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DINING

Chef Profile, DINING

CHEF PROFILE: BRIAN ACKERMAN

That’s So Classic! Brian Ackerman of Splendido at the Chateau elevates the classics but keeps them fun Brian Ackerman’s childhood didn’t exactly scream “destined to become a culinary powerhouse.” As it happened, he got lost in an unexpected adventure. “It was one of those homes where Monday was spaghetti, Tuesday was lasagna —just all-American stuff,” says the chef-owner of Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek, one of the best fine-dining experiences in the valley. Certainly one of the most consistent. But he didn’t grow up cooking or thinking much about it. After graduating from high school he headed off to the University of Missouri — Mizzou — where he dutifully began pursuing a business degree, and took a job in a restaurant. Sometimes it’s those little decisions that end up being so consequential.  The ball just started rolling, one restaurant leading to the next, then the Culinary Institute of […]

DINING

FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS

We might be landlocked here in the Rockies, but but all rivers lead to the ocean, and seafood and fish are abundant on local menus. Whether they’re plucked from nearby waters or rushed to our valley from afar, the piscine options are bountiful —and the perfect choice for summer. When our days are bright and warm, it’s a delight to sink into one of these pristine offerings. Photography by Brent Bingham RUSSELL’S Though Russell’s might be known as the best steakhouse in Vail, the Alaskan King Crab legs are the ultimate in decadence.Steamed to succulent perfection, they need no embellishment beyond drawn butter, some lemon and a bit of greenery. Though the view of Gore Creek out the wall of windows is a nice accompaniment. PEPI’S Too pretty to eat? Perhaps, but don’t let that stop you. The Pepi’s Tuna Crudo makes a nice foil for the citrus segments and lemon vinaigrette. Sliced cucumbers and shaved fennel slaw bring crunch, and creamy […]

Chef Profile, DINING

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Chef Wade Eybel talks food, family and the mountain lifestyle By Krista Driscoll, Photography by Brent Bingham If you want some insight into Wade Eybel, the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek executive chef, look at his burger. It starts with Colorado Meat Co. grassfed, naturally raised beef, sourced within a 100-mile radius of Avon. The pork belly bacon comes from pigs raised by a man named Tom Walsh in Meeker, and the lettuce from Robert Anthony’s Buttercrunch Farm in Eagle.  Stacked with aged white cheddar, crispy onion fritz and special sauce on a house-made brioche bun, this is The Local Burger. It smacks of the mountains and provides a lens for viewing Chef Eybel’s culinary vision: wood-fired, noseto- tail Colorado cuisine.  “It’s a heck of a lot cheaper for me to buy lettuce from the Central Valley of California or pigs from Iowa or beef from Nebraska,” he says, “but it’s […]

DINING

CREATIVE CONFECTIONS

Photography by Brent Bingham Local pastry chefs produce the sweet creations that feed their cravings. From airy macarons in ethereal colors to dark, sexy chocolate with a comehither wink, sugar has its own revered place at the table. “When you go out to dinner, you remember what you ate first, and you remember what you ate last,” says Brian Ackerman, chef-owner of Splendido at the Chateau. “Having a good pastry chef is really important.” Whether they’re building architectural structures of butter and sugar or churning sweet cream into silky gelato, pastry chefs are playful no matter how seriously they take their sweets. And though baking demands scientific precision and attention to detail, it’s an art form that encourages flights of fancy. Here, some of our best local pastry chefs reveal the cakes and tarts that inhabit their souls — the stuff of dreams. Maxine Caprioni – Hovey & Harrison Instagram: […]

Chef Profile

Executive Chef Paul Wade

A simple description of Paul Wade would say he is a chef in Vail, and it may even elabo- rate to list the restaurants on his resume and his decorated career of awards and accom- plishments. But those who know Wade well — and even for those who have had the pleasure of knowing or working with him for a short time — would likely agree that there is nothing “simple” about him, his contributions or his accolades. He is as dynamic and impassioned as the dishes he develops for menus; as inspired and creative as the music he composes at home to wind down after work. Now in his fifties, Wade’s career has taken him from his roots in Sonoma, California, to the island of Maui and then to the Colorado moun- tains. He worked his way up early from pastry chef to line cook to sous chef, then […]

