‘Whole30’ and Larkspur team up to create delicious, healthy dinner (video) | VailDaily.com

‘Whole30’ and Larkspur team up to create delicious, healthy dinner (video)

Can you imagine a gourmet meal that doesn't contain any grains, dairy, legumes, added sugar or alcohol? The culinary genius of Thomas Salamunovich and his team at Larkspur Restaurant in Vail stepped up to the challenge and hosted The Whole30 Dinner as part of the GoPro Mountain Games. This six-course dinner with a healthy twist impressed even the biggest gastronomes.

The Whole30 concept was co-founded by Melissa Hartwig in 2009 and has changed lives ever since. The idea behind the "New York Times" bestselling book is to help individuals reset their diets and restore a healthy metabolism, end unhealthy cravings, heal the digestive tract, and balance the immune system, all by making changes to your diet. Hartwig was in Vail to co-host this dinner with Salamunovich during the GoPro Mountain Games.

To truly understand this concept, Salamunovich participated in the Whole30 himself so he could experience the benefits and use his skills as a chef to not only honor the spirit of the program, but also challenge himself and his staff by still making something delicious.

"I realized this is real culinary freedom. It's not far from my roots in classic French cuisine. I cooked in France for many years and there's so much that's appropriate and it back to the basics," Salamunovich said.

Courses included seared grass-fed beef Carpaccio, celery root crisps, shaved black summer truffles preserved with winter truffle aioli as well as organic pasture raised egg and cashew flan, potato-leek broth and sturgeon and trout caviar.

Dessert was still a sweet treat even though the Whole30 doesn't allow added sugar. Diners were treated to a cashew "cheesecake", seared strawberries and pestle herbs, or a callebaut chocolate cake with sweet beet and tart apple ice cream and finally, toasted coconut and cacao truffles.

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Since no alcohol is allowed while on the Whole30, wine pairings were replaced by anything from clarified citrus tonic to wild mushroom-bone tea and foie gras-lemon grass elixir.

"To say Chef Thomas and Larkspur knocked it out of the park is an understatement," Hartwig said. "The fact that every single dish was 100 percent Whole30 compliant blows my mind. To see what he and his team could create within our healthy eating parameters was so inspiring."

"We had fun doing this, the whole staff got into it and it was really interesting to see what we could come up with following the Whole30 concept," Salamunovich said.