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On The Clock

KIM MARQUIS
Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkGloria Edwards
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“How do you make a roux?” was the single interview question posed to Gloria Edwards when she applied for a job as a chef at The Snake River Saloon in Keystone.”I use butter and flour,” she answered.”We use margarine and flour – you’re hired,” came the reply. Twenty-two years later, Edwards is still using margarine to make a roux, but she said there’s a few recipes she cheats on and uses butter. She added butter to her most popular soup, cream cheese, leek and ham, as she prepared it in a five-gallon steel pot one recent morning in The Snake’s good-sized kitchen.

What do you like about your job?”I get to be as creative as I want. I use fresh vegetables – whatever shows up on deliveries but Jane (Shields, wife of the restaurant’s co-owner Jim Shields) sometimes gets to pick.” What are the job’s challenges?

“In the winter it’s like beat the clock. I have to have all these things done (she points to a hand-written list taped to the wall with at least 50 items) before Billy Crangle, the night chef, comes in at five.”What brought you to Summit County?When the timing belt on Edwards’ ’66 Dodge Polara broke in Salida on a trip to Alaska, she spent her last dollar to fix it then headed to Summit County, where friends Tom and Dick Dreyer might be able to help her out. At 22 years old, she got a job as a maid at the Ski Tip Lodge, where she learned how to cook. She finally made it to Alaska this summer – more than two decades later – and has her picture with a huge halibut tacked up near the prep station in the kitchen where she works five days a week.

What do you do when you’re not at work?Edwards’ summertime activities include golf, rafting and an affinity for the Rockies. Her favorite winter activity involves an inner tube and a gently sloped, snowy hill.Tell us something your co-workers don’t know about you.”I used to be in a branch of ‘Up With People’ called Sing Out Montgomery County. I was a singer with them and made an album. I had this hillbilly, fun solo.”


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