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Meet Your Chef: Pascal Coudouy at Grand Hyatt Vail

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: Pascal Coudouy, and I am the executive chef at Grand Hyatt Vail.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I have lived in the valley for 22 Years. I came here in 2000 with my family to be the executive chef at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.

Dine on trout at the Gessner at Grand Hyatt Vail.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: In France, my family owned a very well-known butcher shop. I would go with my father to deliver products to local restaurants. When we did deliveries, I was able to see the back of the house and kitchens and thought ‘wow, this looks like fun and something I would like’… and now here we are!

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: A couple of chefs in France who worked in famous places like Chez Maxim and La Tour d’Argent inspired me.

Coudouy has been in the Valley for 22 years and is no stranger to the kitchen.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Le piment d’espelette – a spice from the south of France.

Q: Favorite protein?

A: Hard to say, they are all good. But I’ll say duck, because you cannot go wrong with a good duck confit.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: I love anything seasonal.

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Pasta carbonara, roesti potato, truffle risotto

Gessner restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Vail serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I am very happy to be back in the kitchen and hope to make Grand Hyatt Vail a place for locals as well as tourists to enjoy.

Meet Your Chef: Tiffany Crews at the Sebastian-Vail

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: Tiffany Crews, I am the pastry chef at The Sebastian–Vail, a Timbers Resort in Vail Village.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I have lived in the Vail Valley for three months now. I moved from Dallas, Texas for the position at The Sebastian–Vail. I absolutely love living in the Vail Valley, it is so different from Texas.

The Sebastian-Vail is home to Leonora Restaurant, which will be open again on Nov. 17 for dinner service Wednesday through Sunday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
The Sebastian Vail/courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: I have always loved baking and knew I wanted to be a pastry chef at 18. This is probably older than some who know what they want to do as a child, but I had many loves. It took me awhile to decide. 

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: I know this will be different than most people’s answers about famous chefs they love and learn from; however, I have taken inspiration from family, friends and my personal tastes. I challenge myself with tasks given to me and take inspiration from things out of books I read. I see if I can create the recipe and make it better. 

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: My favorite spice, especially in pastries, is vanilla. It is wonderfully complex and subtle.  Depending on what region it comes from the flavor and fragrances can change so much. I love making my own vanilla extract and making so many different varieties.

Life is short, eat dessert first. Skip the entree and stop by Frost Bar and get a cocktail and one of Crew’s creative desserts. Frost is open daily at 4 p.m.
The Sebastian Vail/courtesy photo

Q: Favorite protein?

A: My favorite protein in cooking is beef. I am a steak girl for sure. In pastries I usually steer clear of protein unless it’s a ham and cheese croissant (my husband’s favorite).

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: My favorite fruit…it is a tie between bananas and blueberries. They both work well in pastries and are delicious. I am also a big fan of carrots. 

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Carbs – I love anything potato.

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: My comfort food has always been sweets. It goes back to spending a lot of time with my grandmother.  She always makes the best sweets. My favorite comfort food is an old fashion blackberry peach cobbler like my grandmother would make.

Start your day with a fresh baked pastry on the breakfast menu at The Sebastian-Vail, serving from 7 to 11 a.m.
The Sebastian Vail/courtesy photo

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I have a love for all things pastry. I really enjoy working with classics and giving them a new twist. I love experimenting with new ideas and continuing to challenge myself. I am currently in the running for the Greatest Baker Competition. Looking forward to see how far I can go.

Miller & Lux coming to Vail for the winter season

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is excited to announce a winter takeover of Flame Restaurant by Food Network star and cookbook author, Tyler Florence and his highly acclaimed Miller & Lux restaurant for the 2022-23 ski and snowboard season.

Come enjoy après ski and dinner service at Miller & Lux Vail from Dec. 14 until April 15 with an alpine-inspired menu along with some of the San Francisco steakhouse’s signature dishes.

“It is an incredible honor to partner with Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail to bring Miller & Lux to Vail,” Florence said in a press release. “With this winter takeover, I aspire to offer a refined, sophisticated menu and dining atmosphere as timeless and beloved as the après ski tradition itself.”

Florence will team up with Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail executive chef, Simon Purvis, who has been with the Four Seasons for over 33 years at its properties in Vancouver, Melbourne, Berlin, Bali, Singapore, Scottsdale, Jackson Hole and Denver.  

