Keith Boe, founder, North Idaho Life Foodies:
“That’s the No. 1 benefit: To explore new culinary offerings, cool places and experiences and for people to have a place to share and learn about food.”
KEITH BOE has a passion for the art of the plate.
Not just eating, but creating and sharing amazing local culinary delights.
“I like to be in the kitchen and cook,” he says. “It’s my therapeutic place, the joys at the end of a long work day.”
That’s why Boe created North Idaho Life Foodies, an online community. It is a Facebook group that is all about the best eats, hang-out spots, scenes and food culture in North Idaho.
Turns out Boe is not the only one interested in sharing and learning about the local food culture in the region. Since he launched the Facebook page about a year ago, his followers have grown to about 8,000. And the foodie followers keep coming, he says, averaging 300 new members joining each week.
“There really are some incredible food venues and offerings here in North Idaho, concentrated like nowhere else I know of, with fine dining and great eats all around us,” says Boe, a real estate agent and food blogger.
North Idaho Life Foodies is a place to share food finds from all the local eateries, as well as home cooking and tantalizing unique recipes such as a recent breakfast concoction called the “Rolling Stone” - a poached egg packed in an avocado and wrapped in bacon. Can you say yum?
Foodies is a place for folks who love food, beyond just the creative recipes offered by its thousands of follower. The page also provides a unique opportunity for people to engage with local food experts, Boe says.
“It’s a great way for chefs and restaurant owners to interact with the public on a very personal level,” he says.
A big part of the draw to the Foodies Facebook page, Boe believes, is that it’s an interactive, live social format.
And it’s all upbeat, Boe emphasizes.
“Part of the thing that makes (Foodies) so popular is its mission,” he says. “Share what you love. That and only that. No flames.”
Boe says Foodies is not an advertising opportunity for local eateries, but rather an opportunity for chefs and restaurant owners to connect with the public.
“I encourage (restaurants) to show off,” he says. “One of the coolest things is that a restaurant owner and client get to interact … so people can chat live with an actual local restaurant chef.”
In a word, Boe says, his Foodies site is all about one thing: exploration.
“That’s the No. 1 benefit: To explore new culinary offerings, cool places and experiences and for people to have a place to share and learn about our incredible local food scene here in North Idaho.”
And the interaction is rampant on the Foodies Facebook page. Here are some examples of recent comments shared with photos:
“Pumpkin Spice whoopie pies and Chocolate Fudge Rum cake bars. I don’t see these lasting long.” - Gina Eaton, The Culinary Stone Café, Riverstone Coeur d’Alene
“We have fresh pecan rolls, monkey bread, bear claws, orange rolls and much, much more, all scratch, fresh baked onsite. You can see the bakers baking from the counter. Smells like heaven in here.” -Becky Renfrew, Pastry and More, Coeur d’Alene
“A hot cup of deliciousness to warm the body, sweet sprinkles to settle the tummy, loaded with vitamins for health, topped with fluffiness on a rainy day. Ovaltine, marshmallows and peppermint. Yum!”-Tamara Simpson, Foodies follower
Beyond the tasty recipes and restaurant recommendations, Foodies also offers seasonal shopping tips. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to talk turkey.
“One thing I do every year is price all the stores on turkey,” Boe says. “I’ll post it for all the best turkey specials and deals and then interview a local celebrity chef on how to make the perfect turkey from start to finish.”
Foodies friends also have the advantage of learning about great meal deals at grocery stores spontaneously, Boe says.
“If someone’s shopping and says, ‘Hey! Yoke’s has a deal on New York steaks or Albertson’s is roasting fresh hatch green chiles,’ you’ll find it here on North Idaho Life Foodies.”
What Foodies all boils down to, Boe says, is spreading the gospel of great food.
“I’d say the number one benefit is exploration of North Idaho food … About 90 percent of our followers are from the Coeur d’Alene, Hayden and Post Falls areas, so it’s extremely local and a great place to learn and exchange anything food!”