Vail is renowned for its snow bunnies, air kissing, celeb-spotting on the slopes and star chef Kelly Liken, a Season 7 contestant on Bravos Top Chef and this years headliner for Taste of Vail, a three-day culinary orgy of food and wine that uncorks today in Vail Village. The festival gets under way with a three-hour ski tour with participating chefs and vintners, followed by the yearly (and always spirited) Colorado lamb cook-off and a seminar from Liken all about cooking with liquor. Throughout the weekend, chefs from numerous Vail Valley restaurants -- Spago, La Tour, Juniper, Terra Bistro and Wildflower among them -- along with winemakers from around the globe, will host seminars and winemaking dinners.
Unlike at other festivals, the people pouring wine at Taste of Vail are either winemakers or winery owners, encouraging an atmosphere of learning about wine and wine trends from the vintners themselves, says Kristin Yantis, spokeswoman for Taste of Vail. The events most anticipated high is the mountaintop picnic, taking place Saturday in a hand-built snow arena, 10,350 feet above sea level. Sampler passes, which include the lamb cook-off, picnic and grand tasting on Saturday night, are $350 per person; to get yours, visit www.tasteofvail.com, or call 970-926-5665.
April 7-9, 2011