Weekend Recommender: May 16-19
Literacy in action, family fun, and cycling mania!
May 16, 2013
Special Appearance: Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia
Friday, May 17, 8 a.m.
Colorado’s Lt. Governor Joe Garcia will kick off the weekend at the Basalt Elementary School in celebration of local education foundation Summit 54, Summer Advantage, and the RE-1 School District. The organizations are being honored for their contributions toward early literacy. Locals Tony and Terri Caine founded Summit 54 to bring educational opportunities to the underserved, and Governor John Hickenlooper has declared May 17 as “Summer Learning Access Day.” Refreshments will be served at 8 a.m.; presentation follows at 8:30 a.m. Basalt Elementary School, 151 East Cottonwood Drive, Basalt, 970-384-5800
Family Fun at the ARC
Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the Aspen Recreation Center is hosting the “Aspen Free Family Fun Fair,” an afternoon of clowns, face painting, Sumo wrestling, magicians, bouncy houses, batting cages, and more. Don’t miss the 2:30 p.m. prize giveaway. Aspen Recreation Center, 0861 Maroon Creek Rd., 970-925-5776
Ride for the Pass
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.
The anticipated early season kick-off to Aspen’s summer, the 19th annual Ride for the Pass will lure 600 local and visiting riders to our beautiful backyard. A fundraiser for the Independence Pass Foundation, the steep yet gorgeous ride gains 2000 vertical feet (from 9,400 to 11,400 feet), and takes participants from the winter access gate to the ghost town of Independence. A festive after party includes myriad giveaways, including a free bike. Race starts at Colorado Hwy. 82, Mile Marker 48. To register, visit independencepass.org
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN BAYER
Getaway: BottleRock Napa Valley Festival
Jet over to wine country for this inaugural music and wine festival.
May 07, 2013
Zac Brown Band highlights the BottleRock Napa Valley musical lineup
Any local conversation during the month of May inevitably involves the favorite topic of off-season travel. Beach, surf, sun, desert—warm locales are what Aspenites desperately crave after a long ski season. Mix in Napa wine country and live music? Consider it booked. Many Aspenites are traveling further West to the inaugural BottleRock Napa Valley festival held May 9-12. A four-day affair with stellar music, vintners, culinary cache, and comedy, this one-stop-shop for California entertainment is right up our alley.
"This is a festival for music-lovers with a palate," says BottleRock co-founder Bob Vogt. "BottleRock offers festival-goers the best in Napa Valley food, wine, and beer. Where else can you see this many musicians and comedians and have access to shaded areas, seating, and restrooms? [It] has something for everybody!”
First, the musical lineup: Leading bands include The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, The Black Crowes, Jane’s Addiction, Zac Brown Band, The Shins, The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Alabama Shakes, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, among others. With more than 80 bands performing over four days, the musical gamut crosses nearly all genres and will certainly pack a loud punch. Held on three stages over 26 acres of the Napa Valley Expo grounds, the music alone is worth tapping those frequent flier points.
Next, the epicurean extravaganza. Napa and Sonoma Valley are a top escape during an Aspen off-season; the Roaring Fork Valley claims a surprising amount of master sommeliers and town has a serious obsession with wine. On tap at Bottle Rock are more than 50 wineries and artisan brewers, with featured vintners including Silver Oak, Miner Family, Rombauer, St. Supery, Grgich Hills, Beaulieu Vineyard, and Hahn Family Wines, to name a few. Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Cindy Pawlcyn will helm the festival’s culinary execution, sharing the spotlight with celebrity chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Ken Frank, and Todd Humphries. The list of participating Napa eateries and food purveyors is equally of note, including Mustards Grill, Oenotri, ZuZu, Grace’s Table, The Girl & the Fig, Azzurro Pizzeria and Enoteca, Tra Vigne, Fish Story, Farmstead, The Model Bakery, C Casa, Barbers Q, and Gott’s Roadside.
And let’s not forget there’s comedy, to boot. In the midst of all this wining, dining, and dancing, the country’s top comics promise plenty of laughter, too. Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, Aasif Mandvi, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro, Jim Breuer, Greg Behrendt, Wyatt Cenac, Rob Delaney, and Kristen Schaal, among others, ensure no dull moments.
Given the staggering lineup of musical acts, Aspen Peak asked Nicholas Allen, founder of Carte Blanche Wine and Soulshine Music LLC, for some festival and wine cliff notes. Following are his Top 5 “pairings” of rock and wine, focused on micro-cult wines crafted by acclaimed vintners that have mastered the art of bottling terroir. If you can’t make it to Napa with us, at least you can create a playlist, sample some vino, and pretend you’re there.
