VAIL — Restaurant Kelly Liken, located in Vail, will host its third annual “Whole Hog Dinner” and butchery demonstration on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. featuring special guest and master butcher Mark DeNittis, founder of The Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat – one of America’s premier State and American culinary federation accredited programs in the U.S.
“We are excited to now be in our third year with the ‘Whole Hog Dinner’ and most importantly working to change the way people think about the care and commitment that our farmers and 4-H students put into these animals,” Liken said. “The 4-H program is not only a wonderful example of sustainable agricultural methods, but also an invaluable tool to educate future generations.”
The four-course nose-to-tail dinner ($99 per person, excluding tax and gratuity) will be paired with hand-crafted cocktails by mixologist Ian Tulk featuring spirits from family-owned and operated Colorado distillery Leopold Bros., which is recognized as one of the finest in the country (cocktails included in event price), and a demonstration by DeNittis speaking to butchery techniques, various cuts of the pig and the versatile use of each cut for preparation.
A long-standing dedication to supporting the Colorado agricultural community, Liken is featuring a whole blue butt hog that was raised by Logan Story of Story Farms, a student of the local 4-H Club. The 4-H Club provides opportunities for students to learn within a hands-on environment, while exposing them to new ideas in farming.
Four-Courses of Delight
The four-course menu will include seasonally inspired dishes. Highlights from this past year’s “Whole Hog Dinner” included: grilled radicchio salad with crispy pork confit, headcheese, roasted apple, shaved Fiore Sardo and ice wine vinaigrette paired with “Alpine Sparkler,” made with “3 Pins” Alpine Liqueur, house made apple bitters and sparkling wine; pan-roasted black cod with “prosciutto skin,” pickled persimmon, ham and nasturtium leaf salad and sorrel foam, paired with “My Darling Clementine,” made with Leopold Bros Whiskey, fresh clementine juice, chai syrup and a splash of soda; and pork loin roulade with black trumpet mushroom and maple sausage, grilled panzanella salad, currants, pears and roasted fennel paired with a “Big Apple Manhattan” made with New York Apple Whiskey, sweet vermouth, house made bitters, candied bacon and dried apples.
Restaurant Kelly Liken continues to support Colorado’s local artisans, farmers and purveyors through a series of “community-cuisine” inspired dining experiences and collaborations such as the annual “Whole Hog Dinner” with Mark DeNittis. Additional events in the series will be announced throughout the winter season including an emphasis on wine, 4-H Club enrichment programs, “Sowing Seeds,” as well as experiential epicurean trips hosted by Liken.
Seating is limited and reservations are required. Call Restaurant Kelly Liken at 970-479-0175 to book your space at the table.
“The 4-H program is not only a wonderful example of sustainable agricultural methods, but also an invaluable tool to educate future generations.” Kelly Liken, Restaurant Kelly Liken chef and owner