It is evident in the food world that life is defined by your eating habits. The whole evolution of the restaurant has developed around the needs and time constraints of the people. Once upon a time, going to eat at a restaurant was a special occasion sort of thing. Restaurant dining became more of a commonplace experience as people began to work more and cook less. Fast food and Fast casual food became the fashion over time as corporations and restaurant groups developed concepts to satisfy the growing need for convenience. These days we are seeing a trend in better quality, Farm to Table and slower paced dining.
The Farm to Table movement and a focus on the nutrition and health of our food has brought with it a public consciousness as top where we are getting our food and the evidence of over bastardization of the products which we have been ingesting for the last couple of decades. This awareness has helped many restaurants find their niche in serving more Organic and local, sustainable products. Terra Bistro is a prime example here in Vail, serving a menu with 90% organic ingredients.
Today, Vail has a reputation for serving up the Colorado Local and seasonal bounty every Summer. The Farmer’s Markets are showcasing some of the Colorado produce and the Chefs are creating some unique treats for us to enjoy.
Beautiful Cherries have come, and now almost gone, and graced some menus for a short time. Olathe Sweet corn and wonderful Palisade Peaches are now literally on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Vin48’s Chef Hayes was keeping it simple and Delicious with some white Balsamic dressed peaches with merengue’s and Dolce white chocolate ganache. Bol had their Peach Fizz on the bar menu last Summer, and I am sure the Chef Julian will be utilizing that product somewhere on the plate. I love some grilled Peaches on salads or along side so many different proteins. From peach salsa to peach pie, they will all be gone too soon and I only hope to gorge myself enough to make it through winter.
Mushroom season is also near. Porcinis and Chanterelles grace the menu at La Bottega. Chef Stephen will stuff his famous Porcini Raviolis with a sage brown butter sauce with the locally foraged Fungi. The Four seasons Vail will host their annual Mushroom hunt and dinner in the next weeks. That is a great way to learn some great foraging skills from a professional. Even the Town Of Eagle is having a weekend dedicated to the Fungus among us, with cooking demonstrations and foraging classes. Should be a fun Family event.
Chefs in The Garden series at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Started with a Bang. La Tour showcased their love of Summertime light and refreshing menu items. Their Pressed Watermelon and Burrata salad was ever complimented by the warm day. The upcoming weeks should be filled with amazing Chef presentations.
Chef David at Grouse Mountain Grill will be hosting dinner in the Eagle Vail Community Garden to benefit the garden and students in transition. It is always impressive and humbling to eat where the food is grown. So much work is put into gardening and you can only hope to get enough back in useable vegetables. Not to mention keeping the critters from getting it first. Those restaurants, like Grouse, Kelly Liken, Mirabelle, Splendido and Vin48, who grow at least a part of their menu are contributing to a fantastic movement in food that brings us back to the basics and more conscious way of eating. Effort in the garden will produce little touches of flavor that set those restaurants apart from the others.
Regardless of what style of food you eat and where you like to frequent this summer, look for the local farm and garden options on the menu and appreciate the time and effort it takes to deliver these fresh seasonal foods to your plate. Enjoy the garden to table experiences in the Vail Valley this Summer because it will be gone all too soon.