These racers really cook in Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado Iron Chef Cat Cora has to be fast when competing in the kitchen, but shes no poke on the slopes, either.Cora, along with other chefs attending Beaver Creeks Bon Appetit Culinary and Wine Focus, traded their chef caps and white coats for skiwear Saturday morning for the Celebrity Chef Ski Race.Were competing onstage and on the mountain. Theres a great camaraderie among the chefs and with all these events. It just makes for a great weekend, Cora said.Celebrity chefs, Beaver Creek chefs and Vail Valley representatives in teams of four raced the gentle, slalom-style course down the Haymeadow run.Boston chef Ming Tsai won the race as the fastest guest chef, and Vail chef Geordy Ogden won as the fastest local chef.Ogden also led the winning team, which included one of the visiting Italians.You didnt have to be an expert skier to race the course, but that didnt stop the chefs from getting competitive.I skied over Christmas, so Im hoping to get some speed on this, Cora said at the starting gate, sporting a pair of hot-pink skis.Tsai, who won Fridays MasterChef Competition, said he was out for the win on the slopes, too.Im definitely trying to defend my title, Tsai said after his first run. Ive got to step it up the next run.Youve always got to watch out for Ming Tsai, said Bon Appetit wine and spirits specialist Steve Olson. He won last year, and hes looking for a doubleheader. Zachs Cabin chef Joey Viola thought he would have some home-turf advantage, but the course took some getting used to, he said.I slid out! You really gain some speed halfway through the course, he said after his first run.Of course, it was all in friendly fun and competition. Where else do the racers discuss chocolate-chip-cookie recipes at the starting line? Or where else does a full chefs uniform constitute acceptable race wear?Really, the point is to get all the chefs out on the slope, Tsai said.