1. The Black Keys & Carte Blanche 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. “The Black Keys are one of the best, if not, top, acts on the national touring circuit,” says Allen. “I’d pair this complex rock ‘n roll with a big red—the CB Cabernet is layered, surprising, with big notes, and a real powerful driving force behind it, just like the band.”
2. Jane’s Addiction & 2010 Keplinger Sumo. “If you’ve seen front man Perry Farrell perform, then you know that a bottle of red is most likely in his hand. I’d suggest he drink the Keplinger Sumo--a spicy, bold red that gets you fired up, and can perfectly handle the band’s hard-hitting rock.”
3. Zac Brown Band & Morlet Family Vineyards Couer de Vallée. “It's such a nice blend of cabernet culled from the top to the bottom of Napa Valley, and Zac Brown's music is such a nice collaboration of musical instruments and different musical genres, from country, to bluegrass, to reggae, to rock ‘n roll!”
4. The Black Crowes & 2010 Macauley Cabernet Franc, To Kalon Vineyard. “The Crowes consistently stay in the realm of blues-driven rock ‘n roll, but both the band and this wine offer so much more than one varietal or style could have ever been thought possible. Wines and acts like these are extremely rare, intricate, and passionate, and need to be embraced for the long haul.”
5. Alabama Shakes & Bure Family Wines 2010 Duration. “A perfect pairing for Alabama Shakes; it's got that power and elegance from the cabernet, and that depth and extra ‘umph’ (fruit) and nuance from the Cabernet Franc. These two—the band and the wine—will be around for a long time. Bure is becoming a staple Napa wine for cult-boutique collectors, and The Shakes are becoming a sought after staple on the music scene. I dread another ill-fated and ill-timed loss of talent such as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse. Like the finish on the Duration wine, I hope to see longevity in their musical careers.”
For BottleRock Napa Valley festival passes, pricing, and additional information visit bottlerocknapavalley.com
photography by rick diamond/gettyimages.com
New Dining and Spa Specials at St. Regis
Off-season specials at the St. Regis Resort calls for a luxe staycation.
May 06, 2013
Remède Spa at the St. Regis Aspen
For you fortunate Aspenites that have been whisked away to sand and sun, more power to you, but for those of us left in town during mud season, not to fret, we’ve scouted some serious local R&R. The Rèmede Spa at the St. Regis Aspen features fabulous off-season deals, including a customized massage for $115 (usually $165). Given this perfect excuse to visit this haven of tranquility, if you can’t fly somewhere, treat yourself regardless.
The spa experience starts with an evaluation of problem areas with Remede’s exceptionally trained therapists (Michael Ann is highly recommended), followed by a selection of desired aromatherapy oils to be used during the treatment. Topped with a paraffin foot massage and scalp massage—with or without a Moroccan Oil scalp treatment (we say go for it, considering high altitude effects on hair)—this 60- or 90-minute spa journey is spot on. Post-treatment, enjoy a glass of sparking wine while recharging in the Oxygen Lounge.
Following are some additional incentives to hit the Regis during the month of May. In fact, why not check in and treat yourself to a whole weekend? After a long and successful winter, you’ve earned it.
Wine & Dine
New Executive Chef Didier Elena of the Chefs Club by FOOD&WINE is offering a three-course menu for just $32. Taste such dishes as the Roasted Beef Bone Marrow with Potato Mousseline and Sautéed Escargot or the Halibut and Spring Vegetable Tempura with Seared Polenta and Béarnaise Sauce. Open Tuesday-Saturday. 970-429-9581
Beer & Burgers
Beginning May 1 (noon to close) in the chic Shadow Mountain Lounge, order a Beer & Burger for $20.13. The signature St. Regis burger (horseradish aioli, Lamborn Bloomers cheese, pancetta, tomato, and lettuce on a brioche bun) is complemented with your choice of cold draft beer. Yum.
Benny & Mary Sundays
Every Sunday in May (7 a.m.-11 a.m.), Buttermilk Restaurant will feature “Benny & Mary Sundays,” with $16 Eggs Benedict and $10 Bloody Marys. The Bloody Mary menu includes the resort’s signature Downhill Snapper, in addition to famous concoctions from St. Regis properties in New York, Houston, and London. Benedict offerings include Traditional (English muffin, Canadian bacon, hollandaise and hashbrowns), Southwestern (beef-green chili, charred scallion hollandaise, petit green salad), Swiss (roesti potato, sauteed mushrooms, gruyere fondue, petit green salad), “Louis” (crab, shrimp, hollandaise, hash browns), and “Garden” (English muffin, grilled veggies, pesto, hash browns). St. Regis Resort Aspen, 315 E. Dean St., 970-920-3300
Little Nell Launches Cooking Class for Kids
A new cooking series invites protégées ages four and up to measure, mix, and chop.
