Visiting Vail Chefs & Their Divine Denver Dinner

Vail Harvest Dinner shows off elegance & innovation

Vail-logo3For the second year in a row, Kristin Yantis of Vail’s Malen Yantis Public Relations brought a handful of Vail chefs to the Mile High City to present their Harvest Dinner. This year, the location was a suitably elegant private dining room at the Four Seasons Denver. The dinner was book-ended by Grouse Mountain Grill chefs. Paul Ferzacca, now owner of the legendary La Tour, was the opening chef of the on-mountain eatery. He prepared four exquisite hors d’oeuvres. The current executive chef, Colin Meyer did the dessert course. In between, Paul Anders of Mountain Standard, which opened at the start of the 2012-13 ski season, prepared a first course. Flame Modern Mountain Steak’s executive chef Jason Harrison and sous-chef Dagan Stocks, Jr. teamed on to prepare the main course.

Paul Ferzacca prepared four hors d'oeuvres. Here he is offering Red Curry Mussels in paper cones. The mussels, Lamb Bacon Wrapped Dates with Fruition Farms sheep ricotta, and Kampachi Sashimi with Yuzu caviar are from La Tour's regular menu. He also crated Olathe Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with pickled chanterelles for this evening's menu. Champagne was my drink of choice.
Paul Ferzacca prepared four hors d’oeuvres. Here he offers Red Curry Mussels in paper cones. The mussels, Lamb Bacon Wrapped Dates with Fruition Farms sheep ricotta, and Kampachi Sashimi with Yuzu caviar are from La Tour’s regular menu. He also crated Olathe Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with pickled chanterelles for this evening’s menu. Champagne was my drink of choice.
Paul Anders' Heirloom Tomato Variations was a cold, medium and hot progression in one presentation. Gazpacho of wood-grilled tomatoes and Copper Bar horseradish from Edwards was the cold dish. Sun Gold salad, black olive juice and something called Tonic No 5 that I couldn't identify were served at room temperature. The wine was Pascal Sancerre.
Paul Anders’ Heirloom Tomato Variations was a cold, medium and hot progression in one presentation. Gazpacho of wood-grilled tomatoes and Copper Bar horseradish from Edwards was the cold item. Sun Gold salad, black olive juice and something called Tonic No 5 that I couldn’t identify as served at room temperature. A smoked beefsteak with lemon ricotta on a soft, buttery crostata. The wine was Pascal Sancerre.
The main course of Breckenridge Bourbon Barrel Smoked Colorado Lamb Loin consisted of three thick disks of lamb that were perfectly cooked and served with Olathe corn pudding. This wonderful "pudding" consisted of just two ingredients. papper Gel "Succotash," juiced, and slow-cooked, and fava beans. The wine was a red from Crozes Hermitage.
The main course of Breckenridge Bourbon Barrel Smoked Colorado Lamb Loin by the Flame team consisted of three thick disks of lamb that were perfectly cooked and served with Olathe corn pudding. On the side was Pepper Gel “Succotash,” juiced and slow-cooked, and fava beans. The wine was a red from Crozes Hermitage.
The triple-punch dessert was a succulent grilled Palisade peach with a moist Grand Marnier savarin and little diamonds of chewy jalapeno candy. Inniskillin ice wine accompanied this splendid dessert by Meyer.
The triple-punch dessert was a succulent grilled Palisade peach with a moist Grand Marnier savarin and little diamonds of chewy jalapeno candy. Inniskillin ice wine accompanied this splendid dessert by Colin Meyer.
Smiling chefs and applause from an appreciative audience of diners capped the evening.
Smiling chefs and applause from an appreciative audience of diners capped the evening.

I am already looking forward to the third annual Vail Harvest Dinner.