High Altitude Society: Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend

Betty Ann Woodlandnewsroom@vaildaily.comVAIL CO, Colorado
Celebrity Chef and judge on Bravo's Emmy-winning series Top Chef, Gail Simmons and Food & Wine Magazine's Production Manager James Flynn take some time to relax at the Grand Tasting in Beaver Creek.

Ford Hall at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek hosted the Food & Wine grand tasting last Saturday, which brought together many talented local chefs cooking and socializing alongside celebrity and guest chefs. Spotted was Gail Simmons who shared tales of her experiences on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” which won 2010’s Emmy for Outstanding Reality series. “We lived together on that show and are very much like family,” she said. “I feel very privileged to be part of the show.” Simmons had her first screen-test in 2005 in San Francisco and at the time she was not even sure what a screen test entailed. “My only standard for a reality television show then was Fear Factor or Survivor,” said Simmons, who pictured herself stranded on a deserted island eating strange things. During Simmons first taping of “Top Chef” she was nervous and her heart was beating so loudly that the microphone taped to her chest picked up her heartbeat requiring them to tape it over. That said, she emphasized that the show’s producers “never tell us what to say or do or repeat ourselves … It is really natural.” It turns out that “Top Chef” has “slowly and truly” helped launch the careers of many chefs who have opened their own restaurants. Other guest chefs at Beaver Creek Food & Wine included John Besh, Tim Love, Spike Mendelsohn, Alex Seidel and Sam Talbot. Beaver Creek host chefs dazzled the crowds with their prowess and brought a lot to the table. Representing the home team were Christian Apetz, David Gutowski, Daniel Joly, Jay McCarthy, David Walford and Kirk Weems. Seek these amazing chefs out to find culinary delights and bliss right here in your own backyard.Betty Ann Woodland covers soirees, social events and fundraisers for non-profits. She can be reached at highaltitudesociety@vaildaily.com

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