Beaver Creek Winter Culinary Weekend brings it all to the table
Special to the Daily
Beaver Creek is serving up another weekend of delicious events from Thursday, Jan. 18, through Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Beaver Creek Winter Culinary Weekend. This annual gathering offers everything from intimate and luxurious tastings to meals that are paired with high-altitude adventure, attracting gourmands from the Vail Valley and far beyond.
“The event is a great chance for culinarians and foodies alike to mingle, drink, taste and learn. And it’s a great place to make new friends,” said Ron Jackson, executive chef at Zach’s Cabin.
Along with an established group of host chefs representing Beaver Creek restaurants, this year the event welcomes guest chefs Marco Canora, of New York; Jonathan Waxman, of New York; Alex Guarnaschelli, of New York; Jennifer Jasinski, of Denver; and Diego Insunza Kahlo, of Mexico City.
“I always love getting together with other chefs,” Jasinski said of the culinary collaborations she is anticipating for the weekend, “and it will be fun to bounce ideas off people. I just love working with other chefs around the country that are awesome and talent-ed.”
Events include a tequila-paired dinner on Thursday night to kick off the fun, along with active endeavors like snowshoeing and skiing to work up an appetite for a gourmet meal or a unique apres ski experience. Cooking classes and wine dinners are offered as well, along with Saturday night’s Grand Tasting that is the not-to-miss food and drink event of the season in Beaver Creek.
To get the weekend rolling, Mexico Meets the Mountains is on Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Metropolitan. Dinner will be paired with hand-selected tequila from Herradura with dishes from chef Diego Insunza Kahlo. Tickets for the evening are $70 per person.
On Friday morning, event guests can get $150 tickets to start the day with first tracks and a gourmet breakfast at Allie’s Cabin, or begin a little later with a guided snowshoe excursion and lunch at Grouse Mountain Grill with executive chef David Gutowksi and guest chef Marco Canora.
“I’m not big on bells and whistles,” Canora said. “I plan to bring to Beaver Creek what my chef and I bring to Hearth on a daily basis — simple, nourishing, delicious food.”
Burger & Beers are on the menu for apres on Friday, giving guests a chance to enjoy live music from Brendan McKinney and sample a variety of delicious burgers and beers available for purchase throughout Beaver Creek Village.
For evening entertainment, Splendio at the Chateau and executive chef Brian Ackerman are hosting a wine dinner with guest chef Jonathan Waxman. The multi-course dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and will include wine pairings from Huneeus Wines and Quintessa. Guest winemaker Rebekah Wineburg, of Quintessa winery and estate, will be there to give insight to multiple vintages of Quintessa’s cabernet-based blends. She crafts these wines from grapes grown biodynamically in the heart of Napa Valley’s Rutherford region. Tickets for the event are $200 per person.
Ackerman is preparing hors d’oeuvre and the first course for the dinner, and he said he’s looking forward to working with Waxman to present an impressive and dynamic menu.
“It’s great to work with new people and see their techniques,” Ackerman shared of the event’s guest chefs like Waxman. “These are great chefs with great personalities, and it rubs off on our staff in such a good way.”
Cap off Friday night with the speakeasy-style Mules & Manhattans at the Crooked Hearth in the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek from 8 to 11 p.m. Guests with a $60 ticket will tell the doorman the pass-word for entry, then sip on hand-crafted cocktails, try some food and start dancing to a live swing band.
Ski. Eat. Ski.
For as delicious as a good lunch can be, skiing on each end of it makes the meal that much more satisfying. On Saturday at 9:30 a.m., guests on the Ski. Eat. Ski. event will start with a morning exploring Beaver Creek Mountain with ski and snowboard instructors, then stop in to Zach’s Cabin in Bachelor Gulch for a gourmet lunch prepared by executive chef Ron Jackson and Denver-based chef Jennifer Jasinski, the mastermind of well-known establishments like Euclid Hall Bar + Kitchen and Bistro Vendoome, among others.
“I am very much looking forward to hosting and working with Jennifer Jasinski and her team,” Jackson said. “We had a blast last year with Tobie Puttock. It will be a great opportunity for my team to see what Jennifer can do, and to complement her cuisine with our own additions to the tasting menu.”
The meal will be paired with unique wines from Scar of the Sea Winery, a small wine and cider project of less than 3,000 annual cases and only two employees. Winemaker and cidermaker Mikey Giugni will be a guest at the Ski. Eat. Ski. lunch at Zach’s Cabin.
“Those Scar of the Sea wines are fantastic,” Jasinski shared. “I tasted them to pair the food and I’m really excited to have them there.”
Tickets for Ski. Eat. Ski are $150 per person and open to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboards. The price does not include a lift ticket or ski equipment.
For those looking for a taste of interactive on Saturday, the Celebrity Chef Cooking Demo & Lunch with Alex Guarnaschelli will be held at Splendido at the Chateau from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $150 per person. After an extensive demonstration, the event culminates with a lively lunch where guests will feast on the dishes that are paired with wines.
“This is probably one of the best things you can do at a culinary festival,” Ackerman said. “And this one is like 25 people, so it’s not hundreds of people like other festivals, and you sit down and you eat the three courses that they make, in the dining room with paired wine. So if you’re into food, I don’t know why you wouldn’t sign up for this one right away.”
Kids can also get some kitchen skills with a $20 kids’ cooking class on Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. at Blue Moose Pizza, and the adult apres in Beaver Creek Village on Saturday will be Pizza & Prosecco from 3 to 6 p.m.
Everything seems to come together on Saturday night for the Grand Tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. Beaver Creek’s resident chefs and the event’s guest chefs will be showcasing tastes and libations alongside hand-selected wines, spirits and beers. Tickets are $175 per person.
Jasinski will be making her signature artichoke tortellini. It’s a handmade pasta filled with artichoke mouse in an artichoke broth.
“It’s one of my most favorite dishes,” she said. “It’s on the cover of my cookbook. That dish is always a crowd favorite — people just go crazy for it.”
Ackerman is making a dish from Splendido’s winter menu: a lovely Kampachi with shaved apple and celery, topped with jalapeno and ice shavings.
“The Grand Tasting is a great showcase for the culinary talent we have here at Beaver Creek,” Jackson said.
For a quintessential finale to the weekend, a Sunset Snowshoe & Sunday Supper will be held on Sunday from 3:30 to 9 p.m. The snowshoe will be from Beaver Creek Village to Allie’s Cabin, followed by a gourmet dinner by executive chef Kirk Weems.
“Being an urban dweller, I very much look forward to breathing in the fresh air and basking in the beauty that a place like Beaver Creek has to offer,” Canora said.
And we’ll all raise a glass to that.
For more information, the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.beavercreek.com.