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Eagle County Historical Society hosts event at Bonfire about the ‘fun’ parts of local history

If you’re into the history of prohibition and bootlegging, the Eagle County Historical Society has crafted the perfect event at the perfect venue.

Bonfire Brewing is hosting the historical society for a History Happy Hour event at the brewery on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 4:30-6 p.m. The group’s President, Kathy Heicher, will be giving a lecture and local actor Cooter Overcash will portray a successful bootlegger from Gore Creek.

“History gets a lot more interesting if you have a beer,” Heicher said.

And that’s precisely the historical society’s goal for this event. They wanted to put together a story that’s fun and engaging. History, for many people, is that class in high school that’s just a never-ending quest to memorize dates, remember names and regurgitate cause and effect of historical events.

Heicher thinks all history is fun because she loves it, but recognizes that not everyone feels that way. Her presentation will focus mainly on the Munchers, a group of brothers that lived in Red Cliff and whose life revolved around practical jokes. They would go so far as to kidnap brides the night before their wedding day.

“Rather than just a lecture in library room where you have cookies and punch, you make it fun,” she said.

This isn’t the first time the historical society has put together an event like this. About a year ago, Heicher said, she and Bonfire owner Andy Jessen hosted one about the first female judge in Colorado. The judge was from Red Cliff, and Heicher prepared a presentation and an actress portrayed the judge. After the event, she realized that the event helped bring new faces to the historical society.

“It drew to Bonfire a different crowd from what they typically get,” she said. “We’re just tickled to death with it, we’re really pleased.”

Some of the guests in attendance at that first event wanted to purchase a membership to the historical society, and many said that they’d love to see another in the future.

After an apparently successful outing in the late 1800s with Brush Creek hunting guide Alfred Borah, client George P. Ryan posed with this taxidermy display. The event will talk about the fun parts of Eagle County history, and one dollar of every pint will be donated to the historical society.
ECHS and Eagle Valley Library District | Special to the Daily

Other topics Heicher would love to explore in possible future events after this weekend include murder, hunting and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Aside from providing an opportunity to learn more about the community’s history, the event is also raising money to replace the roof on the historical society’s museum. The museum space is a century-old barn in Eagle, and while the inside is in good working order, the roof needs replacing. One dollar of each pint purchased at Bonfire will be donated to the historical society’s Raise the Roof fundraiser to replace the museum roof. The society will also have a donation box shaped like a wooden barn: fitting with the fundraiser name, anyone who wishes to donate can lift the rooftop off the box and deposit their contribution.

Surely raising money to preserve the museum is a big goal for the historical society, but beyond that, Heicher believes that a sense of history is integral to a strong society.

“Our museum is important because it protects artifacts. If you don’t preserve it, you’re going to lose that chunk of your history. It tells people how their community developed and it gives them a sense of belonging if they know the community,” she said.

If you go …

What: History Happy Hour

When: Sunday, Jan. 26, 4:30-6 p.m.

Where: Bonfire Brewing, Eagle

Cost: Free, $1 of every pint donated to ECHS

More information: Visit eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.

‘Big news taco friends’: Rocky Mountain Taco announces new restaurant location coming to Minturn

In an Instagram post on Friday, Rocky Mountain Taco announced a coming expansion, as well as left some to the imagination for fans of the “world’s most best taco.”

That’s right, Rocky Mountain Taco is announcing a new restaurant location in Minturn, coming “soon.” In its post, the taco truck company said: “We are super excited to join the amazing community in Minturn.” It also announced an expanded menu coming, but those details are “top secret.”

Rocky Mountain Taco is currently seeking signatures to help secure its beer and wine license at the Minturn location. “Come by our EagleVail location … and please sign our petition to get beer and wine in our new spot.”

Rocky Mountain Taco opened its window in 2016 and has gained a loyal following ever since, expanding with another truck in Avon shortly after. In the Vail Daily’s Best of Vail reader voting, Rocky Mountain Taco won 12 awards, the most of any local business, including Best Worker’s Lunch, Best Mexican and Best Patio (with its neighbors Vail Brewing Co. in EagleVail).

