‘A Celebration of Haute Cuisine’ in Keystone features CMC apprentice chefs | SummitDaily.com

‘A Celebration of Haute Cuisine’ in Keystone features CMC apprentice chefs

These students of the Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute prepared a multi-course meal for last year’s “A Celebration of Haute Cuisine,” a fundraising dinner held at the Keystone Ranch Restaurant. This year’s four-course dinner will be held Feb. 11, and is sponsored by Vail Resort’s Epic Promise and presented by the CMC Culinary Institute and Keystone Resort, in partnership with Breckenridge Distillery and Broken Compass Brewing.
Charles Engelbert / Special to the Daily |

if you go

What: A Celebration of Haute Cuisine

When: Thursday, Feb. 11, 6–10 p.m.

Where: Keystone Ranch Restaurant: A Colorado Steakhouse, 1437 County Road 150, Keystone

Cost: Tickets are $165/person, with $125 of each ticket tax deductible. Patron tickets (two tickets for $500) and tables (eight seats for $2,000) are also available. Tickets may be purchased online at cmcfoundation.org/make-my-gift (designate your gift to the Keystone Culinary Dinner), or by contacting Kendra Rhodes at the CMC Foundation at 970-947-8360 or karhodes@coloradomtn.edu. Reservations are required.

The annual Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute’s upcoming benefit dinner features a four-course meal prepared by the program’s students, paired with beverages from Breckenridge Distillery and Broken Compass Brewing. “A Celebration of Haute Cuisine,” on Thursday, Feb. 11 at the Keystone Ranch, will support scholarships for the culinary program’s student apprentices.

Debra Crawford, public information officer for Colorado Mountain College, said the annual dinner is a way to not only raise money for scholarships, but also an opportunity for the student apprentices to show what they’ve learned and are able to do in the kitchen.

“We are quite proud of our graduate program,” she said.

Each course will be paired with beverages picked by the local brewery and distillery, from low and non-alcohol aperitifs to whiskey, beer and wine.

Current students of CMC’s culinary apprentice program will prepare the courses under the direction of Keystone Ranch executive chef Steve Vlass, a 2005 graduate of the college.

“I have worked closely with Breckenridge Distillery and Broken Compass Brewery to write a menu based on what they wanted to showcase at the dinner,” he said. “Most times, the chef writes the menu and then it is paired with wines, beer or liquors. Going the opposite way allowed me to write a menu that will complement their choices much better.

“We will be serving a Hamachi krudo that will have kumquats, star fruit, quince and avocado. This will be light and a refreshing start to the dinner matching with a chili vodka from Breckenridge Distillery. For the dessert, I was able to get the coconut that is steeped in Broken Compass’s porter and use it for the dark chocolate hazelnut mousse cake. This dinner is really exciting to me because we are using two amazing local business and really coming together to create a fun event together.”

He said the apprenticeship program is very demanding of time for the students — working full time in the restaurants and attending classes throughout the week — so the scholarships can take some of the financial stress off, so the students can focus more on the program.

“The apprentice-style culinary program is very unique and a great way for an inspiring culinarian to learn,” he said. “These students are taught in a classroom setting and then they are able to practice and perfect the techniques in the kitchen. When these students graduate, they do so with three years of experience in all different types of kitchen settings. As a chef, this experience is so valuable when it comes to hiring someone for their team. It’s a great part of my job to see these students grow over the years, from doing their interviews to when they are at their last weeks before graduating. Both my sous chef and tournant are graduates of the program. I was there when they both started and am very proud to see what amazing culinarians they have grown to be.”

The event is sponsored by Vail Resort’s Epic Promise, and tickets are $165/person, with $125 of each ticket tax deductible. Patron tickets (two tickets for $500) and tables (eight seats for $2,000) are also available.

Tickets may be purchased online at cmcfoundation.org/make-my-gift (designate your gift to the Keystone Culinary Dinner), or by contacting Kendra Rhodes at the CMC Foundation at 970-947-8360 or karhodes@coloradomtn.edu. Reservations are required.


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