Enjoy this simple and decadent home meal from FOODsmith’s Allana Smith

By Kimberly Nicoletti
Special to the Daily

Whether you cook yourself or bring in a private chef, you don’t need a special occasion to enjoy an intimate and lavish dinner.

Personal chef Allana Smith, owner of FOODsmith, chose the menu items below “because of their connection to where we live and this time of the year.” She adheres to Alice Waters’ motto: “Mealtime is a time for empathy and generosity, a time to nourish and communicate,” which is why they both think it’s important to create a special time and place to sit down together and share a meal, no matter how modest — or extravagant.

Porcini-dusted bone-in LaVaca prime graded ribeye, topped with sauteed Boomer Farm mushrooms.
Dominique Taylor

“Sharing a steak is intimate, while getting a bone-in ribeye is extravagant and special and a splurge,” she said. “And oozing chocolate is a no brainer, with my husband’s Mountain Flour locally made vanilla bean ice cream, available at R Market in Avon.”

Smith purchases her beef from La Vaca, a third-generation cattle ranch in Colorado. Her mushrooms come from Boomers Farm, a small farm in Gypsum dedicated to growing the best mushrooms; she’s been buying from Paul Surridge there for over a year and says his oranges and pomegranates are the best fruits in the winter.

Winter Salad


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  • Greens
  • Fresh orange segments
  • Your favorite cheese
  • Pomegranates
  • Champagne-Nectarine Vinaigrette
  • Pepitas

Palisade Peach & Champagne Vinaigrette:

Yield: 1 cup

  • 1 ½ tsp shallots, finely diced
  • 1 ½ tsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp hand-crafted Palisade peach preserves
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the oils until all of the salt has dissolved.

Slowly whisk in first the canola oil, followed by the extra virgin olive oil. This is not an emulsified vinaigrette and will need to be mixed together well prior to serving. Store refrigerated.

Sautéed Boomer Farm Mushrooms


  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper 1 T. olive oil

Heat oil in sauté pan, then sauté mushrooms in hot sauté pan with salt and pepper.

When almost fully cooked, add garlic and cook for an additional one minute, then serve.

Individual Gruyere Potato Gratin

Special equipment needed:

2 individual 8 oz. souffle cups or soup cups (or other similarly sized oven-safe baking dish)


  • 2 small, or one large, russet potato
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Thinly slice potatoes (1/8″ thick) and place immediately into cream mixture so that they do not oxidize. Mix the potatoes and cream so that all potatoes are coated.

Place one quarter of the potato mixture into each souffle or soup cup, and top with 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Add the rest of the potatoes and cream to the soufflé cup, dividing evenly between the two ramekins. The potatoes should be fully covered with cream, but not floating. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Place in a deep, oven-safe pan, cover entire pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Check the doneness of the potatoes by piercing with a paring knife; potatoes should not provide any resistance — if they are still a little hard, continue to bake until they are soft. Potatoes can be made a day in advance and reheated when it is time for dinner.

Charred Broccolini

Charred broccolini.
Dominique Taylor


  • 2 bunches broccolini, trim 1″ off of ends
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400° and place empty baking tray in oven to preheat.

Toss broccolini in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on hot tray in oven, and bake 10-15 minutes until broccolini starts to char on the edges.

Porcini-Dusted Bone-In Ribeye

Special equipment needed:

  • Coffee grinder (unless you purchase porcini powder already ground)
  • Large cast iron skillet
  • Meat thermometer


  • 1 (24-32 oz.) bone-in ribeye steak, approx. 2-inch-thick, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, need to use a lot
  • 3 tbsp “blend oil” (2 parts canola oil and 1 part olive oil)
  • 4-5 tbsp porcini powder (dried porcini mushrooms that have been ground to a fine dust in a coffee grinder)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Using paper towels, pat both sides of the steak dry; season generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Generously sprinkle porcini powder over all sides of the steak. It’s very important to season with salt and pepper before the porcini powder, otherwise the salt and pepper will not stick.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, let heat for 1-2 minutes; add oils.

Place the steak in the middle of the skillet and cook on one side until it is crusted and nicely browned; turn over and allow second side to also cook until brown and crusty.

Place entire pan, with steak in it, into a 350° oven. Insert meat thermometer into center of the thickest part of the steak, leave in oven 10-15 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 115° for medium rare, or until desired doneness. Remove from oven, and place steak on a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Molten Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Molten chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.
Dominique Taylor

Cake ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (melted)

Line three 6 oz. ramekins with pan spray or butter and coat with sugar.

Add eggs and sugar in a food processor and run until fully mixed and a little frothy. Add softened butter and mix well; add flour and mix well. Pour melted chocolate into food processor while running, and mix until just mixed together.

Immediately portion between the three cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes. Edges should be firm, and center should feel soft. Turn upside down and run knife around the edge to unmold (if needed).

Serve immediately with raspberry sauce and Mountain Flour locally made vanilla ice cream.

Raspberry sauce ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup frozen raspberries
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Bring raspberries, sugar and water to a boil. Puree in a blender or food processor, strain and cool. Can be made in advance and refrigerated.

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