New sushi restaurant concept by James Beard Foundation-recognized chef coming to Vail

What does Vail have in common with Miami, Washington, D.C., São Paulo, Panama City and Mexico City? They are all home to restaurant concepts by Makoto Okuwa. The acclaimed chef has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and is bringing 25 years of experience and expertise to his new restaurant concept at Grand Hyatt Vail.

The restaurant will be called Makoto Vail. Grand Hyatt Vail will still have Gessner Restaurant to service guests and the lively lobby bar where people gather after coming off the slopes, as well as the market and café on the property. Makoto Vail has been under construction near the lobby and front desk area of the 285-room ski-in/ski-out hotel and expects to open in late 2023 or early 2024.

“Chef Makoto is excited to bring his unique style of sushi and Japanese cuisine to Vail and Grand Hyatt Vail. The exclusive partnership illustrates the natural synergy of global tastes and refined experiences that Grand Hyatt Vail and Makoto share,” said Kevin Shields, general manager at Grand Hyatt Vail. “The restaurant features a beautiful design and incredible views of Gore Creek and the mountains, making diners feel like they are a part of nature.” 

Makoto Vail will be located at the Grand Hyatt Vail.
Grand Hyatt Vail/ Courtesy photo

Chef Makoto Okuwa hails from Nagoya, Japan where, at 15 years of age, he began an apprenticeship with master sushi chef Shinichi Takegasa. Although he has been trained in traditional Japanese cooking, he combines his own innovative style and draws inspiration from his surroundings. He also is a master of Edomae-style sushi, which is a method where the sushi is made with fresh seafood caught from Tokyo Bay that has been cured, salted, marinated, etc., as preservation. Edomae translates to “in front of Edo,” which refers to Edo, the old name of Tokyo.

“This sushi style originated in Tokyo over 200 years ago. Today, those techniques are being re-examined as a way to bring out the incredible flavors of fresh seafood,” Shields said. Okuwa will be here for the grand opening but he won’t be here full time due to his commitments to his other domestic and international restaurants.

If the name sounds familiar, you may recall Okuwa opened Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge in Manhattan Beach, Calif. in 2007 and it became a favorite hot spot for Jimmy Kimmel and Kourtney Kardashian. He was also on “Iron Chef” alongside his mentor, Masaharu Morimoto.

“The entire Grand Hyatt Vail team is excited to welcome Chef Makoto and provide a unique sushi experience for our guests,” Shields said. “Chef Makoto is working on the menu offerings now. Guests should not miss his signature Edomae-style nigiri when they come to the restaurant.”

For more information, visit   

Spa deals in the Vail Valley: Treat yourself to some pampering at a discount this season

Before the holidays ramp up, take advantage of the deals happening at area spas. Discounts on massages, facials and more can be found either on the spa’s website or via Groupon or Travelzoo. Many spas allow you to use amenities like fitness centers, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and lounged on the day of your treatment. But hurry, the deals wont last. Here’s a partial list of spa deals in the Vail Valley. If you don’t see your favorite spa, give them a call and ask if they have any fall specials going on at this time.

Spa Anjali

Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa – Avon

  • $119 – 50-minute custom facial or custom massage
  • $185 – 80-minute custom facial or custom massage
  • Valid through Dec. 22
  • 970-790-3020

Sonnenalp Spa

Sonnenalp Hotel – Vail

  • Save 20% on all treatments Monday through Friday
  • Vaild through Nov. 19
  • 970-479-5404


Park Hyatt Beaver Creek – Beaver Creek

  • Enjoy 20% off any 50- or 80-minute spa therapy
  • Valid Monday through Thursday in November
  • Mention code RETREAT20 at booking or checkout
  • 970-949-1234

Spa at The Charter

The Charter Beaver Creek – Beaver Creek

  • $109 – 50-minute Alpine Haven massage or Signature Organic facial
  • $170 – 80-minute Alpine Haven massage or 75-minute Signature Organic facial
  • 30% off other spa services
  • Valid through Dec. 22
  • 970-845-2225
The fall is a good time to do a girls trip to the spa, a mother-daughter outing or a date day with your significant other.
East West Hospitailty/Courtesy photo

Well & Being Spa

The Hythe Vail – Lionshead

  • Travelzoo special
  • $149 – 50-minute massage or facial
  • $229 – 80-minute massage or facial
  • Vaild through Dec. 16
  • 970-479-5004
Spa deals at Well & Being Spa at The Hythe Vail include use of amenities such as the outdoor pool and hot tub, steam room and Himalayan salt room.
Well & Being Spa/Courtesy photo

