The Fitz takes the stage at Chefs in the Gardens on Thursday, July 28 | VailDaily.com

The Fitz takes the stage at Chefs in the Gardens on Thursday, July 28

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Executive chef Ken Butler and chef de cuisine Gage Smit, of The Fitz Bar & Restaurant at Manor Vail Lodge. The Fitz is known for its approachable menu of “comfort food, elevated,” creative cocktails and local Colorado drafts.

VAIL — Executive chef Ken Butler and chef de cuisine Gage Smit, of The Fitz Bar & Restaurant at Manor Vail Lodge, headline Chefs in the Gardens from noon to 1 p.m. today in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater lobby.

Known for his passion for food, fresh ingredients and commitment to sourcing the best products, Butler developed his culinary skills and love for wine and spirits working at some of the best mountain resorts in Colorado. Prior to Manor Vail Lodge, he was a sous chef for the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. In 2013, Butler won his region for Cochon 555 and became an accredited Level 1 sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Smit was raised on the island of Maui, Hawaii and learned at a young age the importance of keeping indigents local due to high shipping costs. Bringing the same love for local farmers, fishermen and ranchers to the Vail Valley, along with an appreciation for fresh seafood and the amount a finesse that is required to cook it properly, he continues to work hand in hand creating lasting partnerships at Manor Vail Lodge.

Chefs in the Gardens is a six-week summer program at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater lobby, near the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The program offers a unique and intimate live cooking experience. Local chefs from area restaurants demonstrate cooking techniques and share culinary tips and recipes, and participants receive a sampling of the prepared food following the demonstration.

Current members of the Gardens may call the Gardens at 970-476-0103, ext. 3, to reserve a seat for the program prior to the event. Please visit http://www.bettyfordalpinegardens.org to learn more.

If you go …

What: Chefs in the Gardens, with chefs Ken Butler and Gage Smit from The Fitz Bar & Restaurant.

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 28.

Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater lobby, Ford Park, Vail.

Cost: $5.

More information: Call 970-476-0103, ext. 3, or visit bettyfordalpinegardens.org.