Meet the Chef: Jasper Schneider at WYLD | VailDaily.com

Meet the Chef: Jasper Schneider at WYLD

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

A visit to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch always seems like a special occasion, and with a new executive chef taking the reins for the property there is certainly something to celebrate.

Jasper Schneider has been working in the culinary world for more than 25 years, from New York to Hawaii to the Caribbean Islands, most recently in Anguilla, with a strong focus on fresh seafood.

"Now that I have arrived in the mountains at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, I'm inspired to create dishes utilizing fresh, local seasonal ingredients," Schneider said.

Seafood dishes will still be making waves on Executive Chef Schneider's menu at WYLD, the property's most upscale restaurant, but he said the kitchen will be exploring new and innovative ways to bring meat and vegetable-focused dishes into the seasonal cuisine.

"We are evolving the menu at WYLD to focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients," Schneider said.

Since opening in 2016, WYLD has maintained a refined definition of Colorado cuisine, highlighting the best elements of the environment, from local ingredients to rustic and inspired combinations. Schneider's menu embraces all that and more, with unique preparations that focus on all the intricate details of a well-composed dish while keeping ingredients clean and fresh.

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"Less is more"

"My culinary philosophy is 'less is more' when it comes to the perfect dish," Schneider said. "My mentor, Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin, taught me a long time ago that 'the fish is the star,' so I like to spotlight one item and the sides are simply there to complement the star."

For example, at WYLD, guests can enjoy Maine diver scallops with a cauliflower almond raisin ragout and yuzu brown vinaigrette as an unexpected entree.

"I believe in clean, fresh cooking with seasonal ingredients that allows our culinary team to evolve and refine the menu throughout the year based on what ingredients are available," Schneider said. "In addition to unique seafood, expect more vegetables on the menu."

Among all of delicious dishes I tried on a recent dinner WYLD, I was most impressed by the beautiful colors and flavors of his baby beet salad. Hazelnuts, goat cheese and dried cherry vinaigrette were delightful alongside the earthy flavors of the orange, red and purple beets and the roasted heirloom carrot appetizer, spread on the plate like a painting and finished with fresno peppers, lime and raita.

Schneider's duck breast was lovely too, served with apple fennel, green lentil confit and dried cherry jus.

So it's true, from start to finish: Schneider really is an exciting addition to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and to the whole of this mountain valley's culinary depth.