The name harkens back to two men, Henry Miller and Charles Lux, who came from Germany to be a part of the Gold Rush in California in the 1850s. They opened a butcher shop in the meatpacking district in San Francisco and eventually became known as the Cattle Kings of California. That meat-packing district is where Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors NBA basketball team, stands now. Miller & Lux opened in Thrive City, which is the complex that surrounds the Chase Center, at the end of September 2021, coinciding with the opening of the basketball season in October 2021.  

The focus at Miller & Lux Vail will be on dry-aged steaks and a fresh raw bar, the M&L burger, French Dover sole and a hefty 46-ounce Tomahawk Ribeye. Many of the menu items will be served table side, including Miller & Lux’s signature Caesar for Two.

Skiers and snowboarders will be invited to Miller & Lux Vail for après ski from 3 to 5 p.m. and dinner starts at 5 p.m. nightly. The cocktail menu will feature signature staples including the Miller’s Manhattan and Lux Martini, along with other specialties including Dom Perignon by the glass.

Florence is a 1994 graduate of Johnson & Wales University and a two-time James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef West Coast. He is also a 26-year Food Network veteran and has authored 16 cookbooks.

“The launch of Miller & Lux Vail is the consummate partnership and marks an exciting new chapter for our resort,” says Meredith Macfarlane, general manager of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. “Tyler Florence and his team share our commitment at Four Seasons to innovation, style, originality, and the highest caliber of hospitality. Our guests are sure to be delighted by this eagerly awaited collaboration.”

Meet Your Chef: Adolfo Martinez Becerra of Sakaba

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: My name is Adolfo Martinez Becerra and I’m 23 years old, I am the sushi chef at Sakaba at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I was born in Vail and left to go to New Mexico at the age of two. I came back when I was ten and went to Florida at 17 for an internship at Disney World and I’ve been back since then.

Check out Chef Adolfo’s sushi menu, including black cod at Sakaba at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch.
Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch/Courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: Ever since I was a little kid. I grew up surrounded by kitchens since I was young.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: My biggest inspiration is my mom, she taught me to work hard for my dreams and to always keep chasing them. Currently she’s pursuing hers by opening her own food truck that will be open soon.

Sakaba is Japanese for “bar” and this bar and restaurant has many innovative cocktails on the menu.
Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: My favorite spice is togarashi, it has the perfect blend of spice and acid.

Q: Favorite protein?

A: My favorite protein is fish, more specifically Japanese chu-toro from a bluefin tuna. It has a great balance between fat and lean.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: My favorite fruit would be peaches and my favorite veggies are butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: My favorite carb has to be pasta and anything that has to do with it.

Chef Adolfo loves to get out in nature whenever he can.
Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: My go-to comfort food will always be curry and rice, especially when it’s spicy.

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I just wanted to share with anyone that wants to join the industry, keep pushing and take advantage of any opportunity you can get. You never know what can happen good or bad but the experiences are unforgettable.

Meet Your Chef: Jasper Schneider of Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: My name is Jasper Schneider and I am the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I came to the valley four and a half years ago because I was attracted to the Colorado lifestyle.

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: I moved to Hawaii after high school that’s when I started cooking.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: My Grandma Adele and chef Eric Ripert was my mentor.

Chef Schneider and his family moved to Colorado four and a half years ago for the lifestyle.
Chef Schneider/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Sea Salt makes all food taste better.

Q: Favorite protein? 

A: Fluke, which is a simple white fish that be eaten raw or cooked.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies? 

A: Apples raw or cooked in a pie.

Q: Seasonal wild mushrooms add so much flavor.

Chef Schneider loves to bring people to the table to enjoy good food and make connections that last a lifetime.
Tricia Swenson/tswenson@vaildaily.com

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Pasta with homemade red sauce or potato pancakes, also known as latkes.

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: Roast chicken or my Grandma Adele’s chicken soup.

Chef Schneider and his team have been creating Earth to Table meals every Wednesday at Wyld at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch.
Chef Schneider/Courtesy photo

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: Cooking and eating food brings people together at the table and gives joy to so many. It has taken me all over the world. Building relationships through cooking lasts a lifetime.

