Taste & Savor
A connoisseur's dream
From March 5-8, 2015, celebrated Michelin Star chefs, James Beard winners and Food and Wine Magazine Best of’s will gather to create exquisite preparations on a par with this Pumpkin Parfait, artfully topped with pie dough tuile, and surrounded by circles of glistening cranberry gel.
Imagine spending an entire weekend mingling with world-class chefs and beverage experts, feasting on five-star cuisine, and sipping fine wine and craft cocktails. No, you don’t have to jet off to South Beach or the South of France. This gourmet experience will take place right here in Colorado Springs.
From March 5-8, 2015, the iconic Five-Star, Five-Diamond Broadmoor resort will host its inaugural Taste and Savor epicurean weekend. The line-up is vibrant and exciting, a culinary ‘who’s who’ of established, as well as up-and-coming, chefs, wine owners, mixologists and celebrity personalities.
“We have an opportunity to do something very unique here in Colorado Springs,” says C.W. Craig Reed, Broadmoor Food and Beverage Director, “to stage an event with world-class, A-plus talent and knock it out of the park this first year.”
The range of talent is formidable--from Frédéric Drouhin, President of the Executive Board of the centuries’ old French winery Maison Joseph Drouhin to Sean Kenyon, a hip, young bartender whose dream to open Williams & Graham, a wildly popular speakeasy in Denver, won him the title of American Bartender of the Year.
What makes this event stand out from others is the personal engagement between guests and celebrity participants.
“We are asking our chefs and mixologists to be very hands on, participating in the whole weekend experience,” Reed says.
The program will offer a dazzling array of cooking demonstrations, panels, seminars and culinary events, including a Thursday welcome reception, a Saturday gala, and the Broadmoor’s famous Sunday brunch.
“We’re going to create a village in the Broadmoor Hall, a 60,000 square foot facility,” Reed says, “where everything will be staged, from seminars to book signings.”
On Saturday night, participants and guests will gather for a gala celebration to culminate the weekend. Each chef and mixologist will create their own restaurant station, offering guests the opportunity to sample delicacies from some of the most highly-esteemed restaurants in the United States.
After savoring the magic of this star-studded weekend, guests will return home with memories to cherish and stories to tell.
Chef Shawn McClain
Chef McClain first discovered his passion for cooking while working at a family-run restaurant in college.
“I realized that a sixteen-hour day could go by without notice,” he says, “and I found that I spent more hours there than in the library.”
After culinary school, that passion led him to open four restaurants in the Chicago area where he won countless accolades, including Best Chef Midwest from the James Beard Foundation and “Chef of the Year” from Esquire magazine.
Now he’s taking Las Vegas by storm. His celebrated restaurant Sage, in the ARIA Resort and Casino, offers farm-to-table produce, artisanal meats and sustainable seafood with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.
“Our brûlée of foie gras, topped with seasonal fruit and toasted cocoa nibs and served with a salted brioche is our most beloved dish,” McClain says.
Always up for new challenges, McClain teamed up with celebrated mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim in 2012 to compete against Chef Marc Forgione in the Food Network’s Iron Chef America competition.
“It was one long stressful day,” McClain says.
But they emerged victorious.
Now McClain is looking forward to Taste and Savor as an opportunity to interact on a personal level with attending guests.
“I’d love for people to be exposed to us and know what we do,” he says, “and hopefully drive some awareness to our restaurant.”
Chef Johnathan Sundstrom
Growing up in Salt Lake City, Chef Sundstrom discovered the joys of cooking from his grandmother, who was a great baker and candy maker.
“We were always going out on the porch to swap food with a neighbor or bringing dishes to church functions,” Sundstrom says.
This concept of dining as a communal event is evident in his award-winning restaurant, Lark, in Seattle.
“At Lark, we offer small plates and encourage sharing,” Sundstrom says. “The goal is about you enjoying the company you are with. Whether it’s an anniversary dinner for two or a birthday party with ten, we try to fit the experience around your celebration.”
One of Lark’s favorites is a raw Hamachi crudo, prepared with Italian flavors--Picholine olives, preserved lemon, fennel pollen and a little lemon oil.
For Sundstrom, sourcing great, quality products is key. “If they come from a local source,” he says, “you have a connection with the person who makes them.”
Sundstrom enjoys sharing these stories with his guests. “Everyone who comes to the restaurant loves to know that I’ve known the farmer for fifteen years and we go fishing together,” he says.
Sundstrom is excited to participate in Taste and Savor. “Anytime I get a chance to give a taste of the food I made,” he says, “it’s a great opportunity for impact.
“If guests taste something that’s amazing, maybe some day, they’ll come and look us up.”