By Nina Kokotas Hahn
Last week, we swooned over big screen newcomers at Park City’s Sundance Film Festival, but this week we mountain hop over to Beaver Creek to drool over a different kind of fresh meat—the kind served up by some of the most talented chefs in the country. Welcome to Beaver Creek’s second annual Food & Wine Weekend from January 24-27, four packed days of eating and imbibing, ripping it on the slopes and schmoozing in zee après ski hours. If you’re craving a long and indulgent winter weekend getaway, this one’s for you.
Highlights of the weekend:
• Gail Simmons, John Besh, Sam Talbot, Alex Seidel, Tim Love and Spike Mendelsohn and Anthony Giglio—these and other locally loved celebs are the featured chefs and talent you’ll get to rub shoulders with at various events all weekend long in Beaver Creek.
• Main events include Meet the Chef’s Reception, Après Ski Burgers and Beers, Ski. Eat. Ski where skiing is followed by lunch prepared by Besh and slew of intimate educational events and tastings. Friday evenings also mean local and celeb chef prepared dinners at Allie’s Cabin and Splendido.
• Bid on one of three race spots for the chance to race alongside your fav chef in the Celebrity Chef Ski Race & Brunch on Sunday, January 27, with proceeds benefiting each chef’s favorite charity. Bidding starts at $175, ends on January 23 at 9 p.m. MST, and includes lunch at Beaver Creek Chophouse. So far, things haven’t gotten out of control and bids are still hovering near the opening bid.
• Not only do you get to drink and eat your heart out, there’s the experience of skiing a World Cup mountain full of spectacular terrain for all levels. And for those new to the sport or game to take up snowboarding, there’s hardly a better place to learn than with the “Ivy League of Ski Schools” at Beaver Creek.
• Don’t worry if you want to veer off course—there’s so much to do here I’d go so far as to encourage it. Let yourself be surprised by amazing cuisine at restaurants like the Osprey Lounge with its impeccable menu and the outstanding Saddle Ridge with its storied Wild West artifacts. Shop the village with robust rarities like the Smart Wool and Patagonia stores. Or, head straight for the ridiculous Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, where you can easily spend a full day, starting with the Aqua Sanitas water sanctuary.
Tickets for the fest vary by event and range from $50 for après ski and seminar events to $200 for Friday evening dinners.
Nina Kokotas Hahn is a travel writer and Chicago journalist whose work appears in Chicago magazine, HuffPost Travel and Condé Nast’s HotelChatter. Globetrotting since infancy, she’s the daughter of a travel agent and considers thrill seeking part of the DNA.