Savoring the Wyld with Earth to Table dinners at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch

What’s better than creating dishes with the bountiful produce from area farms this time of year? Having a talented chef and his staff come up with the best ways to showcase the harvest. Jasper Schneider, executive chef at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch and his team are hosting weekly Earth to Table dinners at Wyld and invite you to experience the flavors every Wednesday.

The Earth to Table Dinners have been a part of Wyld’s summer program for the past four years. The dinners were scheduled to start in August to wait for the produce to ripen and be ready to serve to diners.

“This year, things started a little bit later because it was colder and there was some frost, so it wasn’t until late July and early August that we started seeing corn, peaches, tomatoes, peppers and zucchinis,” Schneider said. “Later in October we’ll start to see all the winter squash, butternut squash, celery root, parsnips, sunchokes and all that, so we are looking forward to hosting these dinners all the way until the end of October.”  

The Earth to Table dinners have a different theme each week.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Schneider said each week is like a blank canvas, allowing him and his team to get creative with the menu and flavor profiles based on what produce comes in and what inspires them.

“We give the cooks the night off on these Earth to Table nights, so it’s just me and my executive sous chef, chef de cuisine, my other restaurant chef, my pastry chef and we all get together and create the menu,” Schneider said. “This is our night to have fun and experiment and see what flavor profiles we like and go from there. We could even come up with something that spurs an idea for the winter menu.”

One week it will be American style with plenty of barbecue dishes, or the next theme will be Mexican. Asian spices influenced the menu on Sept. 7 and that evening the chef and his crew were already thinking about what they’d do next.

“As we were sitting here tonight, we came up with the Israeli flavored menu for next week. We’ll even pull out the grill and have an action station outside and cook in front of you while we are actually serving you dinner, so I’m really looking forward to that,” Schneider said.

Each week about 50 to 60 people come to try out the new menu. Some came back week after week because the menu is never the same twice. The dinner is served family-style at big community tables, allowing new connections to be made over a great meal.

The Asian-themed dinner started with a few vegetable dishes such as heirloom tomatoes in a kimchi broth and cilantro. The conversation dish at the table was the corn chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is an egg custard dish in Japanese cuisine. Duck bao buns were also added to the table, but you only ate one because the entrees were next.

Schneider used fresh corn to make chawanmushi, which is an egg custard dish in Japanese cuisine.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

“Moving into the main course is where we’ll have steamed halibut with a nori vinaigrette because it’s Alaskan halibut season. Then we’re doing kalbi style steak, which is a Korean marinade so what we’ve done is marinade the steak in Asian pear, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, a little bit of orange juice. Lastly, we are doing a dry pepper chicken.”

Sides included roasted eggplant with gochujang sauce, green beans with a ginger miso sauce, and then rice with squash and chestnuts. It’s all so good, but you must save room for dessert.

Dry pepper chicken was just one of the three entrees served at the Earth to Table Dinner at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

“My pastry chef always comes up with the craziest desserts. We used to have a matcha traditional Japanese crepe at our Sakaba sushi restaurant, so she did a twist on that. She has made black sesame crepes with peach in between each layer and then she’s done an apple and miso tart and apple and miso ice cream,” Schneider said.

“These dinners are so whimsical and playful and what a great way to showcase the fresh produce,” Schneider said. “It’s a great time. It’s a different experience for people to see what we can create at Wyld.”

One of the desserts featured black sesame crepes with peach in between each layer.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Meet Your Chef: Angel Munoz at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Angel Munoz started at the Westin Riverfront in 2012 and worked his way up the ranks and became the executive chef in 2018.
Westin Riverfront/Courtesy photo

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: My name is Angel Munoz and I am the executive chef at The Westin Riverfront, which is home to Stoke & Rye, a new modern American grill, the Lookout lobby bar and the Riverfront Market. I am also in charge of all food served in the resort’s more than 7,500 square feet of mountain event space, which includes the 4,000 square foot Riverside Ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of Beaver Creek and a 2,000-square-foot outdoor banquet terrace.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. I started my cooking career in San Diego and moved to the Vail Valley more than 12 years ago. I came here to earn a degree in the Sustainable Cuisine program at Colorado Mountain College. I was hired as a line cook at The Westin Riverfront in 2012 and steadily worked my way up. I was named executive chef in 2018.

