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Third Decade of Taste of Vail Serves Up Changes for the Organization

CREATED: 2010-11-19 11:14 AM

Vail, Colo. - November 19, 2010 - After celebrating 20 years of food and wine in the Vail Valley, Taste of Vail is making some changes to usher in its third decade. The organization has infused new people and perspectives into its leadership, and the event is evolving to engage more of the restaurant and lodging community.

Angela Mueller has been hired as the new administrator for Taste of Vail. Mueller is known for her success in building the Vail Farmer's Market over the last four years. The Market has received national acclaim and is noted among the top farmer's markets in the country.

Vail Resort's Doug Wooldridge, the newest addition to the Taste of Vail Board of Directors, brings an energetic perspective to the 21-year-old event. Wooldridge has been with the ski company more than a decade in the food and beverage department and currently manages Two Elk Restaurant.

"I've seen, first hand, how Taste of Vail can generate excitement for the culinary scene in the Vail Valley," said Wooldridge. "I wanted to volunteer my time and ideas to see how I can work with the rest of the board to make this event even more successful in its third decade."

"We are excited about the new ideas and fresh perspective that both Angela and Doug bring to Taste of Vail as the event enters a new era," said Paul Ferzacca, Taste of Vail board member and owner of La Tour and Zacca Za! restaurants. "We have always welcomed new board members to our team and we were thrilled that Doug wanted to volunteer his time and resources."

As the Board of Directors looks to the future of Taste of Vail, they also are making tactical changes to strengthen community involvement in the event, which they believe will help drive more overnight visits to the community during the April 7-9 weekend.

One goal is to engage more restaurants and lodging partners and expand the community's presence in Taste of Vail beyond the signature events and seminars. Various hotels are becoming more involved through packaging and as host hotels for seminars or dinners that they offer. Taste of Vail is actively engaging more partners to get creative and truly make this a community-wide event.

Hotels or restaurants interested in getting more involved in the 2011 Taste of Vail are encouraged to contact Angela Mueller at (970) 926-5665. The board also welcomes additional community participation in Taste of Vail and suggests that anyone interested in giving of his or her time on the Board of Directors or as a volunteer, contact Mueller as well.

Pre-sale discounted tickets for the 2011 Taste of Vail already are on sale by visiting Early ticket prices are $100 for the Mountaintop Picnic and $125 for the Grand Tasting, which will sell for $125 and $175 respectively after Dec. 15, 2010. Additional tickets also are currently available on the Web site.

The 2011 Taste of Vail takes place April 7-9 and will feature more than 30 guest chefs, restaurateurs and sommeliers as well as more than 50 wineries. The event kicks off on April 7 at 3 p.m. with the 7th Annual Colorado Lamb Cook-off and Après Ski Tasting in the heart of Vail Village. Local chefs will showcase their finest lamb dishes to the public, while simultaneously competing for prizes in the cook-off. Guest vintners also will serve various wine varietals within the theme "Life Beyond Chardonnay & Cabernet."

The showcase event on Friday, April 8 is the Mountaintop Picnic from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Vail Mountain. Located at 10,350 feet above sea level in a hand-built snow arena, the setting for the Picnic is unlike any other food and wine event. Chefs from Vail's top restaurants will serve up a gourmet picnic, while guest wineries serve selections of their finest wines. Ticket holders can ski to the event or take the Eagle Bahn Gondola out of Lionshead to access the signature on-mountain picnic.

Taste of Vail wraps up on Saturday, April 9 with the Grand Tasting from 7 p.m. to midnight. The Grand Tasting is the culmination of the three-day event with chefs showcasing their most creative fare alongside wine partners who feature their best product. The event also includes live music and dancing into the evening.

Taste of Vail's popular food and wine seminars also return for the 21st Annual event, past favorites include Umami "Wine and Food in Balance," Aphrodisiac Foods, and Celebrity Death Cage Match Between Wine, Beer and Cheese. If the seminars and events don't fill the appetite, numerous restaurants throughout Vail will host winemaker dinners to pair signature dishes and specialty wines. A complete list of seminars and winemaker dinners along with times and pricing will be available in early 2011.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the 21st Annual Taste of Vail, please visit or call 970-926-5665.

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