Vail resident Jennie Iverson publishes her second cookbook, ‘Ski Town Apres Ski’
A few decades ago, the words “apres ski” conjured up images of saucy chicken wings and a foamy Coors Light, or a simple hamburger flanked by a syrupy, neon green margarita.
One look at “Ski Town Apres Ski,” the new cookbook by Vail resident Jennie Iverson, and it’s clear how much has changed.
“It’s really fun because you think back 20 odd years to apres culture and it was beer and nachos. Now people are being so much more creative with food,” Iverson said.
The basic burger might now be elk meatball sliders with mushroom sauce and arugula, at least if you’re at Snowbird in Utah. That photo on the cover of the cookbook that has you drooling? That would be the Tamarack Sliders with bourbon bacon onion relish paired with a “Mountain Mary” cocktail. Or how about portabella mushroom fries paired with a hot apple pie cocktail from Squaw Valley?
Those are just a few of the more than 200 small-plate and cocktail recipes from more than 60 North American ski resorts found in the cookbook. Iverson published “Ski Town Soups” in 2012 and knew that an apres-focused cookbook would soon follow, she said.
“It was absolutely the next step,” she said. “There’s nothing like ski town cuisine that revolves around apres and apres culture, whether it’s people relishing ordering favorite apres dishes off the menu or going home to a cozy fire and replacing more formal dinners with less formal, tapas-type recipes.
“This cookbook relates to experience just as much as food and drink. It gets to the heart of apres ski culture and friends and community and regional personality.”
I Heart APRES SKI
The book is split into six sections — soup and salad, bites and nibbles, sea and turf, land and turf, sweet treats and handcrafted cocktails — and includes almost a dozen recipes from some of Summit County’s best dining spots. Try the mussels from Teryn Guadagnoli at Modis in Breckenridge, the hummus from Loveland Ski Area or the lamb sliders with pickled onion marmalade from Ski Tip Lodge in Keystone.
Copper Mountain has its turn on the page, as well, with smoked cheddar and chorizo tequenos, frenched drumsticks, trout cakes and crispy fried avocado with crab, or indulge in the perfect raspberry lemonade cocktail or Nativa Terra Sangria.
In each food recipe, there’s a suggested cocktail pairing listed, as well as the page number for said cocktail — like the basil gin drop cocktail paired with a fried avocado with crab salad and green goddess dressing from chef Matt Fackler at Twist in Breckenridge.
“It makes it easy if people are looking to entertain and party-plan and pair dishes with drinks,” Iverson said. Like in “Ski Town Soups,” each dish has a difficulty rating that corresponds with ski runs: green circles for easiest, blue squares for intermediate and black diamonds for more difficult recipes, she said.
In “Ski Town Soups,” an opening paragraph introduced each recipe and the same is true for this cookbook. Some of the intro paragraphs share regional stories, like how Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe hosts an Unbuckle Apres Ski Party complete with live DJs and dancers every afternoon.
“It’s rated by Forbes and CNN Travel as the No. 1 apres party,” Iverson said. “Beano’s Cabin has the experience of taking a snowcat-drawn sleigh to a meal.”
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is the charity partner for the book; a portion of the proceeds from each cookbook sold goes to the club. Lindsey Vonn is a club alumna, and when Iverson reached out to her and asked if she’d write the forward for the cookbook, Vonn agreed.
“The apres scene is near and dear to her heart and she was on board to write her personal experience,” Iverson said. “She also mentions two of her favorite apres dishes and we got the recipes for those: gluhwein (German mulled wine) from the Sonnenalp and kaiserschmarrn, a pancake-type dish from Pepi’s. Her whole story in the forward is all about the apres culture, how it translates from Europe to Vail.”
“No matter what part of the world I’m in, or what I’m eating or drinking, I always find the meaning of skiing in the apres ski scene,” Vonn wrote. “The time we give to each other and the things we love are what make us who we are.”
Go for a Winter Walk
The new coffee table-caliber book is quite substantial — “Ski Town Soups” was 240 pages, “Ski Town Apres Ski” is 388 — and sells for $35 at The Next Page Books & Nosh in Frisco and at Breckenridge Spice Merchants and French Kiss in Breckenridge.
On Friday, Dec. 5, The Next Page in Frisco will host a meet and greet and book signing with Iverson. The author will speak about her book, and the staff at bookstore will be cooking up sample recipes from the book, including soup, chili, a couple of dips and something sweet, said Karen Berg, the store’s owner.
“We are delighted to host Jennie again,” Berg said. “We actually hosted her on a couple of occasions with ‘Ski Town Soups’ and it is hands down one of our best-selling cookbooks. It’s turned into a favorite — it’s a favorite of ours to sell, a favorite for people to have in their homes and give away as gifts. We are delighted that she has another great publication, and we can’t wait to show it to everybody and let them sample some of the fare.”
Iverson’s visit coincides with the Winter Walk in Frisco, an annual event organized by Frisco’s Main Street merchants in appreciation of their local customers.
The Winter Walk runs concurrent with the Lighting of Main Street and is meant to be a festive evening with carolers, luminaries and local stores open past their usual bedtimes, dressed in their holiday best.
“We stay open late, have specials, serve food and drink and do it as a holiday thank-you to all of the local patrons who have been so good to us throughout the year,” Berg said.
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