Grand Hyatt Vail

Cascade Village, Vail

  • $135 – 50-minute custom massage or signature facial
  • $205 – 80-minute custom massage or signature facial
  • Other discounts on the website
  • Valid through Dec. 15
  • 970-479-5942

Rockresorts Spa

Lodge at VailVail Village

  • Check Groupon for the latest deal as the price fluctuates
  • Access to steam room, sauna, hot tubs, fitness center and lounges
  • 970-754-7828

Dryland Fitness

  • Gravity Haus Vail – Vail Village
  • $129 – 50-minute custom massage or facial
  • $179 – 75-minute Haus signature massage
  • 30% off all other treatments
  • Valid through Nov. 30
  • 970-476-7960
Spa Anjali will be doing spa deals all the way through Dec. 22.
Spa Anjali/Courtesy photo

Bloom Spa

The Sebastian – Vail Village

  • 80-minute massage or facial for the price of a 50-minute service
  • $20 off any 50-minute or longer service
  • 970-477-8060

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Vail

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail – Vail Village

  • Black Diamond Ritual – detoxifying mud treatment and full body massage with re-mineralizing oil
  • Access to the resort’s fitness center, heated outdoor pool and tubs and spa amenities
  • Select Four Seasons apparel included as a special gift
  • $350 – 80-minute treatment
  • Valid through Dec. 17
  • 970-477-8630

Discover a taste of Argentina at Elena, a pop-up restaurant concept at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail

This past winter, Flame Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail welcomed the cuisine of celebrity chef Tyler Florence of Miller & Luxe out of San Francisco. This August, the steakhouse welcomes dishes from Elena, one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants that is housed in its sister hotel, Four Seasons Buenos Aires.

To get things all set up and ready to go, Elena’s executive chef, Juan Gaffuri, came to Vail earlier this week. Gaffuri started his career 23 years ago and has traveled the world with the Four Seasons brand, starting out at the property in his native Buenos Aires before working in Carlsbad, California, Punta Mita, Mexico, and the Red Sea property in Egypt. He returned to Four Seasons Buenos Aires 11 years ago to bring on the restaurant concepts in the hotel: Elena, Nuestro Secreto and Pony Line Bar.   

“When we come up with a concept, we try to look for a story to tell. So, with Elena, it is all about Argentinian cuisine, based on porteños style food, and porteño means people who were born in Buenos Aires. But our food is also influenced by Europeans and Arabic cuisine, too, so all those styles of cuisines mix together in Argentina with the meat that we get from the pampas and we create amazing food in the porteños style,” Gaffuri said. The pampas surrounding Buenos Aires contain fertile grasslands where beef cattle are raised.

Juan Gaffuri is the executive chef at Elena restaurant at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires.
Courtesy photo

“The idea is to share with the locals and guests of Four Seasons Vail what we do in Buenos Aires and also mix together what the chefs already do here at Flame. They create great cuisine, this is a great steakhouse and we want to add what we love to do from Argentina for a few weeks. So, we are mixing those menus,” Gaffuri said.

Some signature dishes from Elena include the sweetbread starter.

“Sweetbread is a gland that we are used to eating in Argentina and I always say, Argentinian sweetbread is like what foie gras is to France. We always have it for special meals with family and friends. It is grilled so it is nice and crisp on the outside and very creamy inside, it comes with potato, egg and an emulsion of lemon,” Gaffuri said.

Another appetizer is the salmorejo burrata.

“That is a refreshing dish that is fresh cheese that comes with salmorejo which is a Spanish preparation based on tomato, olive oil and garlic and some bread. It’s emulsified and is similar to a gazpacho, so it is very fresh and it comes with a black olive powder on top,” Gaffuri said.

Flame restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Vail is hosting the Elena pop-up until Sept. 4.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Next, Gaffuri suggests the milanesa as a main course, which is a ribeye dry-aged for 45 days that is breaded, fried in olive oil with black garlic aioli and capers and two fried eggs, served with truffle fries.

“This is a very typical dish that we had growing up, we just have upscaled it with a great meat that is dry aged 45 days,” Gaffuri said.

The arroz negro is popular at Elena in Buenos Aires.

“It is a black rice that comes with Spanish octopus, mussels and shrimp and it is unbelievable and the black color comes from the squid ink,” Gaffuri said.

Save room for dessert, Gaffuri offers a traditional dulce de leche crepe prepared in hickory chips for a smokey flavor.

Elena also has an extensive wine selection from Argentina. The El Enemigo chardonnay and Cabernet franc and Puramun malbec and Zuccardo malbec are on the wine list at the Four Seasons Resort Vail during this pop-up.

