I just touched down back in Los Angeles early last week after a whirlwind weekend in Vail, where I attended the third installment of the Beaver Creek Food and Wine event, which annually draws scores of food and wine aficionados from around the country, along with a more than a fair amount of celebrity chefs.
Shortly after checking in at the Park Hyatt, I made a quick change and then took a dash around the property and the heated sidewalks of Beaver Creek, where I was greeted by live entertainment in the lobby (Antler Hall, as it is called), warm chocolate chip cookies and the aroma of S'mores being freshly made with Lindt chocolate and marshmallows of all varieties. (In fact, I saw a lavender-flavored marshmallow that looked rather intriguing.) I also noted the Veuve Clicquot tent at the bottom of the mountain as well. But, as delightful as it seemed outside, I decided that I would rather enjoy my champers inside in the warmth of the Hyatt's 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill with a colleague. One glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé down and it was time to be off to the weekend's kick-off event, a Meet the Chefs Reception at the Black Diamond Bistro in the Charter Hotel.
More Veuve followed at the reception as guests sampled a variety of Colorado hors d'oeuvres prepared by Beaver Creek's host chefs. Topping my list of favorites was a deliciously hearty lamb stew (very Colorado), Hot Smoked Char, Foie Gras-Stuffed Twinkies, Colorado Striped Bass Carpaccio and Buffalo Tartar in Wonton Cups. As the nibbles wafted out of the kitchen on trays attached to waiters all dressed in black and wine from a battalion of winemaker sponsor, I had a chance to have a quick chat with Top Chef Season 2 finalist Chef Sam Talbot and Chef Alex Seidel, one of Food and Wine magazine's Best New Chefs of 2010. Continue reading here
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