April 29, 2013
The Little Nell is poised to share its warm hospitality and delicious food with the next generation of Aspen cooks this summer by partnering with chef, cookbook author, and Aspen resident Helen DeFrance to teach kids, ages 4 years and older, basic cooking skills.
“Comfy in the Kitchen,” a series of four cooking classes for kids “will feature lessons on how to create both savory and sweet items,” says DeFrance, who will help guide kids on the importance of balanced meals as she also trains them how to properly use cooking tools and stir up a new dish in each class. “It’s all about being comfortable in the kitchen. Kids will learn to follow recipes, measure, mix and chop, and they will bring home fun and delicious recipes the whole family will love.”
DeFrance is no stranger to the kitchen or in helping children find their way around it. She has been teaching children’s cooking classes for 10 years and discovering and encouraging mini chefs in the making, including creating and running the “Kitchen Full of Kids” program at the acclaimed Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. She is also the author of two cookbooks At Home Café: Gatherings for Family and Friends and At Home Café: Great Food and Fun for Everyone.
Helen credits her dynamic, hands-on approach to cooking with kids in part to her education background, where her emphasis was on Montessori training, a method of teaching based on hands-on, experiential learning. Helen understands the importance of engaging children in the learning process and brings this concept into the kitchen. Her cooking classes not only involve children in every aspect of planning the family meal, but also teach them the source of the ingredients and the steps it takes to make a successful meal.
Throughout the series, DeFrance will be joined by special guests from The Little Nell kitchen, including Pastry Chef Danielle Riesz and Executive Chef Robert McCormick.
Comfy in the Kitchen cooking classes will be held at The Little Nell from 3:30-5 p.m. on May 24, June 19, July 11, and August 21. Each class will feature a different theme.
Cost is $30 per class, or the entire series can be purchased in advance for $100. Space is limited and is open to all. To reserve a spot, call PJ Johnson at 970-920-6360.
Weekend Recommender: May 3-5
Art at altitude, music in the mountains, and Kentucky Derby fun.
April 29, 2013
Thea Djordjadze's Spoons are Different (installation view at Gallery Sprüth Magers, London), 2012
Wildwood Kentucky Derby Benefit
Friday, May 3, 6 p.m.
A benefit for the popular Wildwood pre-school in Aspen, this festive event features dancing, dinner, drinks, and a live auction at the Limelight Lodge in downtown Aspen. Wear your Kentucky Derby finest (ladies, an excuse to beak out those hats, and men, when else can you sport seer suckers in Aspen?) 355 S. Monarch St.
On Display: Aspen Art Museum
Friday, May 3
One of the most anticipated shows of the summer season opens at the Aspen Art Museum. “Rob Pruitt: An American Folk Artist” is the artist’s first solo museum survey. Simultaneously, work by Thea Djordjadze marks her first North American museum solo exhibition. Pruitt is known for his unique spin on pop culture, while Djordjadze is acclaimed for sculptural installations. Both are on view through July 14. 590 N. Mill St., 970-925-8050
On Stage: PAC3
Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m.
Grateful Dead fans are in luck, as the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Review hits Carbondale this weekend. Featuring Rob Eaton from Dark Star Orchestra, this show will draw locals and visitors to the Roaring Fork Valley. Tickets $10-15. 520 S. Third St., Carbondale, 970-925-1663
Image courtesy of the artist and Gallery Sprüth Magers, London and Berlin
Off-Season Restaurant Picks
Three tried and true favorites for authentic Italian, prix fixes, and excellent seafood.
