VAIL - Matt Timmerman wants to take you for your stroll while you’re eating, not after. Or maybe after, if that’s what you want.
Timmerman just launched Vail Valley Food Tours. For now, it’s a walking tour of Vail Village, with nibbles and drinks along the way.
“We love our valley and want to show our support for all of the hardworking people in area restaurants. These restaurants are a large part of why this valley is so special,” Timmerman said. “They feed millions of people each year and help to make Vail and Beaver Creek a world-class destination.”
The tours help answer a question guests constantly ask, “What can we eat?”
The answer: “Everything.”
“While on vacation, we all find food to be one of our major daily decisions. I know that my family is talking about the next meal even while we are eating one,” Timmerman said.
During your tour, you stroll about the grounds and sample food from six or seven locally owned restaurants. While you’re at it, Timmerman gives you a quick history of Vail, a history of the restaurants and some stories about the chefs.
“Food tourism has become bigger over the past few years,” Timmerman said.
Vail is 50 years old, and Timmerman has been around for much of it. He was a sous chef at a high-end local Italian restaurant and a raft guide for 20 years.
“I know food, and I know guiding, so I decide to put the two together,” Timmerman said.
While guiding multi-day river adventures, he said he discovered a passion for food and cooking in the outdoors.
Larger cities have these types of tours, and so do several other Colorado resort communities, Timmerman said. Aspen, Telluride, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs all have them, but Vail did not.
“I thought this would be a good chance to showcase our local talent,” Timmerman said. “I’d like to show off the valley’s restaurants more than the twice yearly food festivals.”
Timmerman started in August with a lunch tour. It’s offered Monday through Friday right now and will start around 1 p.m. when winter rolls around. He said he might add a dinner tour if the lunch tours go well.
And you don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy the tours, you just have to enjoy good food.
“With all of the fun activities in town, why not make eating an adventure as well?” Timmerman said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.