During the pop-up, Flame will feature special Argentinian wines from its sister restaurant, Elena at Four Seasons Buenos Aires.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Guffari’s passion for cooking is evident in his ingredients and his enthusiasm for sharing Argentinian cuisine with the Vail Valley. He grew up around his grandmother’s cooking and said he was a better eater than a student.

“When I was a child, I loved eating, you can see that I still do love eating,” Gaffuri said while rubbing his belly. “My grandma was a great cook, she used to cook me octopus, frogs, snails, everything and I used to eat that when I was a child, so at some point, I got the taste from her. I studied engineering for two years, but then I figured out it was not for me, I’m not a good student and I loved eating, so I decided to become a chef. So, that was in 1998.”

Gaffuri can only stay in Vail a few days, he needs to get back to Elena and the Four Seasons Buenos Aires and he needs to continue starring on a reality television cooking show called Pasa Platos. Check it out on YouTube.  

The pop-up will be available from now until Sept. 4. For reservations, please contact Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail.

Farmer’s market chef-led excursions offered at The Hythe Vail

Experience a farmers market from the perspective of a seasoned chef. The Hythe Vail is now offering excursions led by one of its chefs where you get to go along on the shopping trip and see the chef build a meal based on the goods found at the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show.

The new offering takes place on Sundays now until Sept. 3. Meet Chef Lucas Ardemagni, at Mountain Ration, The Hythe’s coffee shop at 9 a.m. and grab a cup of Joe to-go before hopping in The Hythe’s Lexus Courtesy Shuttle for a ride to Vail Village. No need to worry about parking at the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show when the shuttle simply drops you off and picks you back up again after the shopping trip.

Chef Lucas is the chef de cuisine at The Hythe and hails from Arkansas and said that his family loved to cook when he was growing up and had southern cooking secrets and Italian traditions that were passed on to him. When you get to the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show around 9:15 a.m., the menu is a blank canvas for Chef Lucas, but based on the ingredients he finds and what’s in season, the canvas is quickly filled with creative ideas and flavors.

“First, we have to see what food is available, so a lot of this is kind of ‘Iron Chef’-like: ‘Here’s some ingredients, GO!'” Chef Lucas said. “So, what we do is walk around, check out the produce first and see what we can do and then check proteins after that and see what’s available, what matches well with the produce and then go back and repeat the cycle so we can confirm those items, and then after that we find complimentary vegetables and flavors and sauces to create a three-course meal.”

Even though the chef-led tour gets to the farmers market early, Vail Meat Co. was already out of a few items (it’s a popular spot on Sundays), but Chef Lucas got lamb chops and started building the meal around that. Over time, Chef Lucas also builds relationships with the vendors at the market.

“I love the interaction with the local and regional providers and I would say most chefs strive to have that kind of interaction. While summer’s here, I really like to take advantage of all this beautiful produce around us and support locals as well,” Chef Lucas said.

Chef Lucas inspects produce before purchasing it for the meal he’ll make for the tour group at The Hythe Vail.

After the chef has picked out all the ingredients needed for the three-course meal, the Lexus picks everyone up again for a ride back to The Hythe. While Chef Lucas gets prepped for the meal, the guests get to go to Revel Lounge for a cocktail, mimosa or whiskey tasting. Try a Hythe Spritz featuring Woody Creek gin, St. Germain, rosemary syrup, lemon juice, Crème de Violette and sparkling wine. Or, the Three-Headed Ryu with your choice of Suntory Spirit (Haku Vodka, Roku Gin or Toki Whiskey) with yuzu, lemon, green tea syrup, ginger and soda.

Now is when the fun starts. The group, which is typically six people each week, is led out to the patio at The Hythe where Chef Lucas has brought everything out to prepare the meal tableside. Follow along as he takes you through the recipes and plates everything up right then and there. Book up the excursion with five of your friends or join the group, it’s very inviting and is a memory maker.

After shopping at the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show, return to The Hythe and try a craft cocktail like the Three-Headed Ryu, left, or Hythe Spritz.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

“We had the most fabulous day with Chef Lucas. I learned so much walking through the farmers market — picking the freshest vegetables, combining unique veggies to bring out the true flavor versus using heavy spices, and being brave enough to use vegetables that you are completely unfamiliar with,” said Vicki Mason of Avon.

“The new market and dining experience offered by The Hythe has completely changed my perspective of the Vail Farmers’ Market. Chef Lucas provides great education and expertise to select the perfect food items for almost any occasion. The grand finale brings an outdoor gourmet lunch capped with a whole lot of humor and entertainment,” said Brad Korell of Edwards.

