Flights & Bites: Culinary happenings around Summit County and beyond |

Flights & Bites: Culinary happenings around Summit County and beyond

Compiled by Krista Driscoll
Larkspur chef and owner Thomas Salamunovich adds a fava bean and haricot vert emulsion to the tuna crudo nicoise dish while Larkspur executive chef Paula Turner works in the background. Larkspur Restaurant will host a handful of mostly Colorado guest chefs for a James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner on Friday, April 10.
Townsend Bessent | |

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Breck Spring Fever Beer & Chili Cookoff returns to Peak 7

Sevens Restaurant in the Grand Lodge at Peak 7 will host the Breck Spring Fever Chili Cookoff at the base of Peak 7 on Saturday, April 4. Things will get heated as the top chefs from Breckenridge Ski Resort face off against one another to see whose chili recipe is the best. The competition starts at noon, and tickets will be available on site at the event for $20, which includes all the chili you can handle.

The following chilies will be available for tasting, each with a suggested beer pairing: Bolas de Fuego paired with Montejo and Wild Game Chili paired with Stella Artois from Ten Mile Station; Colorado Mountain Chili paired with Goose Island IPA from Ski Hill Grill; White Chicken Chili paired with Bud Light and Venison Chili paired with Shock Top from Sevens; Pork Green Chili paired with Stella from The Maggie; Blond Bathtub Chili paired with Stella Cidre from Vista Haus; Red Beef Chili paired with Montejo and White Chicken Chili paired with Stella from The Overlook; and Smoked Pork Green Chili paired with Goose Island IPA from Ski Hill Grill.

Each chili will be labeled with its title and recommended beer pairing. After tasting all of the chilies, attendees can use tokens to cast their votes for their favorite, and a winner will be declared based solely on the popular vote. To learn more, visit

James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner stops in Vail

This month will mark the first-ever James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner in Vail. On Friday, April 10, at 6 p.m., Larkspur Restaurant will host a handful of mostly Colorado guest chefs, including Paula Turner, the executive chef at Larkspur in Vail; Kelly Liken, of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail; Brian Busker, of Matsuhisa in Vail; Hosea Rosenburg, of Blackbelly Market in Boulder; Kelly Whitaker, of Cart-Driver in Denver and Basta in Boulder; and former Larkspur executive chef Armando Garcia, who now heads up Eldorado Kitchen in Sonoma, California.

“The wines will be provided by Paul Chevalier, from Chateau L’Esclans, and his friends,” said Nathalia Souza, the director of sales and marketing for Larkspur. “Sacha Lichine produces the most acclaimed rose (wine) in the world, which will be paired with one of the courses.”

The event includes a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres and six-course dinner, where each chef will prepare a course paired with a specific wine. Tickets are $190 per person, all inclusive. For more information or to make a reservation, call (970) 754-8048 or visit

Ska Brewing Co. releases spring, summer seasonals

Ska Brewing Co. recently released its spring seasonal, Vernal Minthe Stout, and its summer offering, Mexican Logger.

“Spring is a great time for a more sessionable beer,” said Dave Thibodeau, co-founder of Ska Brewing Co. “But in Colorado, you still need something to keep you warm just in case that spring snow storm hits. That is why both the Vernal Minthe Stout and Mexican Logger are perfect to be released this time of year.”

Vernal Minthe Stout is a stout brewed with peppermint, spearmint, cocoa and vanilla beans. The beer is sweet, with refreshing peppermint and spearmint throughout, and dark roasted and milk chocolate notes for balance — an Andes Mint in stout form. Vernal Minthe Stout is 5.8 percent alcohol per volume.

Originally brewed in 1999, Mexican Logger is made with premium malts and Noble hop varieties and fermented with a lager yeast strain from Mexico City. The beer is light- to medium-bodied, with flavors of fresh grain and sweet malt and balanced by the bite of Saaz hops. Mexican Logger is 5 percent alcohol by volume and won Best of Show in 2012 at the Craft Lager Festival.

To learn more about these beers and other brews from Ska, visit

FCB Releases Hometown Helles for baseball Opening Day

Fort Collins Brewery recently partnered with Major League Baseball and Rocky Mountain High School alumnus baseball standout and 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates draftee Jess Amedee to create Hometown Helles, a limited production beer that was aged over Louisville Slugger maple bats that will be released on Opening Day, Monday, April 6.

“I can’t say enough about the work that is being done and the quality that is put into each beverage,” Amedee said. “I thank the Fort Collins Brewery for the opportunity and lasting impression that has been made.”

Made with traditional German lager yeast and aged over Louisville Slugger maple bats, Hometown Helles’ malt profile is balanced with a touch of spicy hop character, and the beer clocks in at 5.3 percent alcohol by volume and 20 International Bittering Units. Hometown Helles is available in draft only at FCB Modern Tavern and a few select bars and restaurants in Colorado.

Along with releasing Hometown Helles, FCB is also celebrating Opening Day with a grill out at FCB Modern Tavern, including house-made Maibock bratwursts. Visit for more information.

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