Munoz is the executive chef at The Westin Riverfront, which is home to Stoke & Rye, the Lookout lobby bar and the Riverfront Market.
Stoke & Rye/Courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: Cooking has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. I like to eat A LOT. But I am also passionate about working every day with amazing and talented people and being a part of something that is unique and special.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: I can’t mention only one person specifically, when you are in this career you admire different styles of work and chefs at different levels. I admire those who can cook amazing meals and those who can do this and have a great personal life, too. But I would say, lately I look up to Ryan Hawk as a leader and mentor and Francis Mallmann on the topic of outdoor cooking.

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: I will say achiote and black pepper. Achiote for the variety of cooking styles that can be implemented – you can use this in marinades, in achiote tortillas and in braising proteins such as pork, chicken and fish. Black pepper because the history of it and what it represents as one of the most important spices around the world.

The pan-seared scallops at Stoke & Rye are served with pork belly, trout roe, green pea purée and lemon beurre blanc.
Stoke & Rye/Courtesy photo

Q: Favorite protein?

A: I love seafood – pan-seared scallops, Baja-style fish tacos, fresh tuna poke and our mountain trout crudo are all favorites. On the new Stoke & Rye menu, we are serving a giant 52 oz. Tomahawk steak that is flamed tableside in moonshine whiskey and served with charred lemon, roasted garlic and a black pepper sauce. It is pretty spectacular!

The showstopper at the new Stoke & Rye restaurant at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is the 52-ounce Tomahawk steak which is prepared tableside.
Stoke and Rye/Courtesy photo

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: As a good Mexican, I would say chile, tomate and cebolla. Lately, I have really been embracing different mushrooms and heirloom carrots.

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Corn – it is fantastic to cook with, from dry kernels to a delicious fresh made tortilla.

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: Popcorn!!!

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I love hiking and cooking outside, so summer is definitely my favorite season here in the Vail Valley. This is an incredible place to be a Chef, we have the very special opportunity to cook for our friends and neighbors as well as people from all around the world. Plus we get to live and work in this amazing multi-cultural community!

Meet Your Chef: Patrick Dahms of The Hythe Vail

Executive Chef Patrick Dahms joined The Hythe Vail in August of 2021, right before the property’s transformative remodel.
The Hythe Vail/Courtesy photo

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you work and what is your official title?

A: My name is Patrick Dahms and I am the executive chef at The Hythe Vail.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I first moved to Colorado in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina kicked me out of New Orleans, and began working as the executive chef of the St. Regis Aspen. Several years later, after time spent in San Diego and Michigan, I returned to Colorado and started at The Hythe Vail in August 2021, just before the resort’s transformation and reopening.

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: My family has very strong hospitality roots. My mom and my grandma were my first influences in northern Germany and my uncle and great uncle had restaurants in France in the Bretagne region. It was there that my true passion was awakened. Though this was after I had already graduated with English and history majors, English helped with my career in the U.S. and history is deeply linked and connected to a region’s culinary identity in my experience.

Dahms believes that history is deeply linked and connected to a region’s culinary identity. Margie’s Haas is named in honor of the legendary woman who used to feed the 10th Mountain Division soldiers from her valley home.
The Hythe Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: My first Master Chef during my apprenticeship in Hamburg, Germany was very passionate about sourcing the highest quality ingredients and presenting them in a simple and modern way with a connection to memories and comfort foods.

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Fenugreek. My grandma would sprinkle it on cream cheese atop a crusty German bread and I later learned how to use it like “catnip for humans.” It’s in our signature Tyrolean “Schuettelbrot” at Margie’s Haas restaurant.

Dahms’ family has strong hospitality roots. His uncle and great uncle had restaurants in France in the Bretagne region.
The Hythe Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: Favorite protein?

A: Oxtail for its maximum beef “umami” and sea urchin as I’m an avid scuba diver. I was able to catch my own sea urchin in San Diego as well as feature it on the menu in diverse ways. It tastes like taking a bite out of the ocean.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: For veggies it would have to be white asparagus. Being from northern Germany, we have the best white asparagus in the world and our hyper-local and hyper-seasonal cuisine features it in the best way in April, May and June.

