The Sweetest Thing

Willy Wonka must've had a brother. That's the only explanation for Ned Archibald, executive pastry chef for Keystone Resorts, and his Chocolate Village.

In its eleventh year of yumminess, the village consists of 2,500 pounds of chocolate formed into a miniature alpine community. Archibald reuses the same Village pieces year after year, but he always makes something new, too. Last year he added a six-foot white-chocolate Christmas tree with hand-blown sugar ornaments. This year, Archibald is changing the tree's color scheme and putting some more presents underneath, but the big addition is a snowman. "He's made out of chopped white chocolate, and he has a dark-chocolate top hat, an orange-chocolate nose, and a scarf with snowflakes on it," enthuses Archibald. "He probably weighs about sixty, seventy pounds. He needs a diet."

The Village, which takes up almost the entire lobby of the Keystone Lodge, will be unveiled today as the culmination of Keystone's 36 Days of Chocolate celebration — an event that includes special dishes dreamed up by other Keystone chefs and a chocolate-crammed spa package. Archibald will also give twice-daily sugar-blowing demonstrations until the Village is taken down on January 2. Visit or call 1-800-468-5004 for details.
Nov. 17-Dec. 22

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen