It is barely two weeks into the new year and Miamians are in the throws of new workout and eating resolutions. The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is still a ways away in late February. Still, there is something to tempt them in the meantime… complete with amazing food and a very rare element around these parts—snow.
On January 21st, the Beaver Creek Winter Culinary Weekend will kick off a long weekend of interactive cooking demonstrations, wine and spirit events, grand tastings, dinners, and of course, skiing. The event is sponsored by Audi and features guest chefs like Richard Blais, Jon Bonnell, Stephanie Izard, Georges Mendes, Paul Reilly and Brandon Foster.
Headliner and Top Chef judge, Richard Blais, has trained at the world’s greatest restaurants including The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse and el Bulli and is a big draw. Unfortunately, his event, a Snowshoe & Gourmet Lunch is already sold out, but most are still available.
That includes a frontier style event called the “Four Course and Two Step at SaddleRidge with Guest Chef Jon Bonnell” taking place amongst artifacts like Geronimo’s tomahawk and General Custer’s hat. Then there is the aptly named “Ski.Eat.Ski with Guest Chef Paul Reilly,” which involves actually taking to the slopes with Beaver Creek’s experienced ski instructors. They promise to reveal some of the mountain’s best-kept secrets, followed by a gourmet lunch with Reilly, owner of Denver’s beast + bottle and Zach’s Cabin executive chef, Kirk Weems.
There are boozy events like Mule’s & Manhattans with Maker’s Mark and Tito’s Vodka as well as a Sunday brunch that caps the weekend off with a libations and more than a few food stations and live music at the Dusty Boot.
One of the best things about this little festival, aside from the ability to work off those extra calories on the slopes, is its size. The Winter Culinary Weekend is more cozy and a little more intimate and some of the larger festivals, which have gotten bigger with each passing year. That means fewer people and more interaction with the talent. Count us in!