Rodeo barbecues to ‘racy Rieslings’ in Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – As the executive chef at South Gate Restaurant in New York City, Kerry Heffernan has his fingers squarely on the pulse of New York’s seasonal food scene. But as a guest chef at this week’s fourth annual Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits Festival, it’s understandable that he’s not as in touch with the ingredients chefs around the state are swooning for right now – like Palisade peaches. That’s why he called David Wolford over at Splendido.”I wanted to get a fix on what’s happening seasonally and locally,” Heffernan said. “It didn’t make sense to bring dishes that work here but don’t have anything to do with what’s in season there. So it’s my inspiration and creativity but it’s based on the great ingredients popping up there.”On Friday night, Heffernan will be cooking alongside Wolford for a charity wine dinner that will benefit the Bright Future Foundation. Hungry guests will nosh on Palisade tomatoes served with homemade burrata cheese, marjoram aioli and fried nicoise olives; pan-roasted Day Boat scallops with eggplant caviar, broccoli rabe and coriander emulsion; and seared smoked Muscovy duck breast with fresh bay and carrot fondue, radish and garlic chive saute. For dessert a Palisade peach will be slow baked and served alongside almond cake and Earl Grey ice cream with sage syrup. Wines like Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon and Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blancs.On Saturday night, during the “Best Of” walkaround tasting at the Vilar Center, the festival’s final event, Heffernan will serve a crab salad with roasted peppers and micro basil. “We’re trying to include as many seasonal products as possible,” he said.
Heffernan is one of four guest chefs and two guest mixologists attending this years festival, taking place in Beaver Creek Thursday through Saturday. Govind Armstrong of 8 oz. Burger Bar in L.A., Zarela Martinez of Zarela restaurant in New York City and Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles in Dallas round out the chefs. Aidan Demarest of First and Hope in L.A. and Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common in Portland are the guest mixologists. Wine and spirits expert Anthony Dias Blue, the event host, chose the guest participants, said Kyle Deighan, the event and marketing manager for Beaver Creek Resort Co. “The two guest mixologists are judges for the annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which Blue Lifestyle produces, and are very hot in West Coast bar scene right now,” Deighan said. “Anthony Dias Blue, of Blue Lifestyle, invites guest chefs who are a good fit for the Beaver Creek lifestyle – those who are diverse enough to cook for 150 people outside at a rodeo, and also perform in a five-star restaurant setting.”Festival attendees will likely spot a definite summer-soiree theme running through the festival events, which include a barbecue at the Thursday night Beaver Creek rodeo, dinners, luncheons, cocktail and wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and the final tasting that brings everyone together.”There is a real summery feel to the event this year,” Deighan said. “Our guest chefs have backgrounds conducive to backyard summer parties – Southwestern, Mexican and burger bars. You will see a lot of fresh, local ingredients and refreshing, light, warm weather cocktails.”Also new this year, the festival is partnering with Wine Spectator magazine, who will host two special tastings in the outdoor kitchen on Beaver Creek plaza on Friday and Saturday at 5 p.m. “These will be special wine tastings with Chateau Ste. Michelle, focusing on merlot on Friday, and Riesling on Saturday,” Deighan said. “There will also be a culinary component, with two of Beaver Creek’s chefs (Jay McCarthy of the Beaver Creek Chophouse and Riley Romanin of Foxnut) doing a short demonstration.”Tickets for the events are $25, and give you access to taste six wines and the chefs’ creations, she said.High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or email@example.com.