Meet Your Chef: Taste of Vail Edition
Jason Harrison of Red Maple Catering has been a part of the Taste of Vail off and on since 2010
Editor’s note: Jason Harrison, chef and owner of Red Maple Catering, has been participating on and off in the Taste of Vail events since he opened up the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail in 2010. Red Maple Catering will be participating in the Niman Ranch Mountaintop Tasting at the top of Vail Mountain on April 7 from noon to 2:30 p.m. Red Maple Catering will be serving up braised pork belly at 10,350 feet above sea level. The Taste of Vail returns to the streets and slopes of Vail April 5-8.
What is your name, your home restaurant and what is your title?
My name is Jason Harrison and I am the chef and owner Red Maple Catering.
When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?
I have been cooking since I was 15 years old. Cooking to me is the greatest creative outlet there is. It is how I am able to express my creative side and show my passion for ingredients at the same time.
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Why is it fun to participate in foodie events like Taste of Vail?
We do this to be part of the food community and continue to grow the town’s identity as a first-class food destination. To me, Taste of Vail has always been about showing off the culinary talent that our town has and partnering with great suppliers for top-notch products. It’s also super fun to take part in, so a win on every level.
What Taste of Vail events will you be participating in and what dish are you making?
We are entered in the Niman Ranch Mountaintop Tasting on Friday and we are serving a braised pork belly.
How many years have you participated in the Taste of Vail?
I have been participating in the Taste of Vail on and off since 2010 when I opened the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail.
What’s it like to be out there at the events with so many of the other chefs? Is it fun to see what everyone else is making?
It is great to see what everyone else is doing and see all the chefs. Everyone is so creative and puts their best forward at the Taste of Vail.
How important is it to be out and in front of the public at the Taste of Vail?
It is huge for a little company like ours to be a part of such a great event and to have the exposure with all of the other restaurants and hotels. This is a major opportunity for us.
Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?
I have been lucky to work with great leaders all through my career, almost too many to name!
What’s your favorite spice?
Favorite fruits and veggies?
Haha! If I have to eat anything other than protein, I’ll say mango!
Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?
Rice has been my go-to lately.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
Grilled cheese reminds me of childhood, and it has to come with a great tomato soup.
What are the challenges of taking your “kitchen” out to the top of Vail Mountain for the Mountain Top Picnic at the Taste of Vail and trying to make your dish and plate it up for the masses?
Actually, this is literally what our catering company does for all of our events, we specialize in fine dining in the great outdoors: the side of a mountain in a valley with no running water or power, the end of a long hike by a lake, a stop on the side of a river during a day of rafting … we’ve done all that and more!
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