Lucas Ardemagni, chef de cuisine at The Hythe Vail, addresses the group in the new chef-led tours that the hotel is doing for those looking for a unique dining experience. The hotel is doing Market to Table tours with a cooking demonstration at The Hythe after shopping for ingredients at the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show each Sunday.
Brad Korell/Courtesy photo

The weekly event happens rain or shine, and in some cases, hail!

“The staff was beyond kind and helpful with everything, including the unexpected hail storm!” Mason said. “I would recommend this wonderful experience to everyone. Chef Lucas is a delight, relaxed, funny, knowledgeable and beyond professional all at the same time. I plan on doing it again before the end of the season.”

Never ask “What should we do this weekend?” again. Get a weekly rundown of all the best happenings in the Vail Valley sent to your inbox every Friday. Sign up here:

Call the concierge at The Hythe (970-476-4444) to get set up for reservations for the next Market to Table event, which is once again on Sundays through Labor Day Weekend. Pricing is $120 per person and runs from 9 a.m. until about 2 p.m.

  • 9:00 a.m. | Meet at Mountain Ration Grab & Go in The Hythe. Travel via Lexus Courtesy Shuttle to Vail Village.
  • 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | Chef-led tour and tasting at the Vail Farmers’ Market.
  • 11 a.m. – noon | Relax at The Hythe with a cocktail, mimosa or whiskey tasting.
  • Noon – 2 p.m. | Enjoy an interactive and seasonally prepared meal gathered from your Farmers’ Market excursion.
Chef Lucas served up a stone fruit salad with apricots, plums, mint, burrata, extra virgin olive oil, lemon and salt.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Easter Brunch options in the Vail Valley

Gessner Restaurant at Grand Hyatt Vail: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Start and end your day at Grand Hyatt Vail this Easter and enjoy complimentary valet parking and access to Vail Mountain via the Cascade Lift (No. 20). Dine before hitting the hill or after – or both! There are events going on all day.

The brunch menu will have something for everyone, whether you are looking for traditional items like honey glazed ham, prime rib or Colorado roasted leg of lamb at the carving station to specialty items like chicken and waffles, house smoked carnitas benedicts, grilled mahi mahi or spring pea soup.

Easter egg hunts will be held for toddlers at 11 a.m. and then the older kids will have a hunt at 11:15 a.m. Pictures with the Easter Bunny will be from 12-2 p.m.

Get the party going with live music by Andy Cyphert from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and bottomless mimosas and sangrias for an additional $20 per person. Brunch is $90 per person and children under 12 just pay their age. If you ski and snowboard all day, stop in for Easter Après Ski with food and beverage specials from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Come to the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail for Easter Bunch on Sunday before or after hitting the slopes. Look for traditional fare along with a few specialties. Grab a mimosa or try one of their new springtime cocktails, the Cherry Blossom featuring Suntory Roku Gin, St. Germain, lemon, Luxardo cherry and egg white. Pricing for brunch runs from $140 for adults and $46 for kids under 12. There is complimentary valet parking during the event. Go to Open Table for reservations.

Ludwig’s at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail will have a full spread for Easter this Sunday.
Sonnenalp Hotel/Courtesy photo

Ludwig’s at Sonnenalp Hotel: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Ludwig’s is your regular stop for brunch, but this Easter they are going all out with a huge list of traditional and nontraditional items on the menu. Standouts include the seafood station with chardonnay poached prawns, crab legs and snow crab claws. You can make your own seafood omelet, too. The carving station will feature black Angus beef ribeye and roasted Colorado leg of lamb. Steelhead trout, spring goose breast, lobster and shrimp ravioli and duck confit and potato gnocchi will also be served. In addition to assorted desserts, there will be a cotton candy machine.   

Bring the kids for an Easter egg hunt. $120-adults (for bottomless mimosas and bloodies add $35). $65-kids (4-12) kids 4 and under are free. Reservations required: 970-479-5429

Cucina at Lodge at Vail: 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Cucina will offer all the baked goods, an omelet station, fresh Belgian waffles with all the toppings and Nueske’s honey pineapple-honey spiral ham. Finish brunch off with sweets like New York cheesecake, carrot cake and sugar cookies. In addition to specialty drinks like mint iced tea and lemonade, there’s a bottomless mimosa and bloody Mary bar that you can add on to the price of brunch. Adults: $85. Kids ages 5 through 12 are $42 and kids under 5 eat free. There will be live music from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 970-754-7872 for reservations.

