Vail Daily letter: Thank you, David |

Vail Daily letter: Thank you, David

When the Vail Daily’s Wren Bova recently called me, requesting a quote for her tribute to chef David Walford, I didn’t know where to start. As a journalist and author, I know how precious each word in a word budget can be. So what were the most important things I could say? I shared some thoughts with Wren, but one thing I didn’t say, and want to publicly say to David, is “Thank you.”

Thank you, David, for all you did for the Chaine des Rotisseurs. You so graciously supported our mission of promoting culinary education and camaraderie at the table thanks to so many wonderful events you hosted for us at Splendido. Young chefs, including Colorado Mountain College graduate Aaron Cousineau, owe a great deal to the Chaine young chefs competition like the one you judged on a snowy Saturday in Denver in February 2010, and what they were able to glean from the experience.

Thank you, David, for supporting the vital community services of the Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center by cooking up a feast for the “Nights” fundraiser each year. I sincerely hope you will continue that important work.

Thank you, David, for supporting Bright Future Foundation and the aid they give to battered women in our community with the always delicious and usually sold-out dinner you put on at Splendido each January during the Beaver Creek culinary weekend. I know there were many charitable events that you supported before I arrived in Colorado in 2003. No doubt, as long as you remain in the valley you will continue to support the community’s strong philanthropic culture.

Thank you, David, for creating at the Chateau in Beaver Creek a stellar dining experience for all who dined there over the last 21 years. How many celebrations, marriage proposals, and other special occasions you must have hosted! It will never be the same.

Thank you, David, for giving me the opportunity to work with you and your team in Splendido in January 2012 for the first cooking experience of what became my “Behind the Scenes” experiential culinary column. Little did I know then that by trusting me with your precious chef’s knife and allowing me to sear sheet pans of expensive salmon for the fundraiser dinner that evening, you were laying the foundation for my writing career. From your kitchen I went on to Chef Steve Topple’s kitchen at the Sonnenalp and eventually the culinary entrepreneur and mentor of so many wonderful chefs in Denver, Frank Bonanno’s Luca d’Italia. All wonderful and valuable experiences that could not have happened had you not been so generous to allow me into your kitchen.

Thank you, David, for all you’ve done to promote culinary excellence in Vail Valley. I know I am not alone in looking forward to your next epicurean gem that will surpass all that you’ve done thus far. Just please, build it here in Vail Valley!

Suzanne Hoffman

Bailli, Chaine des Rotisseurs (Vail)

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