The Lil Smokies release 3rd studio album, coming to Beaver Creek in February

Whether you’ve seen them at WinterWonderGrass, Bonfire Block Party or at Agave, The Lil Smokies are a bluegrass band out of Missoula, Montana, that boasts a large following in Colorado, including the Vail Valley.

Formed in 2009, the current lineup of Scott Parker on bass, Jake Simpson on fiddle, Matt “Rev” Rieger on guitar, Matt Cornette on banjo and Andy Dunnigan on dobro have been together close to four years. “Tornillo” dropped today, Jan. 24, and is the band’s third studio album as The Lil Smokies get into a five-month tour across the country, including a stop at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

“I always love our time in Vail,” Rieger said ahead of the performance, mentioning previous shows at Agave in Avon as well as the Bonfire Block Party in Eagle and WinterWonderGrass, formally in Avon.

‘Tornillo’

“Tornillo” is the third studio album by The Lil Smokies, recorded in a small Texas town over the course of two weeks. Hear some of the band’s new songs at the Beaver Creek show.
Special to the Daily

Recorded over the course of two weeks at the Sonic Ranch in a small Texas town, the namesake for the album, “Tornillo” is produced by Bill Reynolds, a “vibe doctor,” Rieger said.

“He comes into whatever environment he’s in, reads the situation and finds the ways that he can contribute the best and build up the tem,” Rieger said, adding Reynolds has worked with other bands such as the Avett Brothers and Band of Horses.

At Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, the band was looking for “uninhibited creativity,” which Rieger says The Lil Smokies found. While the small town of Tornillo is also known nationally for stories about its migrant tent cities, that had nothing to do with the album name.

“The reason it’s named ‘Tornillo’ is quite simply because we were so blessed by our experience in Tornillo, Texas,” Rieger said. “What I experienced in Tornillo was love and acceptance. The impact of that town and the people at the ranch will be with us for the rest of our lives.”

The band has come a long way since its inception in 2009, when the original members took to a stage in Missoula without an official name. The green room snacks that night were lil smokies, and with an empty plate of toothpicks and barbecue sauce sitting on the edge of the stage, the emcee introduced the band with, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Lil Smokies.”

“That’s the story I’ve heard,” said Rieger, who celebrated four years with the band on New Year’s Eve. His first performance with The Lil Smokies was a sold-out show at The Wilma in Missoula on New Year’s Eve four years ago, performing “Wilma” by Derek and the Dominoes, “something special.”

The band is frequently on tour more than 250 days out of the year. To start 2020, The Lil Smokies will tour the West Coast, Canada, Colorado and Utah before heading to the East Coast. In addition to the Vilar Center, The Lil Smokies will hit the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.; Belly Up in Aspen; The Independent in San Francisco and many other venues.

“Thank you to everyone in Vail and the surrounding area for so much support for so many years,” Rieger said. “We were able to make this record because of ya’ll, and we are really appreciative of it.”

The Lil Smokies take to the 535-seat Vilar Center at Beaver Creek on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $22. Visit www.vilarpac.org for tickets. To hear “Tornillo,” visit The Lil Smokies website at www.thelilsmokies.com.

Life on the road

The Lil Smokies is made up of Scott Parker on bass, Jake Simpson on fiddle, Matt “Rev” Rieger on guitar, Matt Cornette on banjo and Andy Dunnigan on dobro.
Special to the Daily

With the band on the road most of the year, Rieger has taken a unique approach to life on the road the past couple of years, although he admittedly says it is most likely to change in the next year or two.

Rieger has refrained from putting down a permanent residence and opts for the Airbnb life.

“I was looking at that number (256 days on the road),” he said about his first months with The Lil Smokies. “I’m no accounting whiz, but it was clear that I could probably pull off not having a house.”

At Sonic Ranch, the band was provided housing for the two weeks of recording.