Margie’s Haas at The Hythe: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Enjoy a full buffet of alpine-inspired flavors at Margie’s Haas, plus special Easter additions, including freshly shucked oysters, snow crab, prime rib roast, Colorado lamb leg and more.

A visit from the Easter Bunny will be from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. The price is $95 per person. Call 970-476-4444 for reservations.

Stoke & Rye is celebrating Easter with a buffet and specialty drinks from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Stoke & Rye/Courtesy photo

Stoke & Rye at Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Stoke & Rye, the new Richard Sandoval restaurant at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is hosting an Easter Brunch on Sunday. Come hungry and enjoy festive Easter classics like honey glazed ham and prime rib. There will also be an omelet station, waffles with all the fixings and more. Save room for the wide array of items at the dessert bar, too. The Easter Bunny has been rumored to make a stop at the hotel, so be on the lookout. For more information, call 970-790-5500.

Leonora at the Sebastian: 7 a.m.- 12 p.m.

Enjoy some of Leonora’s classic dishes like quiche, French toast and corned beef hash as well as some specialty items for Easter Brunch like benedicts and carved ham. There will be an assortment of cold dishes, charcuterie, cheeses and smoked salmon. Enjoy Easter Egg Hunts and a visit with the Easter Bunny. $75 for adults and $45 for kids 12 and under. For reservations, go to Open Table.

Chasing Rabbits will have an Easter egg hunt, dining specials and a DJ on Sunday night.
Michael Stavaridis/Courtesy photo

Chasing Rabbits 4:15 p.m.-1 a.m.

If you missed all the Easter egg hunts on Saturday, check out the Chasing Rabbits Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. Families can hunt for Easter eggs filled with special prizes and gift cards throughout the arcade. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos and will hand out prizes throughout the afternoon at Solaris Plaza.

The restaurant will be open on Easter Sunday starting at 5 p.m. for dinner and will offer a few special dishes for the holiday. Later, dance the night away at the Cottontail Club featuring Lando at the Rabbit Hole from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Meet Your Chef: Taste of Vail Edition

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is checking in with area chefs and visiting chefs to see what they are cooking up for this year’s Taste of Vail, which returns to the valley April 5-8. Executive chef Joshua Marshall will be defending his Best Pork Shoulder and Best in Show titles at this year’s Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Challenge on Thursday, Apr. 6. At the event, ticket holders will be able to taste over 22 local and guest chefs’ pork creations along with samples from over 55 wineries, distilleries and beer companies.

What is your name, where is your home restaurant(s) and what is your official title?

My name is Joshua Marshall and I am the executive chef at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail.

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

When I was younger, my father and grandmother would always sit down and have dinner every night. Either one of them would cook a meal from scratch and I would be able to help.

Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

My team, being able to see them develop and move up in their careers always inspired me to push more. I also had a great mentor down the street at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail.

At the Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Challenge and Après Tasting, there will be over 22 chefs and guests chefs’ pork tastings along with over 55 wineries, distilleries and beer companies.
Taste of Vail/Courtesy photo

Why is it fun to participate in foodie events like Taste of Vail?

I like participating in the Taste of Vail because it’s nice to get the team out of doing the usual day-to-day items and do something different. Also, being able to showcase that we can do more than burgers and cheese when people think of the Sonnenalp.

What Taste of Vail events will you be participating in?

I will be participating in the Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Challenge and Après Tasting on Apr. 6 and hosting a winemaker’s dinner on Apr. 7 at Ludwig’s restaurant at the Sonnenalp with Jesse Katz, who is a winemaker at Aperture Cellars. 

The streets of Vail provide a beautiful backdrop for Taste of Vail events that happen when people come off the slopes. The Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Challenge and Après Tasting will be held on Apr. 6.
Taste of Vail/Courtesy photo

What’s your favorite spice?

My favorite spice is Chinese five spice.

Favorite protein?

My favorite protein is pork.

Favorite fruits and veggies?

I like avocado and dragon fruit.

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

A: It would be pasta; my last meal would be spaghetti Bolognese.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

My favorite comfort food is dim sum. l had the chance to work in Asia and fell in love with all of the variety, especially when you go and see them pushing the carts full of baskets.

Executive Chef Joshua Marshall oversees dining operations at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, which includes Ludwig’s, Bully Ranch and Swiss Chalet.
odd Winslow Pierce/Courtesy photo

Is there anything else about you we should share?

My career gave me the chance to work and live in some of the best hotels in the world. I had the chance to work for hotels such as Four Seasons and St. Regis and live and work in places such as Singapore, Taiwan and China.