Blog, DINING

Practice What you Peach

Summer is the season of smells. The air is filled with an array of aromas: the blooming trees, flowers, luscious herbs, and ripening fruit. Those of us in the mountains look forward to most of all the ripening of peaches. For us, it’s like looking forward to Santa coming down the chimney. For, when life hands you peaches, you can make – well, lots of things. Oh, sure there are many other summer fruits that whet our appetites like berries, watermelon, nectarines, apricots. But, peaches – fuzzy or not – are rich and musky and filled with flavor that’s hard to resist. So check ’em all out for yourself. Your tastebuds will love you Terra Bistro Peaches are their super-juice ripest right now. They’re delicious grilled or used as a garnish for many dishes or, perhaps in a juicy pie or simply eaten right out of the bag and over […]

Chef Profile

LOVE OF FOOD & FAMILY

What makes a great chef? Talent and creativity, of course, and always at least a dash of passion. The must-have ingredient, however, eludes taste or presentation and simmers from a deeper area of experience in the industry. It’s that which life measures, not a spoon or a cup, and what David Gutowski accounts for his journey and success as an executive chef in Beaver Creek. It’s work ethic “If you want something, work hard and go get it,” says Gutowski. “I did it—I’m a perfect example. You can thrive in this town; it may cost you a powder day.” And that’s not to say that Gutowski doesn’t get out and enjoy thigh-deep turns on his snowboard when he can carve out the time. He moved to the mountains for his love of the sport, but now as a full-time executive chef with a house, a family and all the expenses […]

Blog, DINING

TAKE A LITTLE PIZZA MY HEART

Supposedly a man named Gennaro Lombardi opened the first “said” pizzeria in New York City in 1905. An employee of his, Antonio Totonno Pero, began making pizza which sold for five cents. But since many people couldn’t afford the cost of a whole pie, they would say how much they could pay and were given a slice corresponding to the amount offered. Hence, a slice was born. And nowhere is pizza more part of the city than in Philadelphia, home to one of the largest concentrations of Italian-Americans in the nation. They revel in their celebs, like singers Frankie Avalon, Jim Croce, jazz impresario Buddy Greco, actors Bradley Cooper and Sylvester Stallone and baseball Hall of Famer, Roy Campanella, to name a few paisans. And the Italian lexicon can be heard all over South Philly. Figurati (fuhgedaboudit), Goomba (buddy), Chooch (someone who never amounted to much). The ambience of the […]

ACTIVITIES, DINING, Golf

Eat, Drink & Golf

After a robust day of skiing the steep and deep, challenging those double-black diamonds in powder up to your waist, it’s time to relax and savor a much deserved cocktail in the crisp mountain air–it’s après ski time! Oops–no, wait a minute–wrong season. OK, let’s begin again. It’s summer: birds are chirping, the grass is green and golfers are gleeful. And those golfers seem to have taken a cue from their winter sports-loving counterparts because now, when the actual playing of golf concludes, those outings are being followed by après golf time. In the past, short of getting drinks on the 19 th hole or grabbing a pre-packaged snack off a cart as it rolled around the greens, this experience didn’t quite have the rich tradition that skiers have enjoyed for years. But golfers refused to be denied just because there’s no snow on the ground. Today most golf courses […]

Chef Profile, DINING

A Hearty Visit to Germany

Once upon a time, in the German mountains, there lived a girl name Resi. After losing her beloved fiancé, Florian, Resi retreated to an isolated cabin and dedicated her time to looking after the travelers that passed by, thus trying to heal her broken heart. Her hospitality became known far and wide, with locals who felt spoiled, loved and completely at home saying, “It’s just as lovely here as it is at Almresi.” So begins the story of Almresi, a legend in Bavaria and the inspiration behind the new restaurant in Vail Village. An evening here almost feels as if you’ve been immersed in a fairy tale, from the rustic cabin decor to the almost magical warmth and comfort that emanates from the staff and the cuisine. But it’s not magic: The story behind Almresi Vail is firmly rooted in hard work, dedication A Family Affair Almresi opened in December […]