Bon Apptit culinary fest kicks off in Beaver Creek |

Bon Apptit culinary fest kicks off in Beaver Creek

Sarah Mausolfsmausolf@vaildaily.comBeaver Creek CO, Colorado
Daily file photo/Dominique Taylor

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado Nothing could prepare Steve Olson for his first glimpse of the Andes mountains in Argentina.I almost had a heart attack, he recalled.Jutting up 23,000 feet into the sky, the peaks overshadowed anything Olson saw when he lived in the Colorado Rockies. But the real gem was nestled in the foothills of the Andes.Olson traveled through the alpine vineyards in the Mendoza region, where he sampled malbecs Argentinas famous red wines.The Argentine malbecs are absolutely stunning, he said.Olson, who is Bon Apptit magazines wine and spirits consultant, looks forward to sharing those wines with Beaver Creek audiences this weekend. An Argentine wine seminar at Spago will focus on a range of wines, from malbecs to sparking wines to cabernet sauvignon. Its part of this weeks Bon Apptit Culinary and Wine Focus, set for Wednesday through Saturday in Beaver Creek.

Perhaps more than ever before, the festival will allow guests to do some armchair gastro travel. New events this year include a sushi-making demonstration and Brazilian cocktail seminar.We talked with our partners at Beaver Creek and decided wed add a global component to the weekend, said Amy Foster Devore, Bon Appetits executive director of brand and business development. It was really sort of this sense of: What are the culinary influences that are popular, that are cutting edge?Profiled in Bon Appetit magazine, Vancouver sushi chef Hidekazu Tojo hails from one of Canadas top foodie cities. Tojo will demonstrate how to make five different sushi rolls, including a crab meat, salmon, scallop and shrimp roll wrapped in a thin egg crepe. Tojo will dispel the myth that sushi is too complicated to make at home.The sense is that you have to go to a sushi restaurant to have sushi, Devore said. But that doesnt have to be the case.If somebody basically deconstructs the experience, so you can see how it happens and youre engaged it in, then you can demystify it, Devore said. Its something you can take home and share with your family and friends.In other international affairs, a seminar will focus on Brazilian cocktails. Participants will sample cachaca, the national spirit of Brazil, Olson said. Cachaca is similar to rum, except its made from fresh cane juice instead of molasses, he said. Brazilians mix that spirit with muddled lime and sugar to make a drink called caipirinha, Olson said. He plans to demonstrate how to make several versions of that drink, including a fresh fruit incarnation.

As in past years, the 11th annual festival will culminate Saturday night in a grand tasting. Event-goers can sample 24 wines and food from 30 chefs from around the world, said Tony ORourke, the executive director of Beaver Creek Resort Company.Its really an eating orgy, he said. Where else can you go and get 30 different chefs to serve you up world class food?High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

WednesdayWine Dinner benefiting The Bright Future Foundation Splendido at the Chateau7 to 10 p.m.Tickets: $125Enjoy a dinner prepared by Chef Shawn McClain of Spring, Green Zebra and Custom House restaurants in Chicago, and Splendido executive chef David Walford while supporting a wonderful local charity.ThursdayMaster Cooking Class and Wine Pairing LuncheonSplendido at the Chateau10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Tickets: $150Join celebrated Brazilian chef Mara Salles and selections from the Reynolds Family Winery in California for this hands-on cooking class followed by a luncheon and wine tasting.Sushi Workshop with Master Sushi Chef Hidekazu Tojo of Tojos in VancouverFoxnut3:30 p.m.Tickets: $65Join Master Sushi Chef Hidekazu Tojo of Tojos in Vancouver, Canada, for this unique sushi-making demonstration followed by a sushi tasting.Mary Wilson of The SupremesVilar Performing Arts CenterDoors open 6:30 p.m.Showtime: 7:30 p.m.Tickets: $65Enjoy a performance by Mary Wilson of The Supremes. Plus, enjoy complimentary sips and bites in the lobby.FridaySubaru Snowshoe Excursion and Luncheon 10 a.m.: Registration at the Nordic Center12:15 p.m.: LunchTickets: $100Snowshoe across the most picturesque spots on Beaver Creek Mountain with Beaver Creeks expert guides. Afterward, enjoy a three-course luncheon at Grouse Mountain Grill with Chef Kerry Simon. Includes snowshoe rentals, guide, transportation and lunch.Brazilian Cocktail SeminarThe Golden Eagle Inn3:30 to 5:30 p.m.Tickets: $65Mixologists lead an educational sampling of classic Brazilian cocktail recipes along with paired tastings from the Golden Eagle Inns Chef Marshall Blanchard. Hosted by Bon Apptit Wine & Spirits Consultant Steve Olson.MasterChef Challenge Vilar Performing Arts Center6 p.m.: Doors open; general admission seating6:30 p.m.: Competition beginsTickets: $35At this spirited Iron-Chef-style competition, watch as chefs are given a surprise ingredient and 20 minutes to create winning dishes. Also enjoy sips, bites and samples lobby pre-show and between rounds.Emcee: Cat CoraRound One: Marc Murphy (The Landmarc, New York) and Steven Topple (Beanos Cabin, Beaver Creek) vs. Richard Sandoval (Zengo, Denver) and Marshall Blanchard (Golden Eagle Inn, Beaver Creek)Round Two: Joey Campanaro (Little Owl, New York) and Daniel Joly (Mirabelle, Beaver Creek) vs. Richard Chamberlain (Chamberlains Steak and Chop House, Texas) and Jay McCarthy (Beaver Creek Chop House, Beaver Creek)Round Three: CookoffJudges: Barbara Fairchild, Kyle MacLachlan and Donatella ArpaiaSaturdayCelebrity Chef Ski Race and Awards Luncheon Beaver Creek Mountain and Beaver Creek Chophouse11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Tickets: $200Race with your favorite celebrity chefs as they heat up the slopes in this head-to-head competition. After the race, ticket-holders enjoy a luncheon at Beaver Creek Chophouse.Argentine Wine SeminarSpago at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch3 to 4:30 p.m.Tickets: $65Join Bon Apptit for a tasting journey through one of the worlds most fantastic wine regions. Accented with small-plate selections, this seminar is the ultimate beginning to a wonderful evening ahead. Hosted by Bon Apptit Wine & Spirits Consultant Steve Olson and Spagos Master Sommelier, Sean Razee.Grand TastingThe Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch7:30 to 10 p.m.Tickets: $115Culinary and pastry tastings from participating celebrity chefs and accomplished masters from Beaver Creeks finest restaurants are accented by wine, beer and spirits from around the world.For more information, call 970-845-9090

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