“Airbnb has really given me an incredible opportunity,” he said, adding jokingly he has no side deal with the vacation rental company. “It’s been good to me, and nothing crazy has happened.”

Admittedly, Rieger says it’s almost time to put down roots somewhere.

“The Oregon coast really speaks to me,” he said. “I feel a peace and comfort there that I don’t feel anywhere else. I can’t say why, but that’s a compelling enough reason to consider living somewhere.”

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Movie Guru: Guy Ritchie delivers a classic Guy Ritchie movie with ‘The Gentlemen’

Editor’s note: This film is not currently showing at the Riverwalk of Edwards, CineBistro in Vail or Capitol Theater in Eagle.

With director Guy Ritchie, you know you’re going to get rapid-fire dialogue, a particularly self-aware kind of wit, a healthy dose of violence, and a whimsically complicated plot. If you’re watching one of his British crime movies, you know there will also be a ton of swearing and a decent number of corpses. It’s a very specific flavor of film, and you probably know going in whether or not you like it.

If you do, then you’re definitely going to want to watch “The Gentlemen.” The movie marks Ritchie’s return to the crime genre after more than a decade away, and it’s clear he’s having fun going back to his roots. The plot is satisfyingly complicated, full of Ritchie’s trademark humor and twists that actually make sense to the larger story. There’s also plenty of grit and violence, all of it wrapped in a self-aware package that teeters over the line of being too kitschy but ends up landing just right. It’s not the greatest Guy Ritchie movie ever made, but it’s an entertaining return to form.

Though telling you too much about the movie would spoil it, I will say that it revolves around a British drug lord trying to sell his empire so he can go legitimate. Naturally, this turns out to be a not-so-easy process, complicated by the presence of people trying to take his empire by force, thieves, traitors, and a particularly inconvenient private investigator. Will he, or anyone else involved in all this, make it out alive?

The movie is framed in large part as a story a private investigator is telling someone after breaking into his home late at night. Sometimes this works out beautifully, since Hugh Grant is particularly good as an extremely sleazy private investigator with questionable loyalties. Other times, however, it’s one too many levels of framework that distracts from the main story.

That distraction slows down some of the early parts of the story, but it’s a joy to watch once it gets bouncing. The movie is great at dodging right when you think it will go left, and there are a couple of chase scenes that manage to be both comedic and just a little scary. It really rewards you at the end, where all the plot threads come together and deliver a kinetic, deeply satisfying finish.

Matthew McConaughey is best when he gets a little feral, and Charlie Hunnam does a great job holding the audience’s attention every moment the movie focuses on him. Probably the best thing about the movie, however, is Colin Farrell’s Coach. He’s only a supporting character who gets dragged in somewhat against his will, but his entire involvement in the movie is an absolute treat.

If you’re a fan of Ritchie’s crime movies, the entire movie fits into that category. The man knows what he likes, and trusts that his audiences do as well.

Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at themovieguruslc@gmail.com. 

Vail Jazz Alumni: Jeffrey Miller was moved to tears at the Vail Jazz Party, and takes that passion everywhere he makes music

Editor’s note: Over the past 25 years, nearly 300 teenage musicians have been transformed by the Vail Jazz Workshop. A large majority have gone on to become professional musicians. Vail Jazz is sharing their stories.

Jeffery Miller didn’t realize how much music meant to him until he came to Vail in 2013 and was brought to tears.

Miller was 17 years old and attending the Vail Jazz Workshop, which hosts 12 of the nation’s top teenage musicians for a week of intensive play-by-ear training with instructors from the Vail Jazz Party House Band and culminates with performances in the Vail Jazz Party over Labor Day weekend.

“I remember the moment like it was yesterday,” Miller said. “It was at the Vail Jazz Party and the faculty was playing an original – it was so beautiful and powerful. I had to go the bathroom to wipe my eyes. It was amazing music. It made me realize how amazing music can be. That’s why Vail Jazz will always have a place in my heart. That was one of my biggest moments.”

