Your guide to Beaver Creek Culinary Weekend: Tricia’s weekend picks 1/24/20
Beaver Creek’s Winter Culinary Weekend is one of my favorite events of the year because of the ways the event incorporates the outdoors and talented chefs who participate from our local establishments and beyond. Any city can have a culinary event, but when you pair great food and libations with the backdrop of Beaver Creek, it doesn’t get any better.
Who’s coming to cook?
Beaver Creek’s Winter Culinary Weekend will host seven chefs with influences and connections to as far as Southeast Asia and as close as Grand Junction. Here’s a look at who is coming to do some cooking:
Andrew Zimmern – If you watch TV, you’ve seen this guy. He’s a four-time James Beard award-winning chef, writer, teacher and host of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” franchise, “Driven by Food,” “The Zimmern List” and the Food Network’s “Big Food Truck Tip.”
Antonia Lofaso – Lofaso is also all over the airwaves on such shows as Bravo’s “Top Chef” and NBC’s “Restaurant Startup.” Southern California is where you can find her since she is busy with three restaurants: Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City; Scopa Italian Roots in Venice and DAMA in downtown Los Angeles.
Brother Luck – Luck has ties to Colorado Springs, where he started Brother Luck Street Eats, but his trainings have taken him all over Japan, Hong Kong and China. Luck was also on “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Top Chef.” Read the Vail Daily’s interview with him here.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Giorgio Rapicavoli – Rapicavoli has made a mark on the Miami culinary scene and caught the eye of “Forbes” magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2012. He became the executive chef at Chispa Doral at the age of 21. Most recently, Rapicavoli opened up three different restaurant concepts in the Miami area in the end of 2019.
Josh Niernberg – Nienberg got his start by working in restaurants while trying to pursue a career as a snowboarder 1994. He worked with many of Denver’s most notable chefs. He and his wife Jodi showcase Colorado’s Grand Valley with Bin 707 Foodbar, Tacoparty and Dinnerparty in Grand Junction.
Katsuji Tanabe – Tanabe came to America at 18 years old and worked several jobs in Los Angeles to get by. His big break came in 2005 when he was promoted to executive sous chef at Mastros. That lead to appearances on PBS’ “Cooking Under Fire,” “Top Chef,” “Food Fighters” and “Chow Masters.” It’s a great American Dream story as Tanabe now owns three restaurants across North America with more on the way.
Tyson Cole – Cole hails from Austin, but don’t expect barbecue from this Texan. Cole has spent many years perfecting the art of Japanese sushi, living in Japan and even learning the language. This American sushi master and James Beard Award-winning chef will showcase his sushi skills at the Art of Seafood & Sushi Dinner at Hooked on Friday. Read the Vail Daily’s interview with him here.
The Art of Seafood & Sushi is a brand-new event at Hooked restaurant. Owner and executive chef Riley Romanin and Cole will pair a beautiful seafood spread paired with wine from Reeve Wines and of course sake. The cost is $200 per person and the event is on Friday night.
Beaver Creek’s Winter Culinary weekend is all about collaborations, and on Friday night at Splendido, executive chef and owner Brian Ackerman will welcome Luck and Tanabe to the beautiful surroundings of the Chateau. Wines for each course will be provided by Paul Hobbs. The cost is $200 per person.
Also new this year is a focus on Piemonte’s vinous royalty. Learn about Barolo and Barbaresco wines in this master class taught by Piemonte native and oenologist – someone who is an expert in the science and study of wine and winemaking – Davide Pasquero and author Suzanne Hoffman. Pasquero will give details on these world-famous denominations while Hoffman tells the stories behind the families who own and run these wineries. This event is on Friday in the Crooked Hearth Room at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Tickets are $75 per person.
If you don’t want to commit to the whole weekend of foodie fun, stop by after skiing or riding and enjoy Village Après on Friday and Saturday afternoons. From 3 to 6 p.m., Beaver Creek Village will be full of food and drink tents offering tastes and sips of various culinary delights.
On Friday, the theme is Authentically Alpine, so expect to find a little touch of the Apls like raclette, meats and the typical accouterments that go with charcuterie. Saturday’s theme will be Colorado Comfort Food, so expect to warm up with some of the native eats with origins to our state.
It’s free to enter and is a pay-as-you-go system for tastings, so it is a very affordable and fun way to experience the Winter Culinary Weekend. In each tent, you can taste several types of food, try new wines and other libations after you get off the slopes. There will be live music as well, and if you didn’t ski that day and want to join in the fun, you get three free hours of parking after 3 p.m. in the Beaver Creek parking garages in the village.
Saturday Night Synesthesia
The Vilar Performing Arts Center will host a multitude of scents and sounds as the upper and lower lobby areas are filled with Beaver Creek chefs and guest chefs as well as wineries offering tastings throughout the night at Synesthesia. Synesthesia is the word that describes the phenomenon involving the overlap of two senses such as taste and sound. After the tastings, enter the intimate concert hall for an exclusive show with St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Imagine your day filled with great turns on the slopes followed by wonderful food and entertainment, and you’ll realize what Beaver Creek is all about.
Amidst all this decadence and revelry with food, drink and outdoor fun, a portion of the proceeds from the Winter Culinary Weekend goes to a good cause. This year’s recipient is The Community Market, a local non-profit based out of Gypsum that provides groceries for food-insecure households.
About 16% of Eagle County’s population is food insecure, meaning it’s difficult for their households to acquire groceries: some of the biggest issues in these scenarios are transportation and finances. The Community Market’s mission not only to provide services to anyone who’s food insecure, but also to nourish healthy people, build strong communities and practice environmental sustainability.
Here’s a little side note: The Community Market has local celebrity chef, Kelly Liken, on staff as the food systems coordinator. Liken used to own and operate different restaurants throughout the Valley and has been on shows like “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America.” So, it’s kind of fitting that the Winter Culinary Weekend is connected to Liken and contributing to food resources in the valley.
For tickets to any of the events and for the full schedule, visit http://www.beavercreek.com/culinary. Please note that some events do sell out, so act fast if there is an event you want to go to.