners get into the sport and meet other people. Starting on April 21, they will host their first IWA Float the Boat at Banks for members. The insurance for this event was paid for with funding through the Idaho Whitewater Specialty License plate.

“You can sign a waiver and get on the river with us for free, meet some friends, run some lines and learn safety tricks," said Chris Riggs of the Idaho Whitewater Association. "Another event that we do for members is safety Saturdays."

A private rafting makes it through Lochsa Falls in 2022

In addition, Idaho Whitewater has reserved a campground for members for the Lochsa River Madness on Memorial Day Weekend, they will be at the Big Water Blowout in Riggins at the end of May and they will also clean up Highway 55 near the banks.