Meet Your Chef: Dimitri Souvorin shares funny stories from his kitchens in Vail
Whether ordering to-go or dining in, local chefs are working hard to keep people fed safely this winter
Restaurant owner-chef Dimitri Souvorin has been a staple name in the Vail culinary scene for decades. With the ever-present seafood establishment Montauk, and the newer modern Mexican spot El Segundo, Souvorin focuses on quality and guest experience.
1. How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?
I moved to Vail in March of 1993. I came here because I was a die-hard snowboarder and a chef. As the biggest U.S. ski resort with an accomplished culinary scene, Vail was a slam dunk.
2. Where did your passion for cooking come from?
It’s odd, I have always known I was going to be a chef. I really never considered anything else. I love the whole feeling of comfort you can create with a good meal.
3. What do you enjoy about being a chef in the Vail Valley?
Vail has great combination of small-town feel and a great culinary scene.
4. What’s one thing you are proud of that people might not know?
I have bravely survived dangerously close encounters with moose, lions and bears (by running in fear).
5. Skier or snowboarder (or neither)?
I will always be a snowboarder, you know what they say — A day without snowboarding is like a day on skis.
6. What do you like to eat?
I love food that is real. When someone picks up a knife, cuts vegetables, fruits, meats, shows some love, tastes their own food, really tries … I am probably going to love it.
7. How does Vail Valley dining compare to other places you’ve worked?
Vail has an amazingly diverse customer base. There are few places in the world where you are cooking for such an international clientele. It is so fun to see the way people from so many countries and cultures react to your food.
8. Who has helped you along the way/what inspires you?
Restaurants are a team show all the way. I have worked with so many fun, talented, passionate, funny chefs in the last 25-plus years. I can honestly say that I have learned something from every one of them.
9. Any funny stories over the years?
So many. Everyone knows the restaurant business is a show. We had a customer decide she was going to enjoy the full sunbathing experience on the deck during dinner service. We had a long-time local escape from the psych ward in his hospital gown come in to the bar for a quick whiskey while being chased by orderlies … just to scratch the surface.
10. What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
Not too sure, maybe a roadie or a doctor.
11. What can diners expect from a meal at your restaurant?
The theme at Montauk is simple … seafood. We blend so many styles and types of cuisine with seafood as the star of the show. Guests at Montauk can trust us to bring in and prepare world class seafood.
Editor’s note: To answer the Vail Daily’s Meet Your Chef questionnaire, email Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Arts & Entertainment Editor Casey Russell (email@example.com).
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