Margie’s Haas restaurant at The Hythe Vail features contemporary alpine-American homestead cuisine.
The Hythe Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Sourdough bread. I’ve maintained a San Francisco-starter for over 15 years and who knows how old it was when it was given to me, but what it can produce is amazing. I feed my baby every morning.

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: Matjes Hausfrauenart. A northern German herring caught right before reaching maturity (Matjes means “plump virgin”) and salt-cured in barrels, then served with a yogurt/apple/onion/sour cream sauce.

Mountain Fish House & Oyster Bar opens in Edwards

The Mountain Fish House & Oyster Bar sources its seafood from the east and west coast.
Billy Doran/Courtesy photo

No need to hop on a plane to the coast, the new Mountain Fish House and Oyster Bar is bringing the seafood to you. The brainchild of longtime restaurateurs Brian Nolan and Lily Doran, the new eatery aims to be your seaside getaway in a quaint mountain town.

“I’ve always wanted to have a restaurant in Edwards and was just waiting to find the right spot,” said Nolan, who came to the Vail Valley in 1989 and was a partner at the Coyote Café in Beaver Creek with Jeff Forbes. He then opened several other restaurants in Beaver Creek Village such as Pacific Ranch, The Chophouse, On the Fly and Flying Pig sandwich shops, Blue Moose Pizza, Foxnut Sushi and Mountain Burger in Avon. Nolan also expanded to Lionshead, Steamboat and Copper Mountain throughout the years.

Last fall, Nolan started talking to Lily Doran, another seasoned professional in the restaurant business. Doran has opened restaurants in Chicago, New York City and most recently opened and managed the Drunken Goat in Edwards. Doran also has an extensive wine background and worked at vineyards in Napa Valley and New Zealand.

“Lily is one of the smartest people I know and in addition to that, we were able to work with Kathy Treat and the folks over at the Inn and Riverwalk to come up with a good restaurant concept for the valley,” Nolan said.

“I loved the idea because I’m a pescatarian and thought we needed more seafood in this valley. But more importantly I think both Brian and I were on the same page about wanting it to be a fun, casual place with a great vibe and ambiance,” Doran said.

Co-owners Brian Nolan and Lily Doran welcome guests to come and enjoy a fun, casual atmosphere at Mountain Fish House & Oyster Bar.
Billy Doran/Courtesy photo

It’s no doubt that Colorado is a land locked state, but Nolan and Doran traveled to both coasts to meet the purveyors and source the best seafood they could find. In Olympia, Washington, they found oysters from Taylor Shellfish.

“Right now we are serving four oysters and we usually do two from the east coast and two from the west coast. It’s been fun for people to get an assortment and taste the differences,” Doran said.  

In Maine, they found Tom and Kevin Flanigan of Seaview Lobster Company in Kittery and Mountain Fish House is serving up live lobsters.

“I love that we are doing live lobsters because nobody else is doing that in our area and people love it,” Doran said. “It’s a fun experience and again, we’re a casual seafood place, so we’re not cracking it for you, you’re doing it yourself.”

The grouper sandwich features a house made tartar sauce and locally made Sendy Sauce hot sauce.
Billy Doran/Courtesy photo

The mussels are from a brother-sister team at Bangs Island of Portland, Maine. “They are all about giving back to the environment and they also grow kelp and they just have the most amazing mussels,” Doran said.

Nolan hopes to invite the purveyors to the restaurant someday.

“It’s not quite a chef’s dinner, but rather a time to get to know where your seafood is coming from and hear their stories,” Nolan said.

Other items on the menu include lobster rolls which are served three different ways.

“The Maine lobster roll is the traditional style served cold with mayonnaise, the Connecticut version is served hot with butter, and we created our own style of lobster roll which is called the Colorado and we are serving it cold with Knapp Ranch honey and cumin vinaigrette with some corn salsa on there as well,” Doran said.

The Mountain Fish House & Oyster Bar serves up different styles of lobster rolls and currently has four different types of oysters on the menu.
Billy Doran/Courtesy Photo

Some of Doran’s other favorite items on the menu include house made crab tater tots, the grouper sandwich and the calamari steak strips.

To complement the seafood, Doran leaned on her beverage background to create some fun cocktails.

