FEAST! Vail kicks off Memorial Day weekend with a slew of star chefs

Denver is knee-deep in food-and-drink events this Memorial Day weekend, what with the two-day South Gaylord Street Festival, EatDenver's Big Eat on Sunday and the Full Moon Street Carnival on Friday -- and there's plenty of culinary action in the altitude-high town of Vail this weekend, too. FEAST! Vail -- a first time event -- kicks off tomorrow in Vail Village with four jam-packed days of small plate tastings, cooking demonstrations, craft beer and wine seminars, gastronomic boot camps, happy hours and bowling, fancy wine dinners, a fly fishing and food excursion, and lots of cocktail carousing, brunching and sugar highs.

See also: - Win two free tickets to EatDenver's Big Eat bash on Sunday - Win the chance to eat and drink for free at Friday's Full Moon Street Carnival - Edge is collaborating with its sister restaurant for a special wine dinner tonight

"Memorial Day is a great weekend in Vail, so we created a fun and lively event that focused on culinary things - food, beer, cocktails and wine - that would generate interest from the Front Range, as well as Vail Valley locals, says James Deighan, event organizer and founder of Highline Sports and Entertainment, a company that produces local and large-scale events around the world.

Fourteen big-name chefs from Vail, Grand Junction and Denver are taking part in the festivities: Paul Anders (Sweet Basil, Vail); Frank Bonanno (Bonanno Concepts); Brian Brouillard (Mountain Standard, Vail); Mark Dinh (Matsuhisa, Vail); Troy Guard (TAG); Kelly Liken (Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail); Jay McCarthy (Vail chophouse and Blue Moose Pizza, Vail); Marty Odom (Big Bear Bistro, Vail); Jeff Osaka (twelve); Theo Otte (626 on Rood, Grand Junction); Bernie Oswald (Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail); Oliver Philpott (La Tour, Vail); Julian Smith (Bol, Vail); and Elise Wiggins (Panzano).

"It's a showcase of world-class restaurants and chefs from Vail, Grand Junction and Denver, and unlike a lot of other culinary events where you just see chefs cooking for you, this event really gives people an opportunity to be one-on one with all the chefs, whether it's at brunch, bowling, scooting up a climbing wall, fly fishing or hiking -- it's a celebration of the Colorado mountain culinary lifestyle with some of the best chefs in the state," says Deighan.

Tickets to the various events are priced individually, and can be purchased at http://feastvail.eventbrite.com/#. For more information about FEAST! Vail, go to http://www.feastvail.com/.

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings -- and if you have information for a culinary event you'd like included in our online calendar, send it to cafe@westword.com.

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