Award-winning chef and restaurant owner Kelly Liken is kicking off the summer season with weekly Harvest Sunday Suppers at Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail. The series, which pairs with the with Vail Farmers' Market, starts Sunday, June 16; the suppers will continue through September 22.
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Liken and her kitchen staff started this tradition seven years ago because they "wanted to show off the farmers," Liken says. "When we first started, obtaining local food was more of a challenge. We wanted to give our customers the opportunity to enjoy an entirely locally grown meal."
Since then, Liken and her staff have created a three-course, fixed-price menu (the current price is $49) for Sunday based solely on what they find at the Vail Farmers' Market. "The only rule is that we never plan the menu before Sunday," Liken explains. They go to the market without a list, and walk away with whatever is in season and looks good, then create the meal.
"Each kitchen staff member is in charge of a specific dish, which gives them the chance to be creative and use the ingredients that they love," Liken says. "When we get back from the market, we set all of our produce onto the counter, discuss our ideas, and decide the menu for that evening. It's a very organic process."
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You can expect an absolutely new menu each week, because Liken has never repeated a dish. You can also expect crowds; Sundays are the busiest night of the week at Restaurant Kelly Liken, so reservations are strongly recommended. So is sticking around for live jazz: the Tony Gulizia Band and other special musical guests start playing at 8:30 pm.