Taste Keystone Saturday | SummitDaily.com

Taste Keystone Saturday

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

You don’t have to wait until October’s Wine in the Pines or Keystone’s Winter Culinary Festival to taste Keystone’s best dishes. This Saturday, Taste of Keystone offers fancy food without a hefty price. And, any money you do spend on the ticketed sampling system benefits Summit County’s Mountain Mentors, which matches adult volunteers with kids ages 6 to 16 to positively influence youth to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Participating restaurants include Keystone’s award-winning Alpenglow Stube, Ski Tip Lodge, Keystone Ranch and The Bighorn Steakhouse, as well as a representation of some of the resort’s more casual restaurants.

And then there’s Ned, oh, sweet Ned Archibald, Keystone’s acclaimed pastry chef. He’ll be doling out his chocolates, this time in the form of spaghetti and meatballs. Though the competition as to which vendor draws the most sales is heated every year, Archibald’s sugary sensations was the “surprise winner” last year, said Scott Radek, executive chef of Keystone Hospitality. Rocky Mountain Chocolate also will offer chocolate-dipped frozen items, fudge, chocolate and caramel apples.

For the first time, Wolf Rock is participating in the Taste, with a sushi demonstration and offering. Another novelty will be the use of fresh herbs from Radek’s garden, located on the right side as guests walk from the hotel to lake level. He’s harvesting the whole thing to make a Brazilian steak sauce. And Bighorn Steakhouse features locally grown, organic products with its grilled beef tenderloin skewer over succotash with herb-garden chimichuri.

Saturday’s menu includes Alpenglow Stube’s grilled New Zealand lamb chop with braised lamb shank and cranberry bacon butternut squash puree; Ski Tip’s Palisade peach barbecued Berkshire pork cheek, caramelized Colorado pear coleslaw and grilled brioche; the Ranch’s braised beef short ribs; and Edgewater Cafe’s watermelon yellow tomato and jumping good goat cheese salad.

Kid-friendly and casual food comes in the form of pizza, wings, snow cones, hot dogs, brats and more.

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Approximately 1,000 people turn out for the event, and since it’s in its 23rd year, “it’s a pretty well oiled machine,” Radek said.

“It’s very much geared toward the locals,” he said. “Our prices are not high; it’s not a money-making adventure. And, it’s a good way for locals to see what we do in this neck of Summit County.”

Taste of Keystone is a zero-waste event using all biodegradable plates, cups and utensils. Recycling containers are strategically placed throughout the grounds, and all waste will be composted.

Taste Tickets are $1 each, and restaurant samples require one to five tickets.