Park Hyatt’s innaugural Masters of Food & Wine this weekend
Any job that requires you to drink four limited-release beers on the clock has got to be a pretty good gig, don’t you agree? Three weeks ago, Christian Apetz, the executive chef at 8100 at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, was tasked to do just that. “We had a New Belgium rep come in, bring in the beers,” Apetz said. “We lined them up, looked at them in the sun, checked their coloring and did a full tasting. We smelled everything and learned about where each beer came from, how long it took to make them and how the beers came to fruition.”But it wasn’t all fun and drinking. Apetz was also taking notes about flavor profiles and, in his head, already starting to formulate four dishes that would complement each beer. Diners will have a chance to see what he came up with at a beer dinner at the restaurant on Friday night. While Apetz, who has been at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek for three months and with the company for 11 years, said he’s happy with all of the pairings, his favorite is the dessert. The dessert beer is called Clutch. “Clutch is actually a rock band from Maryland who partnered with New Belgium to create the beer,” Apetz said. “The dessert will be the dessert of Maryland, which is a Smith Island Cake.”Traditionally, the cake is a vanilla cake with at least seven layers of chocolate frosting, Apetz said. “It’s a very simple, classic cake that is very symmetrical and intense looking that we’re putting a twist on,” Apetz said. The “twist” is the frosting: an espresso single-origin dark chocolate mousse.
On top of the beer dinner, the restaurant will host a family-friendly activity Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m., where kids will have a chance to cook for their parents in the 8100 kitchen. Restaurant chefs and leaders from the Little Chefs of Vail program will work with the kids hands on. Video cameras will catch the action, and parents, seated in the private dining room sipping on drinks, will watch the kids cook, live. “We’ll bring the kids in the kitchen and give them plastic knives to work with,” Apetz said. “They’ll make a nice salad for their parents. We think this will be a fun event for the valley to enjoy.”The cost for Saturday’s event is $40 for two adults and one child, with a $15 charge for each additional child. A portion of the proceeds from both events will go toward the Fresh Approach program, a healthy school lunch program at Eagle County schools.
Both events are part of a new-to-the Park Hyatt event called Masters of Food & Wine, which Park Hyatts around the world will host four times a year, around the change of the seasons. While the official program will launch in January 2012 at every Park Hyatt, this weekend 19 properties are participating, including Beaver Creek. The event will highlight Colorado ingredients, flavors and cuisine.The original Masters of Food & Wine came out of the Highlands Inn Hyatt in Carmel, Calif., Apetz said, but it ended a few years ago. “Now, Hyatt wants to make a push with all parts of the world to reinvigorate it and do it four times a year,” he said. For more information on the event, visit http://www.mastersfoodandwine.com. High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.