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Summit County: Food for a cause

Chefs and apprentices from six different Keystone restaurants are working together to create a six-course “culinary experience” on Feb. 3 at Keystone Ranch restaurant. The event, A Celebration of Haute Cuisine, will endow a scholarship program for future students of the Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute.

The dinner is a partnership between Keystone Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort and CMC’s culinary institute. Both Keystone Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort fund part of CMC’s culinary program.

Chefs and apprentices from each restaurant – including Keystone Ranch and Alpenglow Stube – each designed one course of the menu. CMC then reviews the courses to make sure they work together. Wine for each course is paired by Claude Robbins, master of wine arts at the International Wine Guild, an accredited wine school in Denver. Robbins will be explaining his wine choices at the event.



Kevin Clarke, director of Culinary Arts at Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute, said this is the fifth year the endowment dinner has been held. Clarke said the event has been “well received” in past years, and has previously brought in $10,000 for students.

“It’s a wonderful food and wine experience which raises money for a good cause,” he said.



Clarke said CMC’s culinary program combines textbook and real-world education. Students of the culinary institute go through a three-year program with a mandatory apprenticeship, working 40 hours a week or more in each of Keystone’s restaurants. Clarke said each restaurant has three or four apprentices at a time.

Clarke said the dinner shows off the environments the students are learning in. He said a large number of the chefs at Keystone’s restaurants are graduates of the program and understand how important it is to support the hard-working students.

Keystone Ranch executive chef Jason Kassib is a graduate of CMC’s culinary institute. He said he and his apprentices enjoy being a part of the dinner.

“It’s cool to see the program grow,” he said.

Kassib and his students will be serving the entree course: Buffalo tenderloin with potato-wrapped herb croquettes.

Clarke said each year the institute hosts the dinner is a chance to improve upon the year before.

“It’s nice to fine tune it year after year,” he said.

This year, the evening will begin with a greeting of champagne and hand-passed hors d’oeuvres.

The price of the dinner is $165, $100 of which is a tax-deductible donation to the CMC Foundation. Clarke said a dinner of this caliber would usually cost around $300 per person.

For more info, call CMC Dillon campus at (970) 468-5989.


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