Now 23 years old, living in New York City and in the final semester of his Masters of Arts degree at Juilliard, Miller took that big moment and carried it skyward. But he came from humble beginnigns. He was raised by his grandmother in New Orleans, and started playing the trombone as a child. He had performed in Carnegie Hall by age 15.

Not long after his mind-blowing week in Vail, Miller landed a full scholarship to pursue his Bachelor’s degree at Juilliard and then performed at the Apollo Theatre. He’s returned to his hometown many times in a blaze of glory, playing big stages at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the VooDoo Fest. He’s performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz – The Count Basie Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and younger brother Delfeayo Marsalis as well as Vail Jazz Party mentor Wycliffe Gordon.

“For me, it’s hard to pinpoint a most rewarding accomplishment, but developing relationships with so many people I respect and looked up to like Wycliffe and Wynton, that’s been a beautiful thing,” Miller said. “The experiences I’ve had performing that re-instill the passion of being a musician … I wouldn’t trade those for anything.”

It’s difficult for him to pinpoint a single performance that’s served as an ultimate standout, but Miller said the thrill that came with playing a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band supporting rock icon Arcade Fire ranks – so far – as the major highlight.

“We shut the show down. The energy and the sold-out crowd was incredible. It was like a dream,” he said.

Branching beyond the jazz genre has also given Miller a great deal of satisfaction. He has been nominated for three Grammy Awards for his work with Jon Batiste and John Legend, recently recording a Christmas album with the latter.

“I want to make music that is not just jazz music,” he said. “I’m working on a lot of different projects – some pop stuff, some R&B stuff – I’m sitting on a live jazz album that I might put out soon.”

In the immediate future, however, Miller’s key focus is to earn his advanced degree. This should happen before he knows it, given the whirlwind that is his daily routine in the Big Apple.

“The day might start out with me barely waking up from the night before after having a gig until 3 a.m. I’ll wake up super early to go teach kids about jazz at a middle school in Queens or Brooklyn. Then I’ll have to rush off to class in an expensive Uber. Then I usually have a break and big band rehearsal from 3 to 6 p.m. Then I’d probably have another gig that night from 7:30 to 11 p.m. and if I’m pushing it, I might schedule myself for another gig from 11:30 into the late night …”

In spite of the early mornings, Miller has found teaching the middle school kids incredibly rewarding, imparting some of the tips and tricks he learned in Vail.

“Most of the time it’s kids who haven’t had any music training,” he said. “I like showing them the funny sounds a trombone can make, how loud it can play and how you can speak through the instrument. … that’s what gets you interested. It’s about educating their ear and challenging their ear musically. That’s how I came up in New Orleans and what I found in the Vail Jazz Workshop. It’s a very powerful tool.”

After he finishes his degree, Miller’s goal is to sign a record deal and start traveling the world again. He’d love to make enough money to help his grandmother – who raised him and his twin sister after their mother died when they were infants – re-open a women’s shelter back in New Orleans. He’s returned to Vail a few times since his workshop days to perform at the Vail Jazz Party as well as at the Vail Dance Festival. He hopes to be back again soon.

He’s still young, but definitely thinks about what he wants his career to look like.

“I hope to find myself in some kind of situation that garners respect and makes the people who care about me proud.”

Shauna Farnell is a public relations and marketing consultant for Vail Jazz. She has a background in journalism, including a stint at the Vail Daily, and she freelances for several publications. Contact her at shauna@shaunafarnell.com.

Art in Public Places announces five openings on volunteer board, applications due Feb. 21

The Town of Vail is seeking community members to fill five vacancies on the Art in Public Places Board. Applications are due to the town by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21. Send letters of interest and experience to: Vail Town Council, Attn. Tammy Nagel, Town Clerk, 75 S. Frontage Rd., Vail, CO 81657 by mail or in person, or email to tnagel@vailgov.com.

