Taste of Vail ‘showcase’ celebrity chefs at three dinners
VAIL – Organizers of Taste of Vail, April 11-14, announce a lineup of Chef Showcase Dinners, at which Vail Valley restaurants host some of the culinary world’s brightest stars.Each dinner, hosted by a local executive chef and joined by other local chefs from restaurants throughout the Vail Valley, is a five-course, five-chef gourmet affair designed around special selections from some of the nearly five dozen participating wineries and followed by live auctions featuring rare and collector’s-item bottles from the wineries. Proceeds go to local charities.
“We’re very proud to be able to bring nationally acclaimed chefs here to the Vail Valley, one of the world’s great dining destinations,” says Kevin Nelson, a member of Taste of Vail’s board of directors. “This is such an incredible opportunity for food and wine enthusiasts.”On Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m., Ludwig’s Restaurant, in the Sonnenalp Resort &Spa, hosts Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, executive chef at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder. At his side in the kitchen will be local chefs Jenna Johansen of Dish and Michael Joersz of Balata, both in Edwards; and Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken, in Vail.
On Thursday, April 12, at 6 p.m., Game Creek Restaurant’s Executive Chef Darrell Jensen hosts television’s celebrity chef Michael Chiarello of “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello” on the Food Network and “NapaStyle” on its sister-channel, Fine Living Network. The Napa Valley icon will cook alongside Beaver Creek chefs Dustin Aipperspach of traMonti restaurant and Steven Topple of Beano’s Cabin.And on Friday, April 13, at 7 p.m., Beaver Creek Chophouse’s Executive Chef Jay McCarthy hosts Lee Hefter, executive chef at Spago Beverly Hills. Joining Hefter and McCarthy in the kitchen will be local chefs Mercer Mohr of Ocotillo, in the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa and Charles Hays of Toscanini.
Events like Taste of Vail’s Chefs Showcase Dinners are complicated affairs known to build camaraderie among chefs, sommeliers and winemakers, as all courses are paired with special selections from participating wineries. Typically, the host chef is the point person, arranging meetings with the other chefs, his own sommelier and the winemakers themselves. Once the tone is set, the chefs toss more ideas around until everyone is comfortable with the menu and their role in producing it. The night of the event, they all work together – along with select staff members – as one big team in the host chef’s kitchen.”Think about it: Five courses prepared by five different, highly acclaimed chefs, with the actual winemakers in attendance,” says Nelson, executive chef himself, as well as general manager, at Vail’s Terra Bistro restaurant, adding many details of the Chef Showcase Dinners are still in the works. “I can’t imagine an endeavor of this magnitude happening anywhere else in the country. And it only happens once a year.”Tickets to the Chefs Showcase Dinners – not included in the Festival Pass – are $150 per person. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit http://www.tasteofvail.com, e-mail email@example.com or call 926-5665.