Vail resident Jennie Iverson publishes her second cookbook, ‘Ski Town Apres Ski’
If you go ...
What: Event featuring author Jennie Iverson’s new book “Ski Town Apres Ski” with local chefs Jason Harrison, Kelly Liken and Tracy Miller. Food and drinks from the cookbook will be served.
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Bookworm of Edwards.
More information: Call 970-926-READ. Copies of the book will be available for $35.
On the menu
Sweet fig tapenade on fried wontons from Colorful Cooking
Shrimp and grits from Kelly Liken
Buffalo gorgonzola meatballs with orange chili sauce from Bridger Bowl
Charred jalapeño white bean purée with carrots and cucumbers from Schweitzer Mountain
Beaver Creek chocolate chip cookies
10th Mountain Whiskey cocktail
RECIPE: Vail Mountain Gluhwein
Courtesy Chef Florian Schwarz, Sonnenalp Resort, Vail
1 1/2 liters red wine
1 whole cinnamon
3 whole cloves
2 whole allspice
1 star anise
Sugar to taste
Add all ingredients in one pot and let it sit overnight. Boil and strain the spices. Add sugar to taste. Serve warm.
A few decades ago, the words apres ski conjured up images of saucy chicken wings and a foamy Coors Light, or a simple hamburger flanked by a syrupy, neon green margarita.
One look at “Ski Town Apres Ski,” the new cookbook by Vail resident Jennie Iverson, and it’s clear how much has changed.
“It’s really fun because you think back 20 odd years to apres culture and it was beer and nachos. Now people are being so much more creative with food,” Iverson said.
The basic burger might now be elk meatball sliders with mushroom sauce and arugula, at least if you’re in Snowbird in Utah. That photo on the cover of the cookbook that has you drooling? That would be the Tamarack sliders with bourbon bacon onion relish paired with a “Mountain Mary” cocktail. Or how about portabella mushroom fries paired with a hot apple pie cocktail from Squaw Valley? Those are just a few of the more than 200 small plate and cocktail recipes from more than 60 North American ski resorts found in the cookbook, which arrived in Vail this week. Iverson published “Ski Town Soups” in 2012 and knew that an apres-focused cookbook would soon follow, she said.
“It was absolutely the next step,” she said. “There’s nothing like ski town cuisine that revolves around apres and apres culture, whether it’s people relishing ordering favorite apres dishes off the menu, or going home to a cozy fire and replacing more formal dinners with less formal, tapas-type recipes. This cookbook relates to experience just as much as food and drink. It gets to the heart of apres ski culture and friends and community and regional personality.”
‘IT SPEAKS TO OUR WAY OF LIFE’
The new coffee table caliber book is quite substantial (“Ski Town Soups” was 240 pages, this one is 388 pages) and sells for $35 at The Bookworm of Edwards, Gorsuch, Kitchen Collage and Larkspur Market.
On Tuesday evening, the Bookworm of Edwards will host a launch party for Iverson. Local chefs Jason Harrison (formerly the exec chef at the Four Seasons in Vail), Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken and local chef and cooking instructor Tracy Miller will take part in a conversational panel with Iverson; five savory food recipes from the cookbook will be served, along with a cocktail featuring 10th Mountain Whiskey that’s also in the cookbook.
“Ski Town Soups” sold very well, according to Nicole Magistro, the Bookworm’s owner, and she expects “Ski Town Apres Ski” to be popular as well.
“‘Ski Town Soups’ was the No. 1 best seller of the year for 2012 and then it was the No. 1 bestseller for December of 2013,” Magistro said. “It was a really popular gift item; it was a nice price point and makes a great hostess gift.”
If anything, “Ski Town Apres Ski” is an “even better book in a lot of ways,” Magistro said.
“It’s a little more glamorous. There are more chefs, more ski towns, more diverse recipes and cocktails,” she continued. “I think Jennie gets a lot of things right in her cookbooks in terms of appealing to a lot of people. It speaks to our way of life, our lifestyle. It’s a great cookbook. And for the price point, it looks like it could be $50, so the value is really there.”
Local chef Tracy Miller, who pens the Colorful Cooking column for the Vail Daily, is catering the event as well as participating in the panel. She’s making the recipe she contributed to the book — sweet fig tapenade on fried wontons — as well as the shrimp and grits recipe Kelly Liken shares in the book, as well as buffalo gorgonzola meatballs with orange chili sauce from Bridger Bowl; charred jalapeño white bean purée with carrots and cucumbers from Schweitzer Mountain; the winning Beaver Creek chocolate chip cookie recipe from 2013 and a cocktail featuring 10th Mountain Whiskey.
I APRES SKI
The book is split into six sections: soup and salad; bites and nibbles; sea and turf; land and turf; sweet treats; and a hand-crafted cocktail section.
In each food recipe, there’s a suggested cocktail pairing listed, as well as the page number for said cocktail.
“It makes it easy if people are looking to entertain and party plan and pair dishes with drinks,” Iverson said. Like in “Ski Town Soups,” each dish has a difficulty level rating that corresponds with ski runs: green circles for easiest, blue squares for intermediate and black diamonds for more difficult recipes, she said.
In “Ski Town Soups,” an opening paragraph introduced each recipe and the same thing is true for this cookbook. Some of the intro paragraphs share regional stories, like how Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe hosts an Unbuckle Apres Ski Party complete with live DJs and dancers every afternoon.
“It’s rated by Forbes and CNN Travel as the No. 1 apres party,” Iverson said. “Beano’s Cabin has the experience of taking a snowcat-drawn sleigh to a meal.”
Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is the charity partner for the book; a portion of the proceeds from each cookbook sold goes to the club. Lindsey Vonn is a Ski and Snowboard Club Vail alum, and when Iverson reached out to her and asked if she’d pen the forward for the cookbook, Vonn agreed.
“The apres scene is near and dear to her heart and she was on board to write her personal experience,” Iverson said. “She also mentions two of her favorite apres dishes and we got the recipes for those: gluhwein (German mulled wine) from the Sonnenalp and kaiserschmarrn, a pancake type dish, from Pepi’s. Her whole story in the forward is all about the apres culture, how it translates from Europe to Vail.”
“No matter what part of the world I’m in, or what I’m eating or drinking, I always find the meaning of skiiing in the après ski scene,” Vonn wrote. “The time we give to each other and the things we love are what make us who we are.”
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at email@example.com or 970-749-2984. Follow her on Twitter @caramieschnell.