Vail: Out of the kitchen, into the sunshine |

Vail: Out of the kitchen, into the sunshine

Wren Wertin
Vail, CO Colorado
Kimber Smida/Special to the Vail DailyChef Richard Bailey prepares a chilled peach and berry dessert salad at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail Tuesday afternoon.

VAIL, Colorado – It’s easy to spot a hands-on chef in Vail: When performing a culinary demo in front of a crowd, nothing fazes him.

o it was Tuesday afternoon when Richard Bailey gave a short cooking lesson to a crowd of folks at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Executive chef at Manor Vail’s Lord Gore restaurant, Bailey was third in the Chefs in the Garden series. The free cooking demonstrations focus on locally grown produce prepared by local chefs.

Bailey worked the crowd like an entertainer, throwing out interesting factoids and culinary advice while demonstrating how to recreate his recipes and tackling questions from the crowd. When his sole pot of water took a dive he soldiered on, stopping only to make a joke of it.

His “salad days” menu included a mixed green salad with strawberries and cheese, beet carpaccio and hamachi tuna salad with a lemongrass vinaigrette and a chilled peach salad with warm basil zabaglione.

“I went shopping at the Vail Farmers’ Market and picked out all of the ingredients,” Bailey said.

Of all the things he made, people kept coming back to the beets. How long should they be roasted? When are they peeled? How do you pick out a ripe one? What else can you do with them?

“People are used to canned beets,” Bailey said. “But when you take fresh ones and roast them in the oven it concentrates their flavor. They’re so sweet – it’s pure summer.”

Bailey is a familiar face around town. Before heading up the kitchen at Manor Vail he worked for years at Cordillera. He’s also done stints in Napa and San Francisco. After 27 years, he still loves his job.

“Why? Because I’m crazy,” he said. “I’ve always loved cooking.”

Bailey may have been at it for a while, but his menus are always new.

“It’s not the same Manor Vail,” he said. “We change our menu out once a month and keep it as seasonal as possible. Plus, our staff is awesome. Between the cooks, the servers and the maitre’d, it’s a great experience. People are happy to see you when you walk through the door.”

For more information about Lord Gore restaurant, visit or call 970-476-4959.

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