The seven-member Art in Public Places Board meets the first Monday of each month beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers. This volunteer board is made up of members who have demonstrated expertise in architecture, art criticism, art education, art history, fine arts, graphic arts, interior design, landscape architecture, town planning, community development or other art and design related backgrounds not specifically mentioned, or who have demonstrated a strong interest in the visual arts and/or civic improvement. To qualify, board members must be a resident of the Town of Vail and/or an owner of property within the town for at least one year.

The terms of the new appointments will extend to March 31, 2022. The board oversees the Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places Program and is responsible for implementation of the AIPP policies and selection procedures, acquiring public art by purchase, donation or other means for Vail’s permanent Art in Public Places collection, overseeing the maintenance and preservation of art works displayed in public areas, assisting the AIPP coordinator with fundraising for public art projects, promoting public art through a public education program that will further community appreciation and understanding of the visual arts, publicizing AIPP projects, evaluating the AIPP program annually, selecting artwork and visual arts events for temporary display, encouraging support for and inclusion of public art projects in private sector development and setting program goals on a five-year basis.

The Vail Town Council will conduct interviews during its afternoon session on Tuesday, March 3, with appointments to follow at its evening meeting.

For more information on submittal requirements, contact Town Clerk Tammy Nagel at tnagel@vailgov.com or 970-479-2136. For information about AIPP, contact Molly Eppard, AIPP coordinator, at 970-479-2344 or meppard@vailgov.com.

Pass sharing connections from Colorado to Switzerland

When Vail Rotarians Edgard Cabanillas and Chris Aubel participate in the prestigious Patrouille des Glaciers ski mountaineering race in May, they will travel from Zermatt to Verbier in Switzerland along a variation of the famous “Haute Route.”

The race traces its origin to World War II, when the Swiss army’s Mountain Brigade 10 used the race to see troops prove their ability to cover the four-day route as a single stage.

Here in Vail, World War II is also directly connected with our mountain town, as its founders were veterans — Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton both served in the war, and Seibert was himself a “ski trooper” for the 10th Mountain Division.

And up near Vail Pass at Copper Mountain, Chuck Froelicher, brother of 10th Mountain Division Sgt. Sangree M. Froelicher, would help found the resort there in the decade that followed Vail’s founding in 1962.

Verbier is Epic

With all this in mind, I have to commend the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass on their selection of resorts in the Swiss Alps to feature ski pass sharing arrangements. If you buy an Epic pass for Vail, you can ski Verbier. If you buy an Ikon pass for Copper, you can ski Zermatt. My wife and I decided to check out both during a visit to Europe to see family in December.

Traveling with small children is never easy, but Switzerland proved to be easier than expected and we were able to ski there together as a family at a much more affordable rate than I would have expected.

The catch with Verbier is you have to stay in one of the roughly 25 properties that participate in the arrangement to receive the ski pass. They have all price ranges, from bare-bones hostel to full Swiss luxury. We chose one in the middle for its location at the bottom of the gondola, rather than midway up the mountain. Getting out on a ski day with the whole family, you don’t want to get stuck watching full cars pass you at a mid station while you wait in line with impatient children.

The Una Lodge was located right at the bottom of the Verbier gondola in Le Châble. The place proved to be perfect for our needs. Built in 2014, it was inspired by a traditional Swiss chalet, but everything inside was new and modern. Owner Tom Waddington, a ski coach by trade, said that when the opportunity arose to create the place, he jumped on it.

“There was certainly Swiss efficiency in the building of it,” he said. “It was a piece of land five years ago.”

He said sustainable concepts were important to him in starting a business in the Swiss Alps. The chalet has numerous solar panels on the roof and used recycled Swiss wood in the construction.

Most of all, “we try to use as little plastic as possible,” Waddington said. And in disposing of what plastic they do see, “we just started using a new recycling company that’s a lot better at disposing of the different plastics.”

