Mirabelle miracle in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Mirabelle miracle in Beaver Creek

BEAVER CREEK — One of the Vail Valley's most acclaimed restaurants is finally owned by the family that made it famous.

Chef Daniel Joly and his wife, Natalie, have been asking Vail Resorts to sell them the Mirabelle building and land for 25 years. They closed the deal this week.

Actually, they've been asking since 1992, when they started running one of the valley's finest restaurants.

"We have worked successfully with Vail Resorts as our landlord for many years," Daniel Joly said. "Many times we have tried to buy the property, as we see ownership in Mirabelle giving us reason to continue to invest in and enhance Mirabelle for generations to come, much as restaurateurs do in Europe."

New to Napa

Daniel and Natalie Joly's purchase comes on the heels of Daniel returning from Napa, where he prepared a wine pairing dinner for one of Italy's oldest winemakers, the Antinoro family.

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The Antinori family has been making wine since 1385 and are one of the biggest wine companies in Italy.

"What an honor it was to be asked to cook for them," Daniel Joly said. "It was relaxed and friendly, everything a great meal should be."

They're the world's 10th oldest family-owned company. In fact, records show that Rinuccio di Antinori was making wine at the Castello di Combiate near the Tuscan town of Calenzano in 1180. The castello was destroyed in 1202, and the family moved to Florence, where they were involved in silk weaving and banking. In 1385, Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Guild of Winemakers, and this is the date usually taken as the start of the wine business.

They're moving into California's Napa Valley and asked Daniel to cook for them.

The Antinori clan is so renowned that the company and family were featured in a segment of the CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes," reported by Morley Safer on October 12, 2008. The segment was aired again on May 3, 2009, and on May 22, 2016, following Safer's death.

Speaking of originals

The four-star Mirabelle is located in Beaver Creek's oldest original homestead. The Joly family has operated Mirabelle since 1992, when Vail's famed Luc Meyer owned it. The Joly family bought the restaurant business in 1999, absent the building and the land.

Daniel Joly's passion for food and good life are legendary.

"Owning Mirabelle, we can carry that passion beyond the valley and farther," Daniel Joly said. "The incredible location and spirit of the place is magical and will remain here for our patrons under the lead of the Joly family."

Since 2008, Daniel Joly and Mirabelle have consistently earned four-star ratings from the Mobil Travel Guide and AAA. Joly and Mirabelle have received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for each of the 15 years he has been chef of the restaurant.

Daniel Joly has been collecting culinary acclaim for years and recently returned from cooking for the legendary Naples Food and Wine Festival.

About Chef Daniel Joly

Belgian-born Master Chef Daniel Joly graduated the Culinary Institute of Brussels in 1986. He trained at Michelin Guide 3-star rated Comme Chez Soi in Brussels.

Daniel Joly came to the United States in 1988 and worked at the Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Million in Charleston, South Carolina. He then moved to Beaver Creek in 1992 to become chef-manager for Mirabelle restaurant.

He is the author of the Mirabelle cookbook, "Not Just Another Cookbook." He had a popular local cooking show on TV8 Vail, "Something Cooking with Daniel."

Daniel Joly is also a brand ambassador for the Belgian beer Stella Artois and travels to host cooking demonstrations and seminars for the brand.

He was a judge in Paris for the 2014 Taitinger culinary competition and in 2015 was awarded to the "Master Cook Wall of Fame" in Belgium. He will be cooking at the Epcot Center wine festival in October.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

The Ranch House

The original Mirabelle structure on this site was a one-story log cabin built by the homesteader John Howard in 1898. Howard founded Avondale ranch there and replaced the cabin with the west wing of the present structure in 1898. Gulling Offerson, a Leadville dairy farmer who bought the ranch in 1902, added the east wing with the porch. He later became an Eagle County Commissioner.

Willis Nottingham acquired the property in 1950 and used the building as his residence and ranch headquarters. Legend has it that cows, horses and livestock roamed the grounds (and the building) on a regular basis.

The land was sold to Avon and Beaver Creek Resort around 1972; the cabin was restored (with the south wing added) to what is now Mirabelle. Mirabelle restaurant opened in 1982.

The Joly family still resides in the Ranch House.

To make reservations

Mirabelle will begin serving lunch this summer outside on the deck. For more information on Mirabelle, call 970-949-7728 or go to http://www.mirabelle1.com.