This summer, the culinary staff at Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek has gotten its hands dirty tending two 4-foot-by-16-foot raised garden beds at the Eagle-Vail Community Garden. While growing Swiss chard, greens and potatoes and much more for the restaurant, the staff couldn't help but notice some other busy gardeners working at a neighboring garden bed.
Eagle County School's "Students in Transition" program is also growing vegetables at the community garden. The program helps students with disabilities transition from school to post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment and independent living so they can lead a life they prefer and be an active community member.
Inspired by the students and the teachers' hard work and dedication, Grouse Mountain Grill Executive Chef David Gutowski wanted to give back to the program to help it succeed even more.
On Aug. 15, Grouse Mountain Grill presents "the ultimate picnic" dinner at the Eagle-Vail Community Garden and all proceeds benefit the Students in Transition program. The menu will feature fresh produce harvested from Grouse Mountain Grill's garden, as well as other locally sourced products. Dinner will be served family style at a long communal table.
Dinner begins at 6 p.m. with passed hors d'oeuvres: Crispy pork belly and house made tomato jam, big eye tuna with cucumber relish and caramelized onion and goat cheese tart on a bed of micro arugula. Up next is a salad of palisade tomato and string beans, topped with Jumpin' Good Goat feta from Buena Vista and aged sherry vinegar. The main act is roasted Colorado leg of lamb, served with a confit of fingerling potatoes, Olathe sweet corn, Swiss chard from Grouse Mountain Grill's garden and roasted baby carrots. To end the summer celebration, Grouse will serve a Palisade peach crumble for dessert with blueberry creme fraiche swirl ice cream.
Chef Gutowski and the service staff are donating their time for the event, while Grouse Mountain Grill is donating the food and supplies. It's a BYOB affaire, but bottle openers, ice, water and glassware will be available. Dinner is $75 and reservations are required. Call or e-mail 970-949-0600 x 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.