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 Post subject: Top Chef Telluride
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:37 pm
Posts: 3404
Location: Telluride, CO
Telluride has an annual culinary arts festival (we are festival land in the summer), and last year they added a new event: Telluride Top Chef. It's a fundraiser for Telluride One, which is a mentoring program for youth (mostly Hispanic) in the region. Four chefs compete in rounds, much like a cross between Top Chef and Iron Chef.

As a birthday present Andy bought us tickets for this year's competition, and it was last evening. I've got to say, I had an absolute blast. In addition to the competition, each of the four chefs had a specialty appetizer at different tables, and wine distributors/producers were there pouring their best wines (quite freely, I might add). Everyone was given a "wooden nickel" to vote for people's choice for winning app.

One of our newest (and highest end) luxury properties has been shaken immensely by the recession. Lehman Bros. had backed the venture, and as you might expect the place went into receivership last year. Within a month it was "reborn" as Hotel Madeline, but all of us locals, (especially those of us who prefer to remain employed) pretty much stayed away from looking at culinary jobs there. Last night I was exceedingly surprised and amazed to see the EC and his Sous from the hotel's signature restaurant "M" use all of the latest and greatest techniques in preparation of their dishes. From SV to calcium chloride to bacon powder made with tapioca malto-dextrin, they pulled out a lot of molecular gastronomy tricks. (No liquid nitrogen though...too bad.)

I ended up in front of their station riveted to everything they did. My Sysco rep was by my side, and she's promised to introduce me to them. If nothing else, I'd love to stage in their kitchen for a day.

As I also know one of the judges (a fellow chef and food writer), I got to taste everything prepared by every chef in each round. It was funny...we had exactly the same opinions of each and every dish.

The final round was tough, although Josh would have loved it. It was vegetarian. That can be very hard, particularly when you saw their mystery cart of ingredients. Ultimately, the chefs from "M" made it to the finals but lost to Allred's (the ski resort's premium restaurant). Although, "M" did win people's choice by a landslide.

On a non-culinary note...there was also an auction of four necklaces as part of the event. They were incredible and hand crafted by a very well-respected jewelry designer. Andy won the last one...a delicate three-strand sterling silver necklace with pink tourmalines and a pink sapphire pave drop. I love it.

Amy


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 Post subject: Re: Top Chef Telluride
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:01 am
Posts: 1287
Location: Denver
Sounds like a great event. I am told the Madeline is very beautiful, as was its predecessor. One of these days I will get back down there. A good friend of mine does the national PR for the resort association and I keep saying I am going to join her on her next trip.
ilene

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 Post subject: Re: Top Chef Telluride
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 733
Location: Michigan
My kind of evening, sounds great, and jewlery to boot! Now that's a great night!

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Kiss the cook....Oh wait, that's me!


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 Post subject: Re: Top Chef Telluride
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:37 pm
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Location: Telluride, CO
gardnercook wrote:
One of these days I will get back down there.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...you and my cousin say exactly the same thing.

I'm across the state, not across the country.

Amy


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