Beaver Creek FOOD & WINE Weekend

Beaver Creek FOOD & WINE Weekend

This day was going to be a perfect balance of exercise and culinary indulgence!  On Friday, January 25, I was invited to the Snowshoe & Gourmet Lunch (a slight variation on the theme of the Beaver Creek FOOD & WINE Weekend: Eat. Drink. Ski.).  Groups of snowshoe-ers suited-up with Atlas, Scarpa, and Tubbs and climbed aboard the Strawberry Park Lift (Chair 12).  The destination: McCoy Park and its 32-plus kilometers of groomed and rustic trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  Beaver Creek was named #2 Snowshoe Friendly Resort by Snowshoe Magazine and is one of North America’s only lift-accessed trail systems.


After trekking the crème de la crème of trail systems with the beautiful Jen Baker, we had worked-up enough of an appetite for our next “Not Exactly Roughing It” (Beaver Creek’s tried-and-true slogan) experience.  We arrived and were warmly welcomed at Grouse Mountain Grill, located in the Pines Lodge, in Beaver Creek.

After a socializing time in the lounge room, which included passed hors d'oeuvres of pumpkin profiteroles and braised goat on toast rounds, Lindt hot chocolate and the Schweiger Vineyards 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, we were seated in the glorious dining room of Grouse Mountain Grill.  The inverted fog had lifted slightly and we were embraced by breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and ski runs.

It was wonderful to meet the extremely gregarious FOOD & WINE individuals, as well as the talented Beaver Creek Resort Company.  I was thrilled with the entertaining and joyous group of people I was seated with – what an honor!

Christina Grdovic, Vice President and Publisher of FOOD & WINE, was so enjoyable, as she photographically-recorded the meal through Instagram.  Cat Coughran, Director of Events and Sponsorship at Beaver Creek Resort, was so welcoming and enthusiastic, it felt as if each and every guest was a personal invitee of Cat. FOOD & WINE Magazine’s wine expert, Anthony Giglio, had an enormous job for the weekend: to determine proper food and wine pairings throughout many of the events.  But, luckily, he was able to laugh and relax through the afternoon with friends and colleagues.  Brian Nolan, Owner of GROUP970 Restaurants, delighted the table with his gregarious personality and amusing stories.  Brian Nolan owns and operates the Beaver Creek Chophouse, the Vail Chophouse, Blue Moose Pizza Beaver Creek, Blue Moose Pizza Vail and, newest to the group, CBar.

After a welcome from Cat Coughran and Andy Schweiger, the 1st course was served.  The Roasted Beet Salad featured 3 different types of beets: Red, Golden, and Chioggia Beets (Striped Beets).  Reminiscent of a beautiful artwork, the beets were served alongside a rogue blue cheese panna cotta, pickled pearl onions, drizzled with poached pear and almond vinaigrette.   The salad was paired with the Schweiger Vineyards 2009 Merlot – earthy and robust.


The second course featured an amazing braised rabbit sauce with carmazliezed cauliflower, clamshell mushrooms and truffled rabbit jus atop handmade pappardelle pasta.  This rich, hearty, almost sweet dish was paired (perfectly, if I do say so) with Schweiger Vineyarsds 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was certainly my favorite wine of the afternoon!


Chef Alex Seidel, the Executive Chef/Owner of Fruition Restaurant, delighted us with the first 2 courses, with the assistance of Chef David Gutowski’s kitchen (Chef David is Executive Chef of Grouse Mountain Grill and was granted the distinct honor of cooking in the famed James Beard House, recently).  Chef Alex Seidel began his culinary love in Wisconsin at age 14, but has since moved to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Chef Alex opened Fruition, which has received acclaim through 5280 Magazine, and, last summer, Seidel was named one of FOOD & WINE magazine’s Best New Chefs.  And, a couple years ago, he purchased a 10-acre farm in Larkspur, CO where he produces fruits and vegetables for Fruition and 25 other restaurants, as well as sheep for milking and a cheese-making room for producing fine cheeses.

The final course was created by Chef Allison Helfer, the Pastry Chef from Grouse Mountain Grill.  She fashioned a glorious huckleberry sorbet served upon housemade triple layer crème fraiche cake with lemon curd presented with a demi-cup of vanilla cream with buoyant tapiocas.  A light, refreshing, tart dessert paired with a sweet finale of Schweiger Vineyards Port X.

It was incredible to join FOOD & WINE magazine and some of the country’s top culinary talent for an afternoon of Eat. Drink. Ski.  But, the entire Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend offered four unforgettable days of food, wine and fun, including interactive cooking demonstrations, innovative wine and spirits events, gourmet wine pairing dinners and endless hours of phenomenal skiing and snowshoeing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet the Chefs Reception: 6 – 9pm

Official kick-off to Beaver Creek FOOD & WINE Weekend - Sample Colorado-style hors d'oeuvres prepared by Beaver Creek’s host chefs along with drinks from the weekend’s wine, spirits and beer sponsors.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Snowshoe & Gourmet Lunch: 9:30am – 2pm

A guided snowshoe tour followed by a multicourse lunch, with wine pairings.  Featuring FOOD & WINE Best New Chef Alex Seidel and Grouse Mountain Grill executive chef David Gutowski.


Relax & Rejuvenate with Clarisonic: 10am – 6pm

Unwind with complimentary Clarisonic facials at the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.


Cooking Demonstration & Lunch with FOOD & WINE’s Gail Simmons: 11am – 2pm

An exclusive cooking class with FOOD & WINE’s Gail Simmons at Splendido at the Chateau’s spectacular demonstration kitchen.


Après-Ski Burgers & Beers: 2pm – 5pm

Elevating traditional burgers and beers with help from some of the best grill chefs in the business: Texas grill master Tim Love and Spike Mendelsohn from BRAVO’s Top Chef share the grill with Beaver Creek’s Jay McCarthy and Christian Apetz.


Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner: 7pm – 10pm

FOOD & WINE Best New Chef John Besh and Kirk Weems, the executive chef of Allie’s Cabin, host an exclusive dinner at Allie’s Cabin.


Bright Future Foundation Dinner: 7pm – 10pm

Splendido’s executive chef, David Walford, and Top Chef’s Sam Talbot, share the kitchen and serve a delectable multi-course dinner at Splendido.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ski. Eat. Ski: 9:30am – 2pm

Ski Beaver Creek and indulge in a gourmet lunch prepared by FOOD & WINE Best New Chef John Besh.


Relax & Rejuvenate with Clarisonic: 10am – 6pm

Unwind with complimentary Clarisonic facials at the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.


On Stage with FOOD & WINE's Gail Simmons: 11am – 2pm

FOOD & WINE’s Gail Simmons and chef Christian Apetz from Beaver Creek’s Mountainside Bar & Grill team up for a lively interactive cooking demonstration on the stage of Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center. Guests enjoy a multi-course luncheon with premier wine pairings.


Après-Ski Wine Down: 2pm – 5pm

Sample wines from around the world at this unique wine tasting, hosted by wine expert Anthony Giglio.


Grand Tasting: 7pm – 10pm

The Grand Tasting is the “Don’t Miss It!” event at the Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend. The best chefs in Beaver Creek are joined by celebrity chefs from around the country to delight you with the ultimate tasting experience.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Celebrity Chef Ski Race & Brunch: 10am – 2pm

Celebrity chefs and Beaver Creek favorites raise money for their favorite charities during this one-of-a-kind event on the Beaver Creek’s Haymeadow Custom Race course.  Enjoy brunch at the Beaver Creek Chophouse, afterwards.

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