31 Aug 2012

Celebrity Chef Glenn Smith: Equal parts culinary master and engaging personality

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Glenn Smith has never shied from the public eye. The renowned Colorado chef as presented at Aspen Food and Wine, hosted television cooking shows and been featured in magazines around the world.

He is equal parts culinary master and engaging personality.

Locally, he built a reputation as the chef in residence at the Cooking School of Aspen, spending more than two decades teaching and cooking in the ski resort town. Smith recently left Aspen in the rear view to come to Denver and start a collaborative online cookbook project with several artists.

And after impressing the Grand Valley crowd during an event in Palisade earlier this year, he was selected as this year’s Colorado Mountain Winefest celebrity chef, which will put him on stage at the Sept. 15 festival as well as during a feature dinner and demo the night before.

It marks his first Colorado Mountain Winefest, and yes, he’s excited to be a part of the state’s premier wine party and to indulge in a few Palisade peaches throughout the weekend.

Q: How did you get involved in Colorado wine?
A: I had the pleasure of providing the cooking demos at the Edesia event (at the Colorado Wine Country Inn) in the spring and I guess someone liked me.

Q: Pairing Colorado food and wine….
A: We are very lucky to live where we do. The growing conditions are perfect. The pairing of the local produce, local meats and the wine made here is the easy part. If it is fresh, use it. Don’t hide behind tricks and be true to its character.

Q: Tell us a little about the dinner you have planned?
A: I am very excited about the menu I am preparing. It is fresh, clean with big flavor. The goal is to highlight all the ingredients that will be purchased only hours before from some of the local purveyors. I hope that the flavors, which will be big, spotlight everything I am using. It is important to have contrast. The soup alone, which is a corn soup, will just pop on your pallet with the unexpected citrus and crunch, for example.

Q: What do you hope diners will take away from the Friday dinner?
A: All I ever hope for is joy. Joy for the food, the wine and most importantly, a new point of view.

Q: Have you learned anything during the process of working with Colorado Mountain Winefest?
A: I have learned that the Grand Valley is a diamond waiting to be discovered. There is such a dedicated food scene and wine culture that is so deep rooted in everyone I have had the pleasure in being in contact with. I believe it deserves much more recognition, but selfishly, I really enjoy the quaintness and how personable everyone is.

Q: Name your favorite thing to do in the Grand Valley…
A: Mountain Bike, look for awesome vintage furniture, and eat peaches until I feel sick.

See Glenn cook:

Friday’s Menu

Demo:

Heirloom white bean “hummus” with local vegetables Sweet corn fritters with smoked trout, mint and tarragon

Dinner:

Amuse bouche
Watermelon, feta, lime and vinegar glaze

Beginnings
Olathe Sweet corn soup, Arancini Di Riso “croutons”
Paired with: Plum Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc

Middle
Braised Beef short ribs, apricot and heirloom tomato relish smokey grits
Paired with: Boulder Creek Winery Syrah

End
Peach and walnut bread pudding with white chocolate
Paired with: Carlson Vineyards Sweet Gewurztraminer

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