Food & Wine ﬁnds new home in Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Beaver Creek’s Food & Wine Weekend isn’t new, but the addition of Food & Wine magazine has elevated the event to new heights.Food & Wine magazine is king in the culinary publishing world. It sponsors the Emmy Award-winning television show “Top Chef” and the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, making the magazine no stranger to Colorado.While the relationship with Colorado isn’t new, Food & Wine publisher Christina Grdovic has been blown away with the service and amenities – and the sheer number of food lovers – in Beaver Creek. She joked Saturday morning before the Cadillac Lunch & Learn seminar at the Vilar Center that Beaver Creek and Food & Wine Magazine are off to a great beginning in their relationship.Grdovic said Beaver Creek is more beautiful than she imagined and that her expectations have been exceeded.”I’ve already told people you’re not going to be able to kick us out of here, never mind are we going to come back,” she said.At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, there’s a grandeur that is much more understated in Beaver Creek, yet it’s certainly not less impressive. While Grdovic said there’s still some level of intimacy in Aspen at the Food & Wine Classic, Beaver Creek takes it to another level of intimacy.”I think what’s been amazing this weekend is how it can be so intimate and so well-contained, but there’s still so much stuff to do,” Grdovic said. At Saturday’s demonstration, featuring “Top Chef” Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard and The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek 8100 Executive Chef Christian Apetz, guests sipped wine as the chefs showed them how to prepare a three-course lunch in the makeshift kitchen set up on the Vilar Center stage. The pair performed as if they travel the country together doing these demonstrations. They had an on-stage chemistry, finishing and adding to each other’s jokes, all while keeping the guests engaged and entertained.Apetz started by teaching the audience how to make his smoked-bacon trout chowder, which later had everyone’s spoons clanking against their bowls and they scooped up every last drop.Then came the pig’s head, which Izard’s sous chef and Apetz’s sous chef butchered in about two minutes (Izard’s sous chef did it blindfolded because he had more experience in separating a pig’s face from its skull than the 8100 sous chef).There were some freaked-out guests in the crowd who made themselves even more known once the pig’s face was served as an open-faced sandwich topped with thinly sliced raw butternut squash. The pork flavor – which Izard likes to call “delicious pork fatty goodness” – was just too much pork for some of the guests who picked at the dish.For those who didn’t let the memory of the pig’s eyes and large nose as it got hacked on the countertop haunt them, their plates were left clean.It was the perfect showcase of what the weekend is all about – the love of food and wine, yes, but also about getting to know those who are so passionate about it.That’s the allure of food festivals – to not only eat delicious food but to learn how it was created and who is behind it. You could see Beaver Creek come to life this weekend because of the event, more lively than it would have been just with skiers and boarders chasing fresh snow.Izard, who was a part of the Bon Appetit food event last year in Beaver Creek, said she loves the atmosphere. She loves that there are so many different events within the weekend and the fact that you can ski on top of it is “a brilliant idea.”The brilliant idea is something Grdovic is excited to see grow into even more great ideas. She said there’s already a lot of talk about how the festival can grow next year.”Not that anything needs to be better, it’s really, really good this weekend, but there are more things we can do and we can bring more people to Beaver Creek, so it will be exciting to hear everyone’s ideas and figure out what we do next year,” she said. Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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