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Renowned chefs to share their secrets at Taste of Vail

CREATED: 2006-03-26 11:10 AM


Media contact:
Stephen Lloyd Wood, media liaison
(970) 949-9774

Renowned chefs to share their secrets at Taste of Vail

VAIL, Colo. - Perhaps sampling the finest delights at one of America's most beloved spring culinary and wine festivals only can be surpassed by learning how to create them.

Three renowned guest chefs will be conducting cooking seminars at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa April 5-8 during Taste of Vail, the nation's premier spring food and wine festival, benefiting Vail Valley charities for 16 years.

"I think we're getting better and better," says Cary Hogan, owner of Avon Liquors, who organizes educational seminars as a member of Taste of Vail's board of directors. "There's always something new."

On Thursday, April 6, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Chef Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, owner and executive chef at Rioja, in Denver's trendy Larimer Square district, will be demonstrating her "fresh-and-healthy" cooking techniques, featuring fennel- and sesame-encrusted scallops with persimmon vinaigrette and crispy, lavender-scented vegetables.

Named "Colorado 2004 Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation and "Best New Chef," "Rising Star" and more by the Denver Post, Restaurant Hospitality, Nation's Restaurant News and 5280 magazines, Jasinski will be pairing her tasty faire with wines from one of the Taste of Vail's finest attending wineries.

"It is always great to be chosen as a part of such a fun event in such a great venue," she says of Taste of Vail. "I believe you get out of things what you put into them. I always want to get the most out of everything I do."

On Friday April 7, starting at 9:30 a.m., Rick Moonen, executive chef and creator of the spectacular restaurant rm complex at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, educates attendees on the seafood cookery techniques that have made him famous, as well as "the important factors of maintaining a plentiful, sustainable supply of fish and seafood for generations to come."

Hailed as "King of the Sea" by the New York Times, Moonen is a contributing editor to Food & Wine magazine, a frequent guest chef at the James Beard House and Macy's De Gustibus Cooking School, and has appeared on many of television's most popular shows, such as NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," as well as The Food Network, Martha Stewart Living Television and PBS.

"This is a totally new experience. I jumped at the opportunity just to be part of it. I'm thrilled," Moonen says. "I'm from the East Coast, so for me to be able to come out West and be part of what's going on out here is a great opportunity."

Then on Saturday, April 8, beginning at 9:30 a.m., Chef Martial Noguier of one sixtyblue in Chicago - a product of the prestigious Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise in Paris - discusses his trademark French cuisine, known for "striking a balance between the avant garde and the familiar."

"It's always good to travel, to promote the restaurant - whether it's to New York, or Las Vegas or Vail," he says.

Dishes prepared by the chefs - paired with offerings from some of Taste of Vail's premier wineries - will be available for sampling during the seminars. Tickets to the seminars, held at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, are included in Taste of Vail's Festival Pass. They can be purchased separately, however, for $35.

Taste of Vail is a charitable, nonprofit organization. Over the past 15 years, the festival has contributed more than $300,000 to Vail Valley Charities; and in 2005, in conjunction with Ritz-Carlton, the Taste of Vail donated $13,000 to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund.

The festival was created in 1990 by a group of Vail Valley restaurateurs as a marketing event to showcase the resort's world-class restaurants. Now the internationally famous community boasts more than 20 Wine Spectator award-winning restaurants - the most of any resort community in the United States. This year, as many as 5,000 attendees and volunteers are expected to participate in the 16th annual Taste of Vail, with chefs from more than three dozen local restaurants and winemakers and/or owners of five dozen wineries from around the world participating.

For more information about the 16th annual Taste of Vail, or to buy tickets, visit or call 970-926-5665.

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