We’re surrounded by Aspen Foodies in this little mountain town, as everyone knows a chef or two and these close connections help to refine anyones palate. Aspen, Colorado is also a huge food travel destination for the Food & Wine Classic festival every summer. So it’s nice that you can find some of the educational tasting experiences throughout the year on an Aspen restaurant food tour with Culinary Connectors.
On a recent outing this past summer we got to see what it was all about. We met our guides at the Ute City Restaurant and made ourselves comfortable at a great table in the center of the dinning room. After getting to know the fellow tour participants we were greeted by Walt Harris, the owner of Ute City, who poured us a glass of Riesling which started a casual conversation with him about grapes & wine that lasted throughout our visit as each new wine was presented. All the while the chef de cuisine Peter Coyne was delivering healthy sized tasting plates of treats like the gnocchi, green peas, & swiss chard.
We then continued onto Ajax Tavern were we were met with a glass of Champagne and a cup of white gazpacho. Here at the tavern the conversation with sous chef Nick Fixe was more biographical in nature as he related his progression into the world of fine dining through serendipitous experiences. From there we traveled to Mexico in the dining room of Zocalito where Chef Mike Beary relates the extent he goes to gather the ingridents he uses within his dishes. He not only travels to the specific regions in Mexico to find the unique chillis he uses for his moles and other dishes but also sometimes has to earn the trust of the locals to lead him in the right direction which sometimes involves harvesting grasshoppers.
Becky Creighton the owner of Culinary Connectors is a little remiss about using the term tour to describe what she does and likes to say she connects people through food on a nice little journey and we would have to agree.
We also go a little extra with a peak into the Syzygy kitchen were chef de cuisine Dan Silver explains some nifty cooking techniques. View video below.