Dining adventures at The Hythe Vail

Axel Torres wants you to take your taste buds on a dining adventure. The new executive chef at The Hythe Vail welcomes diners to enjoy New American cuisine with alpine inspiration.

“I want the guest to feel the same way I do when I’m traveling with my wife to a different country. I want them to feel excited, that the world is big, to try new food items, to connect to the culture of the dish and have a conversation with their friends or loved ones about it,” Torres said.

Torres believes that food is history.

“Knowing the food of a specific place or region tells you more about the people, culture and traditions,” Torres said.

That’s why The Hythe Vail features its signature raclette experience on the menu. Raclette is a traditional Swiss dish from the Valais region in the Alps. The name comes from the French verb, racler, which means to scrape.

“We heat up the cheese and scrape it onto small cornichons, pickled onions, country bread and boiled potatoes. It’s the perfect dish after a long, cold day skiing on the mountain. And a fun fact: raclette is lactose-free, during the maturation period of the cheese, lactose is fully decomposed,” Torres said.

Warm up with The Hythe Vail’s signature dish, raclette as an appetizer or a meal.
The Hythe Vail/Courtesy photo

History is sprinkled throughout the hotel. The word “hythe” means “haven” and the history harkens back to the 10th Mountain Division and the training at Camp Hale south of Vail. It also highlights the founders of Vail, Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert. Eaton was an engineer in the U.S. Army and Seibert was in the 10th Mountain Division that fought pivotal battles in World War II. Margie’s Haus Restaurant is named for a woman and her husband who would take in the soldiers for a home-cooked meal every once in a while. Revel Lounge defines the revelry and passion the 10th soldiers had for the mountain lifestyle.

“Revel is where we celebrate our passions for Vail, the mountains, skiing, snowboarding and having fun together. This new menu is a party that everyone wants to come to with a bit more pop-culture and new flavors, but also with familiar favorites for everyone to enjoy after a day on the mountain,” Torres said

Gather your friends and order cast iron blistered shishito peppers, venison in a blanket or wild game meatballs.

“We wanted to share foods that we’re passionate about, like the grilled cheese steak sandwich. I love grilled cheese and tomato soup and love a steak sandwich, why not have both in one and make it a celebration?” Torres said.

Stop into The Hythe Vail for a creative cocktail for après ski.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

The drinks have a lot of thought and creativity poured into them, like the Huckleberry Smash with Woody Creek Distillers bourbon, huckleberries, mint, honey and lemon. Or the Figgy Smalls cocktail featuring fig-infused gin, strawberry syrup, lemon and balsamic pearls.

“We have a talented mixologist and he was the one behind the inspiration of each drink,” Torres said. “My favorite drink is the Last Chair which is a mix of Woody Creek Distillers vodka, coffee liqueur, Nocino, mole bitters, espresso cold brew and turbinado brew. Is the perfect pairing with the warm apple strudel that we have in the menu.”

As for entrees, Torres is a big promoter of the Western Slope rack of lamb.

“Colorado lamb is one of the best lamb dishes in the world in my opinion. And here, we marinate them in an Asian mix of ingredients served with southern-style grits, local mushrooms and a mint vinaigrette,” Torres said. “It’s an umami of flavor in one dish prepared with different cooking techniques but celebrates our region using a product raised here in Colorado.”

The Western Slope rack of lamb and the power bowl are popular items at The Hythe Vail.
The Hythe Vail/Courtesy photo

Torres got bit by the culinary bug while bussing tables and serving food when he was eight years old in a restaurant in Puerto Rico with his uncle.

“My mom used to pick up fresh herbs in the backyard to make sofrito – aromatics blended originally from Spain consisting of garlic, cilantro, Spanish capers, olive oil, bell pepper, aji dulce peppers, onions and cilantro,” Torres said.

He has since traveled the world working at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2009 after college and moved up through the company working in different properties such as The Ritz-Carlton, Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico; The Ritz-Carlton, Denver and The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado; The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, Missouri; The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California and The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. More recently, he was with the Hyatt brand at the Grand Hyatt Vail where he was the executive sous chef of the property.

“I learned from Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Jose Andres, Michelin star celebrity chefs. I worked with both and learned classical American/foreign cuisine fusion with modern techniques and gastronomy,” Torres said. “We have so many international guests and guests who travel around the world, that our menu reflects inspiration from every single one of them and the seasonality of Vail.”

