Betty Ford Alpine Gardens host chef series |

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens host chef series

There are many ways to experience the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Known as the highest botanical garden in North America, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens hosts over 100,000 visitors annually. Although many guests come to view the beauty, many come to learn. The Gardens offer several educational programs ranging from horticulture and photography to painting and cooking classes.

Chefs in the Gardens allow guests a unique and intimate live cooking experience. Local chefs from area restaurants demonstrate cooking techniques and share culinary tips and recipes as well as a sampling of the prepared food following the demonstration.

This actually started out as an experiment, but it became very popular with the public and the chefs,” said Nicola Ripley, executive director of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. “We’ve been doing the program for about ten years,” Ripley said.

Past classes have included a demo on how to make grilled asparagus with buratta salad with a crispy poached egg, spinach, basil pesto, lemon vinaigrette with executive chef Jake Burkhardt of White Bison and Fall Line. Lisa Yacono from Dining Redefined shared culinary tips and recipes from some of her favorite vegan selections like dill and roasted garlic hummus and chocolate pecan bars.

The cost is $10 (cash only) and the proceeds go to Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The chefs donate their time and food. “It’s a great way for the chefs to gain publicity by participating in this program,” Ripley said.

The public loves it as well. Connie Gardener from Eagle-Vail clears her schedule so she can come every week. “I have learned tips on slicing, what knives to use, how to soak things, how to add ingredients, when to add them, it’s been so incredibly informative, it’s amazing,” said Gardner.

No advanced registration required. Current members of the Gardens may call (970) 476-0103×2 to reserve a seat for the program prior to the event. On August 2 La Tour will be the guest chef and on August 9 Elway’s will be the guest chef. To learn more visit

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