Guest chef Tony Aiazzi in Vail for culinary festival |

Guest chef Tony Aiazzi in Vail for culinary festival

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyTaste of Vail Guest Chef Tony Aiazzi will teach a cooking seminar Friday afternoon at the Vail Marriott.

VAIL, Colorado ” Tony Aiazzi, executive chef of Aureole in New York City, has been with the Charlie Palmer Group for the past decade. It’s taken him from New York to Las Vegas to Dubai and beyond. He’s a special guest at Taste of Vail this year, and will teach a cooking seminar on Friday afternoon at the Vail Marriott in addition to providing treats at tastings.

Tony Aiazzi: Many things affect a dish’s development, timeliness, cost of ingredients, clienteles’ likes and dislikes, capabilities of staff, etc. The menu also has to work together as a whole. Sometimes a great idea for a new lobster dish may come around but utilizes too many of the same ingredients or preparations as other dishes so it has to be shelved for a while.

TA: When cooking at home you’re more connected to the diner; you’re providing for guests as opposed to customers ” you sit with them. It’s also much easier to kick a guest out if they complain.

TA: Under-ripe tomatoes. I mean, what’s the point? Most tomatoes at the store are a color, not a flavor.

TA: Watching people work with their indigenous ingredients and cook their dishes in such a natural way demystifies things that may be otherwise completely unknown. It allows one, to some extent, to be able to capture some of that familiarity for their own.

TA: Lots of packing, flying, hotel rooms and water. There was quite a bit of wine involved as well.

TA: Among other things, the proliferation of food shows on television has gotten people much more interested in the specifics of cooking. People now have much more of a culinary vocabulary enabling them to be much more adventurous diners. Chefs are able to put things on the menu that people may have shied away from in the past.

TA: Preserved lemons.

TA: Gellan gum, Xantham gum ” all those emulsifier additives.

TA: Hunger. It isn’t like other crafts in that food is essential to our survival. A cabinetmaker may get tired of hanging shelves but getting tired of cooking is along the same lines as being bored of seeing.

TA: I’ve worked for Charlie in some capacity or another for the past 10 years, initially as a line cook at Aureole and later as a sous chef. The progression was quite natural.

TA: I’m really much more of a cookie than a foodie. I enjoy the habitual routine and the discipline of cooking the most.

TA: You can always get a good reservation.

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