Splendido at the Chateau’s green garlic soup a highlight of summer menu | VailDaily.com

Splendido at the Chateau’s green garlic soup a highlight of summer menu

Kim Fuller
EAT Magazine

Last November Cory Melanson planted garlic at Local 41 Farm, his farm 40 minutes west of Beaver Creek. This spring, as Splendido’s Chef de Cuisine, Melanson harvested the green garlic to create one of the best soups to have graced the menu at this fine dining restaurant. Emerald in complexion with the most lovely silk texture, the Green Garlic Soup is served with a crostini topped with succulent pieces of Maine scallops.

“We are able to highlight the plants themselves and what the earth is giving us,” shares Melanson. “It’s still a classic soup, but the flavors really come through because I harvested the green garlic two days ago.”

Melanson spent half a decade working as a farmer and chef in Oregon, and now he’s brought that passion and expertise to both the Colorado land and Splendido’s kitchen. Paired with the talents of Chef-Owner Brian Ackerman and Dining Room Manager Matthew McConnell, it is a wonderful time to dine at Beaver Creek’s most elegant and inviting restaurant.

“Splendido is always special, but in the summer it’s a little extra special,” says McConnell. “The doors open up to our beautiful patio with overflowing flower boxes, and the energy in here is so light and vibrant. Really what chefs Brian, Cory and Sebastien are putting on the table and the service and the team and how we are all growing together is what I’m so excited to share with all of our guests.”

Have McConnell provide a course-by-course pairing for the most complete dining experience. He’s put together an impressive wine list that matches the splendor coming from the kitchen, pouring perfection like a Sancerre with Spanish octopus and a Burgundy with Alaskan halibut.

Inspired by harvests from Local 41 Farm, which Splendido supports, Chef Ackerman will change the menu throughout each season. From a Prime New York Strip with morel, ramp, hazelnut and chive, and Hay Smoked Local 41 Pork Tenderloin with lentils, turnip and soy sherry, his entrées highlight each ingredient on the plate in a unique way.

Pastry Chef Sebastien Schmitt has become known for his creativity and playful renditions of desserts. Guests have enjoyed his sweet platings of the moon, a frozen lake, a mushroom and a snowman, to name a few. This summer his menu still offers great classics, like his lemon dessert with fennel and olive oil, and the famous Splendido Souffle. Guests can also try Schmitt’s Chocolate Log with rhubarb and cocoa nibs or his Apricot Egg made with white chocolate, rosemary, yogurt and goat cheese.

Like Melanson and Ackerman, Schmitt dials in great flavor and texture and creates unique presentations, all while keeping the recipes relatively simple. This summer at Splendido, let’s celebrate the chefs.