‘Fork to Pork’ dinner at Vail’s Restaurant Kelly Liken | VailDaily.com

‘Fork to Pork’ dinner at Vail’s Restaurant Kelly Liken

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyMark DeNittis of Il Mondo Vecchio, Denver's only USDA-inspected salumeria producing facility, will demonstrate the art of butchering next week at a restaurant at Restaurant Kelly Liken.

VAIL – Vail “Top Chef” Kelly Liken will host a “Fork to Pork” feast on Sept. 28 at Restaurant Kelly Liken as part of Vail Restaurant Month. Starting at 6:30 p.m, guests will enjoy appetizers and seasonal hand-crafted cocktails as culinary entrepreneur and butcher Mark DeNittis of Denver’s Il Mondo Vecchio leads a demonstration on butchering a whole hog in the dining room. The family owned and operated Leopold Brothers Distillery will also be on hand including lead distiller Todd Leopold to handcraft and pour artisanal cocktails perfectly paired with Liken’s four-course “Fork to Pork” dinner.

In preparation for the second annual Vail Restaurant Month, Liken wants to celebrate the artisans and culinary craftsman of Colorado who she regularly works throughout the year.

“Colorado is made up of so many talented artisans and producers who are extremely passionate about their craft,” Liken said. “The culinary community in Colorado is very tight knit and we are all good friends. I want to create an experience that celebrates the craft but also brings together those purveyors, and friends, who I enjoy working with year-round.”

Continuing her support of local farms and Colorado purveyors, Chef Liken has purchased a pedigree purebread Yorkshire hog from Eagle County 4H student Quinn Story. No stranger to 4H auctions, Liken annually visits the Eagle County auction in support of 4H programs in her area. “The hog was fed a special diet to produce a desired flavor in its meat,” Liken said. “These animals are cared for and raised thoughtfully, essentially teaching these students invaluable lessons that they carry with them through the rest of their lives.”

Expanding on the concept of a “whole hog” dinner, Liken has invited artisanal Denver salumerie Mark DeNittis of Il Mondo Vecchio, Denver’s only USDA-inspected salumeria producing facility, to demonstrate the art of butchering. Turning the dining room into his culinary stage, DeNittis will guide guests through the breakdown of a pig as guests learn about the techniques and art and craft of butchering.

The end result will be a four-course “Fork to Pork” dinner prepared by Liken and paired with libations from another artisanal producer, Denver-based Leopold Bros. Distillery. Guests will enjoy seasonal cocktails featuring original and favorite libations co-created by Liken and Leopold Bros. Distillery that will be served and enjoyed during the demonstration and throughout the dinner. Locally small batch Colorado distilled spirits and cocktails will be featured including Gin, Whiskey, Absinthe and Alpine Herbal Liqueur together with Liken’s American seasonal cuisine.

The second annual Vail Restaurant Month takes place through Oct. 16. The whole hog butchering demonstration and four-course “Fork to Pork” dinner paired with drinks from Leopold Bros. Distillery is $99 per person including cocktail pairings (excluding tax and gratuity). Seating for the “Fork to Pork” diner at Restaurant Kelly Liken is limited and available by reservation only. Call 970-479-0175 to make a reservation.

In addition to the “Fork to Pork” dinner, Restaurant Kelly Liken will offer special menus and promotions throughout Vail Restaurant Month including a fall tasting menu. Options will include a three-course tasting menu for $45, or a five-course menu for $65, as well as half off selected wine bottles beginning this week. Wine flights such as a Newton Vineyard flight of “Unfiltered” Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot will also be available. Additional promotions and specials will be announced throughout the month.

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