No -- with all due thanks to some brand extension guru somewhere in the offices of American Express Publications -- you do not. At the St. Regis Aspen Resort, a new restaurant with a terribly cumbersome name allows diners to rest assured that whenever they visit Aspen, they will be able to access the guidance of the glossy food mag.
The Chefs Club by Food & Wine is a restaurant serves as a showcase for four of the people selected from the magazine’s Best New Chef list -- a new selection will be made twice a year. The anointed chefs create seasonal menus, and also make appearances at the restaurant for special events and demonstrations.
For the Winter 2012-2013 season, for instance, Jenn Louis of Portland’s Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern offers a starter of ricotta sage and lemon Fritters, Jonathon Sawyer of Cleveland’s The Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat contributes black truffle and artichoke en papier, while Kevin Willman of Farmhaus in St. Louis has an entrée of Gulf red grouper, with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, tatsoi, savory crème anglaise, and New York’s Atera’s Matt Lightner contributes lamb loin, with a warm mushroom salad, barley, wheatgrass.
“For the first time we are making the cuisine of our talented chefs accessible in one magnificent location,” Christina Grdovic, Food & Wine publisher, told Forbes magazine. The hidden message behind the words “talented” and “magnificent”? The check is going to cost you set you back a bunch – entrées hover in the $40 range, which is the biggest complaint that diners on Open Table seem to have about the place.
On the other hand, if you’re staying at the St. Regis, where rooms easily run over $1,000 a night in season, you’re probably not too worried about a spendy dinner.
But will you be left to your own devices for your beverages? Of course not. The magazine’s executive wine editor handles the pairings to go with these Best Chef dishes, while cocktail rock star Jim Meehan (also contributing editor of Food & Wine) created the cocktail menu. On the winter list is “Fresh Powder”, a julep sweetened with sherry, made with Bulleit Bourbon, Smith & Cross Rum, Ximenez Sherry, Leopold Fernet, “Treacle Toddy”, an adaptation of the Treacle, http://imbibe.com/feature/the-cocktailian-treacle/9782 created by Dick Bradsell, a celebrated London bartender, and “Aspen”, a twist on a classic Chancellor cocktail. These run $12 each, which, all things considered, is a bargain.
An even better deal? Make your own.
1.5 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
.5 oz. Smith & Cross Rum
.5 oz. Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry
1 Bar spoon of Leopold Fernet
1.5 cups of crushed ice, approximately.
Three sprigs of mint and eight mint leaves
Powdered sugar to garnish glass
Muddle 8 mint leaves with Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry.
Add the rest of the ingredients and crushed ice to swizzle effectively.
Swizzle, then top with more crushed ice. (Think of it like you're making a snow cone.)
Garnish with three mint sprigs and powdered sugar.
2 oz. Stranahan’s Whiskey
.75 oz. Dolin Blanc
.5 oz. Port
1 Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
3 brandied cherries
Stir all ingredients except the cherries into a mixing glass and strain. (Details on how to do this here.)
Serve in a coupe glass, garnish with three brandied cherries.
Recipes furnished by Jim Meehan for The Chef’s Club by Food & Wine, with minor adapations made by About.com Culinary Travel.