Taste of Vail Resorts For More Than Just Food Porn

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There are certain things in a woman’s life she remembers and exquisite food in abundance is always one of them, at least for this foodie. At the annual TBEX conference in Keystone Colorado, the local restaurants of the area came out to impress on kick-off night.

Since the event was held at the Keystone Conference Center in the middle of the ski resort, they held the dinner at the top — the very top — which meant that we all had to take two chair lifts to get there, a 45 or so minute journey up the mountain. While they warned us about altitude issues, it didn’t appear that any of the bloggers or vendors were paying that much attention to it since the beer, wine and spirits seemed to be pouring well into the night.

Did I mention spirits? And wine? I chose the latter, since they had a California Cab and Merlot on-site, which went perfectly with so many of the dishes they had on offer.

I love Taste of … events and went to several last year. See our write-up on the Kentucky farm-to-table taste of event last year.

And so, in the spirit of all things Colorado, the greater ‘Vail’ resorts restaurant chefs, which includes Keystone, came to the party with some of their favorite dishes for us to try. While some people may think that all travel bloggers care deeply about food, have orgasms over food, travel far and wide to get the best food and meet the best chefs, and labor over four hour dinners, think again.

Some of the core travel writers and bloggers, particularly the adventure and budget travel folks, skip the foodie memo altogether. When I first started traveling, I didn’t take food as seriously as I do now, since getting to the destination and keeping the costs down was a primary consideration, especially since my first adventure was over a year long.

Today, I can’t imagine not diving into the best of what a city or town has to offer. For example, I went a little nuts this past year reviewing restaurants around the world….in Paris, in Las Vegas, in Prague, in Kentucky, in Boston, in New York City, in Los Angeles, in Budapest, in Dublin, in San Francisco, in Austin, in Montreal, in Hawaii, in Vancouver, and even in Maine. I even spent two days seeking out the best chocolate in New York’s lower east side and did a write-up on my top 15. SO, after indulging around the globe, why not include Colorado on the list? They certainly have their fair share of great chefs, particularly those participating in the farm-to-table concept.

Nine restaurants participated and of the nine, my top two picks were the following:

Beano’s Cabin, which presented a Suckling Berkshire Pig Ragout, served over a house-made pappardelle pasta with peach preserves.

Alpenglow Stube, which presented their Cider and Molasses  Braised Wild Boar Shoulder, which was served in a creamy Parmesan White Polenta with forest mushrooms and sauce natural. Oh man, was I in heaven. Bear in mind that these shots were taken on an iPhone camera not my Canon, so tune up the clarity on all of them and start imagining the tastes from these exquisite dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to say which one was my next favorite but probably the Duck Confit Stuffed Tenderloin of Beef, Foie Gras Torchon served with a Red Current Demi Glace, from the Big Horn Steakhouse. I think I was in the mood for red meat that night because as much of a seafood lover as I am, they all came in after the red meat options on the menu.

Also wonderful was the House Cured Orange and Basil Salmon served with a Green Tomato Panzanella from Ski Tip.

And, the butter poached shrimp, corn, jicama and chipotle from Game Creek, and the Roma Tomato Confit, asparagus tofu custard and red pepper romesco from Seven’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last one I tried was the house cured pastrami with onion jam and fennel brioche from The 10th. There were also house cured buffalo sliders with kimchi and Five Spice Jam, and a Smoked Gouda and Crab Fondue from Der Fondue Chessel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just when you thought you were too full to get into the chair lift, you passed by a tent set up outside that housed table after table of decadent chocolate and fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I mention the word chocolate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries, pineapples, and more chocolate…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rasberries with white chocolate anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truffles and bites…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florentines…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rasberries with white and dark chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries with absolutely nothing at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They called this one spaghetti and meatballs. Yes, really. It was too rich for me to take in after everything else I had sampled. And, the night was but a babe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kudos to the chefs and teams at all the restaurants who participated in the Taste of Vail. There was at least one extremely happy and very full camper waddling down the mountain that night. What a way to kick off TBEX 2012!

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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