Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Ah, perfect season for foodies
Vail, CO, Colorado
I’m beginning to wonder if, perhaps, I have missed my calling. I think I should be a food writer.
I don’t know how I could have missed it for all these years. It’s just so clear now. What’s that phrase? “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” I love writing, and I’m borderline obsessive about food.
Let me just clarify here. I’m obsessive in a healthy way, not in an eating-to-fill-a-void sort of way. I appreciate good food. A well-prepared meal gives me great joy. A delicious bite makes me very happy.
To me, food is not just sustenance to get me through another day. It is not merely fuel for my body; it also feeds my soul. Life is too short for bad food. If done properly, a meal can satisfy all five senses.
Think about that for a moment the next time you sit down to eat. Look at the plate (or bag or plastic frozen dinner dish) in front of you, and appreciate the artistry of the colors, the beauty of the food. Anticipate.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Then breathe deeply, smelling the aroma, taking in every scent. Pick up your knife and fork (or, um, wrapper) and dive in. Take time to notice the feel of the food beneath your utensils, the textures between your teeth and on your tongue. Think about the flavors, the nuances of the food, the taste that comes as a surprise. Is that anise?
Listen to the sound of the silverware on dishes, or the paper surround being crumbled up, the clinking of glasses and, hopefully, the sounds of good conversation and laughter. Heaven.
See, just a little obsessive.
So while I make a plan for my next career, I think for the time being I have the next best thing. For now, writing is the jam to my bread-and-butter job as a concierge in Beaver Creek.
And as a concierge, knowing about the restaurants in the area and being able to send the guests the to the right spot is of the utmost importance. It’s the second most frequent question I get, right after, “Is ski school canceled if it’s snowing?” but before “Can we ski from Beaver Creek to Vail?”
In the world of the concierge, the weeks between the mountain opening and first big wave of holiday guests around Dec. 17 have become known as Eating Season. Invitations to dine at various restaurants, or to attend concierge nights with tastings and samples, begin flooding our email inboxes right after Thanksgiving.
For the restaurants, it’s an opportunity to educate the concierge teams about their offerings, their policies and changes to their menus. If they’re new, it can be their launch, a chance to showcase who they are and why we should send our guests there.
For the concierges, it’s a chance to gain first-hand knowledge of the different restaurants, to try the food, see the spaces and meet the people face to face, which they’ve had a phone relationship with for months.
For me personally, it is all those things, but it’s also the most wonderful time of the year! Come to a tasting and try all the things on the menu? OK! You want me to dine at your restaurant and experience it as the guest would? A multi-course meal complete with your fabulous service and wine pairings? Are you kidding me? Yes, please! I’m the luckiest girl on earth. It’s a foodie’s nirvana.
Coincidently, Eating Season couldn’t come at a better time. We in the guest-service industry are coming right off of Broke Season, the period between last winter’s tips and commissions being fully expended and the influx of this year’s.
Additionally, it also coincides with the beginning of the Stress-Induced Weight Loss Period. So thanks to the generosity of the valley’s restaurants, our food budgets can be pared down and we still remain fortified enough to make it through the lean times.
With my new career goal in mind, I’ve decided that after each concierge meal this year, I will sit down and write about it to practice for the next phase of my gastronomy-related career. Until then, bon appetit!
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through email@example.com.