Culinary Connectors Aspen Top Restaurant Tour

We recently had the pleasure to tag along on a Culinary Connectors Aspen Top Restaurant Tour. Our lovely tour guide, Elizabeth Powers, guided us through three local restaurants in Aspen: Campo di Fiori, Silver Queen and our very own, Montagna.

The tour is pretty interesting. The idea is for local chefs to introduce you to their passion and craft. It’s a behind-the-scenes experience that also involves tasting (and drinking) your way through the afternoon.

Most tours go from 1-4 p.m. and are limited to 10 guests. You go to three locations (which rotate depending on the week), and if the restaurants are far apart, transportation is provided.

This being Aspen though, walking from one restaurant to the next is usually the way it’s done.

Our group consisted of local Aspenites, a couple from Virginia, a woman from New Zealand and a family from Louisiana. Most everyone was taking a break from skiing for the day and indulging in a little food and wine.

Chef Giuseppi at Campo told us his background in Italy and his philosophy as a chef. We enjoyed a platter of olives, prosciutto, cheeses and grilled veggies/bread, as well as some Italian wine.

Then on to The Silver Queen, Aspen’s newest restaurant… and youngest restaurateur, Joel Howard.  After sampling some bolognaise, wine, and a few other nibbles, we finished the tour at Montagna.

Fresh pasta at Montagna

Chef Hardy, who was stuck in New York thanks to weather, was unable to join us, but his staff brought out the house-made charcuterie, gnocchi fritti and fresh pasta and answered our questions. (Turns out, there is a difference between salumi and salami … Salumi is basically Italian cured meats. Salumi is the product family that includes salami. Salami is a term that describes sausage made from ground pork and spices, which is then encased and often cured.) A sweet treat from Pastry Chef Danielle Riesz rounded out the tasting.

Our host, Elizabeth Powers (bottom left), helped us get to know each other better.

As the afternoon went on, we found out more about each other. We shared our favorite “food memories” and learned what types of things each other liked to cook. All-in-all, a nice way to connect to chefs as well as fellow Aspenites/tourists.

There are a few more Culinary Connectors before the end of the winter season in Aspen.

A preliminary schedule:

March 15- Ajax Tavern, tbd, tbd
March 22- Jimmy’s, Ute City, Pacifica
March 29- Viceroy-8K, Silver Queen
April 5- Campo, Ellina, tbd
April 12- Ute City, Silver Queen, tbd

If you’re interested in finding out more, or to sign up for a tour, click here.

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