While there was green grass outside Una Lodge, atop the mountain the snow was plentiful. Verbier is a mix of different lifts and gondolas running every which way, and it was easy to get a bit confused — in a good way. We were there on St. Nicholas celebration day, when visitors received discounted lift tickets if they wore Santa costumes. The slopes were a sea of red. The après scene was lively, and crowds were friendly to the kids. My son, 3, snowboarded the baby slope while my wife and daughter, 4, ventured off onto the steeper terrain. The runs had a good groom and the “off piste” areas had nice, untracked snow. While I was there, I met several people skinning up the mountain along with whole groups of people training for the Patrouille des Glaciers race. The front-desk person at the hotel said its common to see people in town readying for the race, which becomes the talk of Verbier in the weeks leading up to it. She was excited about that event, along with the Freeride World Tour competition that takes place there in early April.

Zermatt is Ikonic

The drive to Zermatt was beautiful, and upon arriving, we were worried that we would be staying in a windowless underground room in at the Zermatt Budget hotel. But it turns out that the Zermatt Budget is just one part of the Alpen Resort hotel, and as the Alpen Resort was not filled, we received a nice upgrade to a room with an amazing view of the Matterhorn.

My kids had seen both the Matterhorn neighborhood in Vail and the Matterhorn replica at Disneyland, so I was worried that they might not be impressed. But the Matterhorn itself is so awe-inspiring to behold with the naked eye that they, too, were mesmerized and are still talking about it.

Not long after we got there, it started snowing, and the Matterhorn disappeared from view. My kids opted not to ski the Matterhorn Zermatt Bergbahnen resort the next day, as the weather had turned and the hotel itself was such a fun place. There was a big underground pool and spa area, active atmosphere with classrooms of kids taking tests in the evenings, and lots of Americans were there. Our kids loved the wide-open spaces, and they had an incredible spread of options at the free breakfast.

My wife and I were able to sneak away in separate shifts to snowboard, benefiting from the Ikon Pass agreement, and we were both amazed by the Denver International Airport-like tunnel and train ride through the mountain up to the lifts. The runs were nicely groomed, and we were lucky to have some fresh snow on the off-piste areas

And the views up there are as dramatic as they come.

Your guide to Beaver Creek Culinary Weekend: Tricia’s weekend picks 1/24/20

Beaver Creek’s Winter Culinary Weekend is one of my favorite events of the year because of the ways the event incorporates the outdoors and talented chefs who participate from our local establishments and beyond. Any city can have a culinary event, but when you pair great food and libations with the backdrop of Beaver Creek, it doesn’t get any better. 

Who’s coming to cook?

Beaver Creek’s Winter Culinary Weekend will host seven chefs with influences and connections to as far as Southeast Asia and as close as Grand Junction. Here’s a look at who is coming to do some cooking:

Andrew Zimmern – If you watch TV, you’ve seen this guy. He’s a four-time James Beard award-winning chef, writer, teacher and host of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” franchise, “Driven by Food,” “The Zimmern List” and the Food Network’s “Big Food Truck Tip.” 

Antonia Lofaso – Lofaso is also all over the airwaves on such shows as Bravo’s “Top Chef” and NBC’s “Restaurant Startup.” Southern California is where you can find her since she is busy with three restaurants: Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City; Scopa Italian Roots in Venice and DAMA in downtown Los Angeles. 

Brother Luck – Luck has ties to Colorado Springs, where he started Brother Luck Street Eats, but his trainings have taken him all over Japan, Hong Kong and China. Luck was also on “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Top Chef.” Read the Vail Daily’s interview with him here.

Giorgio Rapicavoli – Rapicavoli has made a mark on the Miami culinary scene and caught the eye of “Forbes” magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2012. He became the executive chef at Chispa Doral at the age of 21. Most recently, Rapicavoli opened up three different restaurant concepts in the Miami area in the end of 2019. 

Josh Niernberg – Nienberg got his start by working in restaurants while trying to pursue a career as a snowboarder 1994. He worked with many of Denver’s most notable chefs. He and his wife Jodi showcase Colorado’s Grand Valley with Bin 707 Foodbar, Tacoparty and Dinnerparty in Grand Junction. 