April 25, 2013
After a beautiful yet long winter, most Aspenites have caught a serious case of Wanderlust, yearning for sand, sun, and margaritas. If you’re just returning from the beach, or if May calls for a staycation, town’s restaurants are featuring serious off-season deals. Herewith, what not to miss:
Jimmy’s an American Restaurant & Bar
This local hot spot may have top tequilas and the best crab cakes west of the Mississippi, but the month of May also features Thai specials and a Memorial Day Crawfish Boil (May 27). Show off your salsa moves on Saturday nights. 205 S. Mill St., 970-925-6020
Chefs Club at St. Regis Resort
Featuring cuisine by a rotating roster of Food&Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs, and helmed by new executive chef Elena Didier, the restaurant is featuring a special off-season prix fixe of three courses for $32. 315 E. Dean St., 970-429-9581
This Italian eatery barely has an off-season, considering the bar and restaurant is typically packed year-round. And, as if you need another reason to visit well-known bartender Scotty, check out new live music on Tuesday nights. If booking a rezzie inside the restaurant, a $33 prix fixe can be lassoed during the month of May. 620 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-9022
Weekend Recommender: April 26-28
Last call at Aspen Highlands, Dave Mason rocks Belly Up, and more.
April 25, 2013
Traffic frontman Dave Mason
Friday, April 27, 1-5 p.m.
A class led by Rock Bottom Ranch farmer and chef Jason Smith, this fun course is a unique way to spend a Saturday during off-season, and offers fun for the kiddos, too. Learn how to raise your own chickens with backyard ranching ($35/$25 ACES members). aspennature.org
Last Call: Aspen Highlands
Saturday, April 27 & Sunday, April 28
Ski season officially comes to a close this weekend, with Aspen Highlands throwing the last hoorah on Saturday and Sunday. If you missed last week’s end of season bash, here’s another excuse to sport vintage ski ensembles. Given the recent snowfall, the season will end with a bang. Aspen Highlands; aspensnowmass.com
On Stage: Dave Mason
Friday, April 26, 8 p.m.
Fan of legendary band Traffic? Hit this intimate concert with front man and Rock ‘n Roll Hall-of-Famer Dave Mason. In a rare acoustic performance, Mason will play such hits as “Feelin’ Alright” and “Shoouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave.” He’ll be joined by top-notch vocalist Suzanne Paris. 450 S. Galena St., 970-544-9800; bellyupaspen.com
Skin-Brightening Recipes from Pila Xian
Get the recipe for Xian's ultra-healthy nori veggie wraps with Thai cashew sauce.
April 25, 2013
Pila Xian, owner of Heaven and Earth day spa
We all know eating a balanced, nutritious diet supports your overall wellness and health. Lesser known are which foods can specifically target the health of your skin. Pila Xian, founder of Aspen’s Heaven on Earth Day Spa, and a licensed esthetician and cooking enthusiast, divulges a healthy recipe for vibrant skin.
If ski season is the time of year to nosh on comfort foods, then mud season is the time to detox for spring beach vacations. But detoxing doesn’t have to call for a strict liquid diet or juicing. I prefer a diet of whole (i.e. non-processed) foods and eating soup or a smoothie for the last meal of the day. Following is great tasting and good-for-you spring recipe that to leave you healthier in body, mind, and spirit.
Nori Veggie Wraps
This recipe uses Nori as a taco wrapper. Best known for its use in sushi rolls, Nori is unbelievably good for your skin’s health. One sheet of Nori has the same amount of Omega-3s as two avocados. You can replace the Nori with Napa cabbage or kale (if using kale, massage the leaves to make the kale tender and pliable). Quinoa is an excellent grain choice because of its high protein content (tip: Decrease the amount of suggested water when cooking quinoa and mushy, water-logged quinoa is a thing of the past).
I serve dinners family style, plating all the veggies and quinoa on one big platter. It makes for a beautiful presentation with colorful vegetables.
2 cups quinoa
5 tablespoons walnut oil, divided
1 lb. wild mushroom mix, sliced
1 butternut squash, diced
2 bunches spinach
3 carrots, julienned
2 tablespoons water
2 red peppers, julienned
1 package of Nori, sheets cut in half
Rinse quinoa. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and quinoa to a boil. Cover, and reduce temperature to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake butternut squash drizzled with 2 tablespoons of the walnut oil on a lined baking dish for 30-45 minutes, turning to ensure carmelization on all sides. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of walnut oil over medium heat, sauté mushrooms until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, using the same pan, adding additional walnut oil if necessary, add kale and water, cover. Stirring occasionally until done, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté red peppers over medium heat with walnut oil until desired doneness, about 7-10 minutes.
Thai Cashew Sauce
Cashews are used to replace dairy in sauces and dips with this recipe. Soaking the cashews overnight makes for the creamiest sauce. If you’re limited in time, chop the cashews into smaller pieces when soaking. To make a dip for crudités, simply add less coconut milk. Cashews are mild in taste, so play around with different herbs and spices to make a variety of dips.
