VAIL — Chef Troy Froman has been working in the restaurant business his entire life. He has washed dishes, delivered pizzas and studied culinary arts. Most recently, he has landed at La Tour Restaurant and Bar in Vail as the new executive chef to head chef and owner Paul Ferzacca.
Froman has been in the kitchen for many weeks now, pushing the restaurant through the shoulder season and is now in the midst of his first full winter in Vail. Previously, he was with Great Northern restaurant in Denver.
“Paul (Ferzacca) posted an ad for a sous chef. I told him that I didn’t necessarily want to take a step back and it just so happened that the executive chef position had just opened up,” Froman said. “I fit the mold well. We sat down for two hours and hit it off. I came up and did a stage (pronounced ‘stazhje’ meaning try out) and did well.”
Froman is originally from Sewickley, Penn., just outside of Pittsuburgh. His dad was in the hotel business and running around the back of the house of hotel restaurants as a kid is what spurred Froman’s interest in the culinary arts.
“My first job was washing dishes,” Froman said. “I moved to Steamboat when I was 18 and was delivering pizzas. I moved to Boulder and was working at a cheesesteak place. I decided this was something that I really wanted to do.”
From there, Froman enrolled in the Art Institute of Colorado’s culinary arts program where he gained an appreciation for fine cooking, particularly some of the inspired techniques used at La Tour.
“I think at La Tour we use some really great classical techniques,” Froman said. “For instance the brown butter we make in-house for the dover sole. We have great techniques for braising. I like the fact that everything is made in-house. We make our own Sriracha sauce as apposed to buying it. We use techniques that take time and finesse. You have to be skilled to do it.”
When he is not on the kitchen Froman said he enjoys hiking with his 9-year-old yellow lab. He also skis and fly fishes.
“So far, Troy has been great,” said Ferzacca. “He brings a lot of inventiveness and skill to the kitchen. The restaurant is excited to have him.”
La Tour Restaurant and Bar has been open in Vail Village for more than 20 years. Under the direction of Ferzacca, La Tour has set the bar for mountain-side fine dining in Vail. Reservations and a full menu can be found at www.latour-vail.com.