Katsuji Tanabe – Tanabe came to America at 18 years old and worked several jobs in Los Angeles to get by. His big break came in 2005 when he was promoted to executive sous chef at Mastros. That lead to appearances on PBS’ “Cooking Under Fire,” “Top Chef,” “Food Fighters” and “Chow Masters.” It’s a great American Dream story as Tanabe now owns three restaurants across North America with more on the way. 

Tyson Cole – Cole hails from Austin, but don’t expect barbecue from this Texan. Cole has spent many years perfecting the art of Japanese sushi, living in Japan and even learning the language. This American sushi master and James Beard Award-winning chef will showcase his sushi skills at the Art of Seafood & Sushi Dinner at Hooked on Friday. Read the Vail Daily’s interview with him here.

What’s new?

The Art of Seafood & Sushi is a brand-new event at Hooked restaurant. Owner and executive chef Riley Romanin and Cole will pair a beautiful seafood spread paired with wine from Reeve Wines and of course sake. The cost is $200 per person and the event is on Friday night. 

Beaver Creek’s Winter Culinary weekend is all about collaborations, and on Friday night at Splendido, executive chef and owner Brian Ackerman will welcome Luck and Tanabe to the beautiful surroundings of the Chateau. Wines for each course will be provided by Paul Hobbs. The cost is $200 per person. 

Also new this year is a focus on Piemonte’s vinous royalty. Learn about Barolo and Barbaresco wines in this master class taught by Piemonte native and oenologist – someone who is an expert in the science and study of wine and winemaking – Davide Pasquero and author Suzanne Hoffman. Pasquero will give details on these world-famous denominations while Hoffman tells the stories behind the families who own and run these wineries. This event is on Friday in the Crooked Hearth Room at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Tickets are $75 per person. 

Village Après

If you don’t want to commit to the whole weekend of foodie fun, stop by after skiing or riding and enjoy Village Après on Friday and Saturday afternoons. From 3 to 6 p.m., Beaver Creek Village will be full of food and drink tents offering tastes and sips of various culinary delights. 

On Friday, the theme is Authentically Alpine, so expect to find a little touch of the Apls like raclette, meats and the typical accouterments that go with charcuterie. Saturday’s theme will be Colorado Comfort Food, so expect to warm up with some of the native eats with origins to our state. 

It’s free to enter and is a pay-as-you-go system for tastings, so it is a very affordable and fun way to experience the Winter Culinary Weekend. In each tent, you can taste several types of food, try new wines and other libations after you get off the slopes. There will be live music as well, and if you didn’t ski that day and want to join in the fun, you get three free hours of parking after 3 p.m. in the Beaver Creek parking garages in the village. 

Saturday Night Synesthesia

The Vilar Performing Arts Center will host a multitude of scents and sounds as the upper and lower lobby areas are filled with Beaver Creek chefs and guest chefs as well as wineries offering tastings throughout the night at Synesthesia. Synesthesia is the word that describes the phenomenon involving the overlap of two senses such as taste and sound. After the tastings, enter the intimate concert hall for an exclusive show with St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Imagine your day filled with great turns on the slopes followed by wonderful food and entertainment, and you’ll realize what Beaver Creek is all about. 

Giving back

Amidst all this decadence and revelry with food, drink and outdoor fun, a portion of the proceeds from the Winter Culinary Weekend goes to a good cause. This year’s recipient is The Community Market, a local non-profit based out of Gypsum that provides groceries for food-insecure households. 

About 16% of Eagle County’s population is food insecure, meaning it’s difficult for their households to acquire groceries: some of the biggest issues in these scenarios are transportation and finances. The Community Market’s mission not only to provide services to anyone who’s food insecure, but also to nourish healthy people, build strong communities and practice environmental sustainability.

Here’s a little side note: The Community Market has local celebrity chef, Kelly Liken, on staff as the food systems coordinator. Liken used to own and operate different restaurants throughout the Valley and has been on shows like “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America.”  So, it’s kind of fitting that the Winter Culinary Weekend is connected to Liken and contributing to food resources in the valley. 