Vail Legacy Days, Talons Challenge, a new après ski hot spot, hot wax art and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 2/24/23

Vail Legacy Days

Celebrate Vail’s founders and history and learn more about the role the 10th Mountain Division played in World War II and the outdoor industry at this year’s Vail Legacy Days. Vail Legacy Days coincides with the 10th Mountain Division Association Ski-in, which travels to Copper Mountain, Ski Cooper, Breckenridge and Vail. There will be events on and off the slopes of Vail Mountain and at the Colorado Snowsports Museum.

The event is typically held around this time to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge that took place the night of Feb. 18-19, 1945. Members of the 86th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division conducted a surprise attack on the Germans and were able to break through the Nazi Gothic Line, which became a turning point during the war.

On Saturday, head to the Legacy Hut near Mountain Top Express (No. 4) and Northwoods Express (No. 11) at 11 a.m. to hear from Col. Matthew Bramam, Deputy Commander of the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum. Then follow current active-duty members of the 10th down Riva Ridge in the annual ski down that goes down Vail’s longest run (4 miles).

Later on Saturday at the base of Vail Mountain you’ll find six teams consisting of members of the current 10th Mountain Division doing skills and strength tests on Pepi’s trail in the Ski Troopers Cup starting at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, head up on Vail Mountain for your chance to see a Blackhawk helicopter land near the top of Avanti Express (No. 2) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wear your goggles if you are there during the landing as those propellers can cast off quite a bit of snow and debris. But it is an amazing experience to watch this aircraft land and then it will be on display for a while where you can see it up close and take some photos.

At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, stop by the Colorado Snowsports Museum for Tales of the 10th, which honors 10th veteran and Hall of Famer Sandy Treat. This beloved local passed away a few years ago, but he would dedicate his time to tell the stories of his experience with the public to give a glimpse into what it was like to serve back in those times. Sunday’s speaker will be author and historian Flint Whitlock. A suggested $5 donation to the Colorado Snowsports Museum is appreciated by all attendees. For more information, go to

At 6 p.m., head back up Bridge Street to Mountain Plaza at the base of Gondola One (No. 1) for the Vail Legacy Days Parade. Hear from area dignitaries, watch a short movie giving you history of the 10th Mountain Division and its ties to Vail followed by a torch-light ski down and veterans proceeding down Bridge Street to the 10th Mountain Division statue near the Covered Bridge. The Colorado Snowsports Museum is open until 8 p.m. on parade nights, so if you didn’t stop by earlier, go there to learn more about this famed winter warfare unit that trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale.

Talons Challenge

During The Talons Challenge this weekend, participants are challenged to complete fourteen runs with 26,226 vertical feet.
Vail Resorts/Courtesy Photo

The Talons Challenge may have to wait until next year since both Saturday and Sunday have sold out. The Talons Challenge, which is held yearly at Beaver Creek, challenges skiers, snowboarders, telemark skiers, whatever your mode of transportation, to take on 14 black diamond and double black diamond runs in the Talons area of Beaver Creek.

Called the Talons because the formation of the three chair lifts on the map looks like the talon of a bird of prey, the area at Beaver Creek houses the Birds of Prey Express (No. 9), Grouse Mountain Express (No. 10) and Larkspur Express (No. 11). Those who complete this task get the coveted Talons Challenge patch and other swag, a meal and a drink afterward. But, that’s not all, there is an afterparty in Beaver Creek Village. Even if you didn’t participate in the Talons Challenge, the public is able to attend the afterparty.

Each year, the event benefits SOS Outreach, a local nonprofit that utilizes sports as the hook to get kids interested in the outdoors and to teach life lessons and skills kids can take on and off the slopes.

Even though the event is going on this Saturday and Sunday, the runs are not closed to the general public, so go out and take a few runs in this area and see if it should be put on the bucket list for next year. For more information, go to

Winter Dew Tour

Taylor Gold claims second place in the Dew Tour Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Final competition on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at Copper Mountain, CO.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News

Missing the Burton U.S. Open? Yeah, we hear you, but just over Vail Pass you can find the athletes and high-flying action at the base of the slopes at Copper Mountain for the Winter Dew Tour. This event brings together snowboarders, skiers, bands, artists and the fans of all of those things to one location to celebrate the lifestyle and competition that takes place throughout the weekend.

Look for superpipe legends like Danny Davis and Ayumu Hirano, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail alumni Aaron Blunck and Ryan Wachendorfer, Steamboat’s Taylor Gold and Summit County’s own, Red Gerard. There will be autograph signing opportunities throughout the Dew Tour Experience on Saturday with Davis and Gerard and skateboarder Sean Malto. Title sponsor MTN Dew will have samples, “spin to win” prize opportunities like snowboards and headphones and more. The Dew Tour Experience will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Even the United States Air Force is sponsoring the Winter Dew Tour and will lend its name to a new competition, the Superpipe High Air & Best Trick Jam on Sunday. Channel your favorite “Top Gun” character and try out two virtual reality experiences where you can pilot an F-35 fighter through a canyon — they even provide a real-life throttle and flight stick or operate a replica KC-135 boom pod and “refuel” airborne aircraft like a B-2 Stealth Bomber.