1 1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 green onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 jalapeno (deseeded, unless you like it hot)
1 handful cilantro
1 cup coconut milk
Cover the cashews with hot water by at least 2 inches because the cashews expand. Soak raw, unsalted cashew in hot water for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse cashews.
In a food processor pulse together the ginger, green onion, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro until finely chopped. Add cashews and pulse again until smooth. *You can also serve this as a dip with crudités platter.
For additional beauty tips from Pila, including her recent blog on how to wash your face correctly, the essential first step to proper skincare, visit heavenonearthaspen.com/blog
Weekend Recommender: April 18-21
A Champagne toast, Winter Words, and closing day at Aspen and Snowmass Mountains.
April 18, 2013
Get "dressed up" and celebrate closing day of Aspen and Snowmass Mountains this Sunday
Champagne Saber at St. Regis Aspen
Friday, April 12, 4:45 p.m.
Kick-start the weekend with a traditional Champagne saber at the St. Regis Aspen. Following the age-old tradition of welcoming the day into the night, a St. Regis staff member invites guests into the courtyard where they expertly saber the bottle with a sward and a complimentary glass of Champagne. 305 E. Dean St., 970-920-3300
Winter Words Welcomes Cheryl Strayed
Friday, April 12, 6 p.m.
Join the Aspen Writers’ Foundation for its last installment of Winter Words, as Cheryl Strayed takes the stage and gives insight on her popular book, Wild. Aspen Meadows Resort, 845 Meadows Rd., 970-925-3122
Sun Dog's K-9 Uphill
Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.
Grab your pup and join the 18th annual Sun Dog’s K-9 Uphill on Buttermilk Mountain. This popular event is the longest running benefit for local animal shelters. Prizes are given for best dog and person costume. Adoptable dogs are also available to hike with solo racers. Buttermilk Mountain, 970-925-1069
Closing Day of Aspen and Snowmass Mountains
Sunday, April 14
Celebrate the end of another incredible ski season at the closing day of Aspen and Snowmass Mountains. Dress up in your favorite costume and take one final run of the season. Aspen and Snowmass Mountains, 970-923-1227
Half-Marathon Training at Aspen Club
Editor in chief Erin Lentz spends three days a week with the club’s ace trainers.
April 12, 2013
Aspen Club head trainer Dirk Schultz
In a town obsessed with fitness, locals and visitors are constantly on the hunt for the latest fitness craze. As an oft-harried editor, time is of the essence, so when I decided to sign up for my first half-marathon, which I recently ran in Moab (March 16), I needed something that would whip me into gear, and fast.
Enter the Aspen Club and Spa’s HI2T Director and Head Trainer Dirk Schultz and TRX Rip Trainer FounderBill Fabrocini and their leading workout craze, HI2T, short for High Intensity Interval Training. I started a three-day-a-week routine in February at the dedicated HI2T gym, surrounded by top trainers and inspirational wall décor (“Nothing changes if nothing changes!” and “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.) Following an assessment and foundation class, the first week is decidedly challenging, as is the entire program; Schultz’s regime calls for an initial shock to the body. Originally designed as a six-week program (though the program can certainly be continued for longer, as most dedicated clients will attest), hour-long classes feature intense, anaerobic, lung-busting intervals followed by quick recovery periods.
Yes, you’ll be sore, but you’ll quickly feel yourself gaining strength. (And those skinny jeans will look great.) I got to know several of my regular classmates—policemen, a film director, local athletes, and more—as we’d joke about the “torture chamber,” but it was quickly evident, given everyone’s dedication to making class, that I wasn’t the only one reaping the benefits. As a host of talented trainers pushed us past our perceived limits, sweat and pain was shared and muscles were gained.
After seven weeks additional measurements were taken, and I had lost four percent body fat. Though the scale didn’t reflect a huge loss, the muscle mass gained made up for it. In fact, in prepping for the race I became so hooked on the HI2T high that I ended up cross-training more than running, as 30 degrees and snowy weather wasn’t exactly the ideal outdoor lure, particularly if it was a powder day on the mountain. But no matter, because come race day I was shocked at how strong I felt during my run. I’d listened to runner friends that advised to go out slow and finish strong, and by mile 8 that all-important runner’s high kicked in. And after a second dose of Honey Stinger goo, which made me feel like wonder woman, I finished with power and pride. Perhaps most important, I’d do another big run, which means HI2T certainly did it’s job, as I also pushed my legs and mind to do theirs. HI2T is offered several times daily at the Aspen Club & Spa; 1450 Crystal Lake Road, 970-925-8900