For tickets to any of the events and for the full schedule, visit www.beavercreek.com/culinary. Please note that some events do sell out, so act fast if there is an event you want to go to. 

The Grigoryan Brothers are playing more than just traditional classical guitar at the Vilar Performing Arts Center

Known for nuance rather than grandiosity, the Grigoryan Brothers’ music is classical in nature, but they also enjoy crossing over into other genre territory.

“Jazz, Latin and folk influences always have a way of coming through,” Slava Grigoryan said.

The Grigoryan Brothers take the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $58 for adults and $10 for students. The show is part of the Pay Your Age ticket program for guests 18-30 years old; you must purchase your ticket in person at the box office with valid ID and the ticket price is how old you are.

Regarded as Australia’s finest guitar duo, the Grigoryan Brothers perform plenty of standard repertoire, but their real passion is to expand their horizons through new arrangements, their own compositions and commissions. As they say, “there are no boundaries, only new frontiers to cross.”

And they certainly haven’t wasted any time crossing those frontiers. Since their first acclaimed Australian tour in 2002, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan have toured extensively throughout Australia and overseas: to Europe, the United States, Britain, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East.

The brothers also have performed with symphony orchestras and at international festivals in Australia and Europe. They’ve recorded 13 albums as a duo to date, and toured with the Canadian singer-songwriter, k.d. lang across Australia and North America. They have received four Australian Recording Industry Association awards and 24 ARIA award nominations.

The program for the Vilar show is quite varied. Along with original arrangements, they will play Tchaikovsky’s “None but the Lonely Heart”; Handel’s “Suite No. 2”; Ralph Towner’s “Suite for Two Guitars”; Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”; and “Suite Retratos” by Radames Gnatalli.

Slava, the older of the siblings by nearly a decade, started playing guitar as a 6-year-old and it stuck. The brothers grew up in a musical household — their father was a professional drummer and classically-trained violinist who today works as the silent third member of the duo arranging all of the music on their albums.

After living in Kazakhstan, the family immigrated to Australia. There, music served as a platform for connection. While the brothers grew up playing music from Spain and South America, in recent years they’ve arranged and recorded classical repertoire not often associated with the guitar, including some of the pieces on the Vilar program.

In addition to adult, student and Pay Your Age pricing, this performance is also included in the pick three shows for $90, pick five shows for $175 and pick eight shows for $240 ticket packages. For a limited time, you can also buy three tickets to this show and get the fourth for free.

6 popular questions directed at Emma, Vail Resorts’ digital mountain assistant

After a season of testing last winter, Vail Resorts’ digital mountain assistant Emma is in its first full year at nine resorts, including Vail and Beaver Creek.

The idea is to give guests the opportunity to ask Emma anything, from what’s been groomed to nightlife questions. The technology builds upon itself with the more questions it is asked, meaning the more questions Emma is subject to, the smarter she’ll get.

Text Emma at 77477 or visit EmmaIsEpic.com for more information.

Special to the Daily

Top 6 most-asked questions

  • Weather: “What’s the weather like at Vail?”
  • Lifts and trails: “When does the gondola open in Lionshead?”
  • Grooming: “What trails are groomed at Beaver Creek?”
  • EpicMix stats: “How much did I ski today?”
  • Lessons: “Help me book a lesson at Vail.”
  • GPS Trail Map: “What’s my location?”

And how does Emma respond to some of the not-so-serious questions? Ask her to marry you, and she’ll tell you “I received a double black diamond years ago and my heart has been locked ever since.” Want to hear a joke from Emma? “What do you get when you cross a skier and a vampire? Frostbite.”

In addition to Vail and Beaver Creek, Emma is available to help at Whistler Blackcomb, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Park City, Keystone and Breckenridge.

Other questions Emma can answer include information about rentals, food, ski school and more.

“I bring first-hand experience you’d expect from someone who’s lived and worked in the mountains her entire life,” the website for Emma reads. “I know the resorts like the back of my glove and can’t wait to put every adventure in the palm of yours.”