Food to Celebrate | VailDaily.com

Food to Celebrate

FOODsmith Vail offers local, customized menus — and a wealth of fine dining experience — for happy couples

By Kim Fuller • Photos by Kristin Anderson

To Allana Smith, private chef and owner of FOODsmith Vail, food is love, and what better way to celebrate a wedding than to eat well?

Being a small business allows Smith to personally order and select the products that she wants to work with. She prepares food with ingredients grown and raised locally, by individuals that she knows by name.

"Often these farmers — Kerry Donovan, Randen and Ruth Eggers, Chris LaVenture — literally harvest the items when I arrive at their farms, or the evening before if I order items that they bring to the farmers' market for me to pick up," says Smith.

She says her 25-year career in restaurants around the world, specifically at Larkspur Restaurant in Vail, has provided her with countless opportunities to plan and organize group events.

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For a wedding this summer, the bride had her heart set on having multiple food trucks. Since it's in an alpine location that's inaccessible for actual food trucks, Smith is creating a menu that includes stations with different street food staples at each one, like duck steamed pork buns, carne asada tacos, vegetarian falafel, Vietnamese shrimp boodle bowls and more.

Everything Smith does is completely customized, from small dinner parties to large group events. She often works closely with David Courtney, the owner of Beaver Liquors in Avon, to pair wines with the menus she creates with her clients.

She shares how she likes introducing people to the high-quality products that are from Colorado, like Avalanche Dairy cheeses and salumi, Tender Belly heritage pork, La Vaca beef, Colorado Catch striped bass, and local honey, preserves and pickles that she makes herself with the area's own fruits and vegetables.

"I am dedicated to providing guests with the highest quality ingredients," says Smith. "I have been teased for driving to Gypsum just so I can use fresh herbs from LaVenture Farms instead of buying them from a major grocer."

Smith also sources high-quality products from around the world, like caviar from Petrossian, smoked salmon from Browne Trading, scallops from Nantucket, Urbani truffles and Magni olive oil, to name a few from the delicious myriad.

Her husband, Shawn Smith, has had his own wedding cake business, called Mountain Flour, since 2001.

"He makes custom specialty cakes, wedding cakes, groom's cakes and gelatos and sorbet," she shares. "He also makes desserts for many local restaurants — he's amazing."

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"I have been teased for driving to Gypsum just so I can use fresh herbs from LaVenture Farms instead of buying them from a major grocer."