Think global, eat local – a chef’s poll | VailDaily.com
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Think global, eat local – a chef’s poll

Compiled by Harry Brooks and Wren Wertin

Trend watch

“We’re able to get more organic, natural products, and I see that expanding every year. We need to be green, not because it’s a trendy cool thing, but because we have to. Otherwise we’re idiots, right?” David Walford, Splendido

“Old trends. People are going back to classics in a more modern style, making them healthier.” Darrell Jensen, Falling Creek



“We’re starting to eat smaller amounts and more courses. ” Anthony Mazza, Kelly Liken

“Tapas seems very popular at the moment, and I think we will see more menus featuring that type of dish in the future. Small samples of different flavors.” Daniel Joly, Mirabelle



“Simple use of the best quality ingredients will continue to be the trend in restaurant cuisine. We’ve also seen people doing new with very simple dishes, such as soups.” Mark Curran, Larkspur

“People are really playing with Asian stuff, and that will probably continue. Fusing Asian with Latin flavors is getting big now.” Peter Millette, Sapphire

“I think we’re all becoming more aware of the importance of producing lower-fat foods. Organic, local produce is a part of this general trend toward healthier cooking.” Rich Kellogg, Blu’s



“Lots of vegetable dishes. We’re doing a big variety of pizzas and pastas for vegetarians. Something else that’s new is ‘naked’ pastas, which means pasta served without red sauce. So I’d say simple, pared-down dishes and vegetables will be what we’re going to see more of in the future.” Mark , Marko’s Pizzaria

“Trends? I’ve been cooking for 46 years. I cook classical food using the best ingredients. Will I start using margarine instead of butter because it becomes fashionable? No, of course not. Restaurants that follow trends go bust as they always have to guess what will be in vogue next year.” Luc Meyer

“It’s not a new trend, but simplicity and whole foods are going to be the focus for a long time to come. The best ingredients, uncluttered cooking and simple presentation.” Randy Belanger, Chap’s Grill and Chophouse

“I see people going more toward the dining experience. Now, they might order a couple of appetizers plus an entree, just so they can try more things. That might stem from the Slow Food movement, people trying to get away from McDonalds. Other trends, definitely going towards organic ingredients. People are staying away from genetically modified foods.” Philip Oswalt

“I know in the last year, people were going out to dinner more and more. Less fast food, more local cuisine. I think that’s going to continue. There’s more focus on local ingredients and natural foods, so I think you’re going to see a lot of that in restaurants.” Michael Griffith, Mirador

“You’ll see a lot of organic cooking in years to come. I think small plates will get increasingly popular, giving you the chance to sample a lot of flavors without eating masses of food.” Jeff Sandoval, Ray’s

“I think there’s a real focus on local produce at the moment, and I think that trend will continue.” Bruce Yim, Sweet Basil

“There’s a push from the fancypants plates to more bang-for-your-buck sort of stuff.” Jeff Petruso

“Anything that’ll pack a lot of flavor into a small dish will be important.” Mark, Minturn Country Club

“Noodle and pasta dishes.” Greg, Main Street Grill

“We’ve been doing a lot of curing, kind of Old World. We’re bringing back some old recipes and translating them into present day. We cure our own duck proscuitto.” Anthony Mazza, Kelly Liken

Chefs are getting fired up over these ingredients

“Cardamom and Marcona almonds.” Darrell Jensen, Falling Creek

“We’re starting to see vegetables from places like Vietnam.” Daniel Joly, Mirabelle

“Garlic.” Jeff Petruso, Full Belly

“We’re serving more and more game meats.” Randy Belanger, Chap’s

“Organic, local produce.” Mark Curran, Larkspur

“Again, organics. One new herb that’s being used at the moment is Thai basil.” Jeff Sandoval, Ray’s

“Personally, up here I’ve been using a lot of Oregon wild mushrooms, the hedghogs and chantrelles.” Michael Griffith, Mirador

“Garam Masala is exciting me right now.” Dan Spurlock, The Wildflower

“Truffles because it’s wintertime. We just got some really good ones from France.” Philip Oswalt, La Tour

Favorite tools of the trade

“I couldn’t live without my pastry girls.” Daniel Joly

“The thunder dough mixer. It’s awesome.” Mark , Marko’s

“Our thermo circulator which allows us to heat liquids very accurately. That’s very important in sous vide cuisine, where you heat foods very gently to cook them. Also, our blender is very advanced and allows us to blend very finely without having to filter.”

“Our R2 Robo Tool, which chops up vegetables.” Greg, Main Street Grill

“My stove and my knife are all I need, when it comes down to it. The blender is useful, but I could live without it.” Luc Meyer, The Left Bank

“Our kitchen is pretty small, so everything we have in there is essential.” Rich Kellogg, Blu’s

“My Vitamax mixer is my best friend in the kitchen.” Bruce Yim, Sweet Basil

“I love my medical-grade forceps. They’re great for plating vegetables, or anything delicate.” David Walford, Splendido

“I’m playing with bamboo steamers.” Peter Millette, Sapphire

“We don’t really use crazy tools. We use a really sharp French knife, and maybe a nice little Japanese mandolin, for slicing.” Philip Oswalt, La Tour

“My butcher’s knife and fish spatula.” Dan Spurlock, The Wildflower

“Our Japanese mandolin is one of our most important tools. We use it for everything. And it’s really easy to clean.” Darrell Jensen, Falling Creek

Compiled by Harry Brooks and Wren Wertin

Vail Colorado


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