The Winter Dew Tour is also teaming up with B4BC, Boarders for Breast Cancer, throughout the weekend and will be hosting the Pink Poker Run on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. where participants can explore the mountain while looking for the winning cards for their poker hands.

B4BC will also host a Tribute Ride, a collective lap down Bouncer Run in honor of a loved one who is or has battled breast cancer. For more details and to register, go to

Mix Master Mike will provide the music and the stoke on Saturday night as the DJ. He was just in Vail for the Soul on Snow concert during the National Brotherhood of Skiers 50th annual summit. Mix Master Mike will spin tunes at the Center Village Base in between the women’s and men’s Super Streetstyle event. For more information go to

Après Ski at Miller & Lux

Have fun in the sun on the Terrace where the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is offering après ski at Miller & Lux daily from 3 to 5 p.m.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail

With the days getting longer, it’s time to bring après ski outdoors at Miller & Lux at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. Après ski means “after skiing” in French and it basically is a happy hour in your ski clothes. Miller & Lux wants you to join them on their terrace for mountain and pool views, delicious dishes and festive drinks.

Miller & Lux is celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s project and Flame Restaurant has hosted a pop-up all season. This San Francisco-based eatery brought signature dishes and tableside presentations of its Dover sole and the Caesar salad for two to diners to experience, but you can enjoy a little Miller & Lux for après ski as well. The slopes meet the sea with appetizers like Maine lobster shooters, oysters and Louisiana shrimp cocktail. Or, share the Elk’s shepherd’s pie or the mini M&L burger with the table.

Wash the appetizers down with the signature drink, the Alpine Nigroni with barrel-aged Campari, gin, Breckenridge Aquavit and chamomile. Draft beer and wines by the glass are also served including some specialty items from the Coravin Section and Elk Bar. The après ski menu and offerings are available daily from 3 to 5 p.m.

Wax and Wine

Wax and Wine offers you a chance to release your creative side at Alpine Arts Center in Edwards.
Alpine Arts Center/Courtesy photo

You may have tried Cocktails and Canvas or Cocktails and Clay, but how about Wax and Wine? Alpine Arts Center in Edwards is welcoming you to try a new medium and see what you can create with wax and a cast iron.

The technical name for wax painting is encaustics, where you use pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay. The art instructor will take you through the step-by-step process and help you create four art prints.

Sign up to try something new and grab your friends or do a date night. The class is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and no prior experience is necessary. The class is $49 per person and wine or beer is $6 per glass with non-alcoholic options and snacks available, too. For more information, go to


Meet Your Chef: Kyle Cox

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 ( and Sean Naylor (

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

A: Kyle Cox, executive sous chef at Grand Hyatt Vail

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

A: I have been in the valley since the spring of 2021. What brought me out here was the opportunity to enjoy the mountains and all of the outdoor activities

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

A: I was always the prep cook for my mom when we would host family and friends. At 16, I started cooking professionally and fell in love with the team aspect and precision.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: I have worked for and with a lot of talented chefs over the years and I have extracted as much knowledge as possible. I have also been a fan of Daniel Humm, Thomas Keller and David Kinch throughout the years.

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Cardamon. Not only my favorite but I feel it is under utilized

Kyle Cox moved to the Vail Valley in 2021 and not only enjoys his work but the beauty and outdoor activities all around him.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: Favorite protein?

A: I love braised meats so lamb shank is one of my favorites.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: This is a hard one to narrow down because all fruits and vegetables have their place throughout the seasons, but for fruit I like melon in the summer when it is perfectly ripe. For vegetables I like to work with beets, rhubarb and Swiss chard a lot.

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

A: Potatoes for sure. I am not sure if it is my Irish heritage or their versatility. Puree, gratin, rosti or just a French fry, I love them all.

Kyle Cox started out his culinary career helping his mom out in the kitchen.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: I like to cook in my Instant Pot a lot at home and I generally make tacos or curries. They always hit the spot after a day outdoors.

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

Q: Just that I love living in the valley and the people as well. Even after two years I am taken back by how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.

Learn how to make brie en croute with Chef Kyle and “Vail Valley Live’s” Meredith Kirkman.

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 ( and Sean Naylor (

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.