“I went simple but delicious. People love our City of Lights which is our play on a French 75 with sparkling rose and St. Germain. The Palomino has also been a hit. It’s a play on a Paloma but with bourbon,” Doran said.

The Mountain Fish House and Oyster Bar hosts happy hour every day from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. with specials like $7 glasses of wine, $1.50 oysters, $2 off oyster shooters and the grand opening special which is a glass of bubbles and three oysters for $10. Dinner is served daily from 3:30 until 9 p.m. For more information, go to MountainFishHouse.com.

New Stoke & Rye restaurant opens at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon

Stoke & Rye boasts over 160 whiskeys on the menu.
Stoke & Rye/Courtesy photo

Get stoked to try the creative menu at Stoke & Rye, a new American modern grill concept by internationally acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon.

Stoke and Rye blends the flavors of the Rockies with alpine inspired cuisine with dishes like the grilled peach salad or the wild mushroom ravioli with rainbow swiss chard, watercress, garlic confit and trumpet jus. Or, enjoy a classic like raclette that pays a nod to skiing’s alpine heritage.

Techniques like slow roasting in wood embers, braising and smoking are prevalent at Stoke & Rye. From smoked oysters with pine to the 52-ounce Tomahawk from the grill, the dishes offer familiar cuisine with an elevated twist.

The smoked oysters are a great way to start off the meal at Stoke & Rye.
Sean Naylor/Vail Daily

That twist can be found in the presentation. The American modern grill concept is a new one for The Westin Riverfront. Richard Sandoval and his team created all the recipes and came to Avon to teach the team how to make the recipes, how to plate them and oversee the quality of the food to ensure the guest experience.

Angel Muñoz, Jr., executive chef at Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, likes the challenge of a new restaurant concept. Muñoz, Jr. had been with Maya, another Richard Sandoval concept for a number of years before the switch to Stoke & Rye.

“It’s a fresh start and the opportunity to grow and I think more about the execution and how to make it a dining experience you are going to remember for years,” Muñoz, Jr. said.  

Speaking of presentations, cue the 52-ounce Tomahawk, this table-side presentation is memorable and Instagram-worthy. The server rolls out this big steak, pours moonshine whiskey over it and lights it aflame as the dinner guests gasp in amazement. The Cacio de Pepe pasta dish is also done tableside. You may start to drool as they spoon in the bacon, pecorino and black pepper.

The 52-ounce Tomahawk steak, with it’s tableside presentation is a show stopper. Have your cameras ready but don’t get to close.
Stoke & Rye/Courtesy photo

Although steaks are a big part of the menu, give the cast iron chicken a try. It’s served with creamy grits, glazed cippolini, broccolini, heirloom carrot and chili-basil vinaigrette.

Make sure to save room for dessert. Stoke & Rye has an extensive dessert list from a classic maple pecan pie served with salted caramel ice cream to a flourless carrot cake with vanilla cheesecake, carrot compote, pineapple and almond. The bread pudding is good for sharing complete with bourbon sauce, berries and vanilla ice cream.

Save room for dessert at Stoke & Rye where the sweets take center stage.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Speaking of bourbon, there are over 160 whiskeys on the menu and nearly a dozen different types of Old Fashioned cocktails.

“We designed 11 signature Old Fashioned drinks which are all very different from one another whether it’s plum or chamomile bitters or hellfire bitters with habanero or vanilla simple syrup mixes that we make, there are a lot of different varieties just for being an Old Fashioned. We even have one rum Old Fashioned that we smoke as well,” said Nicholas LoFaro, a bartender at Stoke & Rye.

In addition to the Old Fashioned drinks, there are bright-colored cocktails on the menu like the Fantasy and Escobar’s Island.

“The inspiration for the Fantasy was Mariah Carey,” LoFaro said. “It’s a summery, easy-to-drink patio slammer.”

For the Escobar’s Island drink, LoFaro imagined what Pablo Escobar would drink.

“It’s fun because it has crème de violette, which gives it that green or blueish color. You have crème de violette, but he was a violent person, so just a play on words with the ingredients,” LoFaro said.

The wine list spans from France, Italy, Austria and Germany to California, Oregon, New Zealand and Argentina.

Stoke & Rye serves breakfast and dinner daily and for more information or to get reservations, go to RiverfrontDining.com.