The Chef’s Club, presented by Food and Wine Magazine, is a unique dining concept, which currently has locations in Aspen and New York City. Each year Food & Wine selects chefs from its coveted list of Best New Chefs to participate. These individuals consult and curate new menu items, in collaboration with each restaurant’s culinary team, to create an epicurean experience beyond expectation.
The Aspen location opened in 2012 and is located inside the St. Regis Hotel. The Chef’s Club debuts its latest selection of chefs during the annual Aspen Food and Wine Festival by highlighting a tasting menu comprised of the chefs’ favorite dishes. On June 19th, 2015 three of Food and Wine top chefs for 2014 were introduced as the featured chefs for the upcoming season.
The Chef’s Club features a large, open, demonstration-style kitchen with ample tables in a dining area arranged in front of the kitchen, allowing most diners a great view of the action. After a brief, but fruitful, consultation with the very knowledgeable sommelier, a bottle of 2005 Chateau Gloria was chosen to accompany the tasting menu.
Course one consisted of roasted maitake featuring pickled garlic and dinuguan and was introduced by Paul Qui. In addition to being a 2014 Best New Chef, Mr. Qui was also the winner of season nine of Top Chef. Mr. Qui is at the helm at Qui, the ‘street food’ focused East Side King, and a soon-to-open sushi bar called Otoko in Austin, TX. Born in the Philippines, he trained in Japanese kitchens and has traveled extensively, thus blending many influences into a style that is uniquely his own.
Course two featured a miso crusted halibut complemented by fennel salad and a lemon butter emulsion. The dish was prepared and presented by Chef Cara Stadler. Ms. Stadler has hopped all over the globe, from Berkeley and Philadelphia to Versailles, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing. She settled in Portland, ME, where she opened Tao Yuan, together with her mother, in 2011. Here, the duo melds a variety of Asian flavors with the best products that New England has to offer.
Course three was created by the husband and wife team of Chefs Greg and Gabrielle Denton. They prepared roasted duck breast finished with endive, cherry and blue cheese. Mr. and Mrs. Denton are masters of fire. Their restaurant Ox in Portland, Oregon recalls an Argentinian steakhouse, exploring the culinary traditions of Spain, France and Italy, while keeping its roots firmly planted in the Pacific Northwest.
The final and only sweet course of the evening was presented by Pastry Chef Amanda Sinclair. Her creation was an apricot tart accompanied by crushed candied pistachio and caramel goats milk ice cream. Ms. Sinclair is the executive pastry chef at the Chef’s Club in Aspen. She jump-started her career in the culinary arts after being named Grandview High School’s ProStart Student of the Year in 2005. She then completed an apprenticeship at the Broadmoor near Denver, where she found her true culinary passion, after enrolling in an optional pastry program.
For more information or to visit one of the Chef’s Club locations, please visit www.chefsclub.com.