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"Top Chef" Kelly Liken to Headline Line-Up of Seminars During 21st Annual Taste of Vail

CREATED: 2011-03-21 04:57 PM

Vail, Colo. - March 21, 2011 - Local and national culinary experts headline the seminars for the 21st Annual Taste of Vail including Vail's own Kelly Liken of "Top Chef" fame and crowd-favorite Josh Wesson. Seminars include "Cooking with Liquor," "A Natural Match - Dow's Port & Cheese Pairing," a sparkling wine pairing, mixology seminar as well as "Is the Price Right?" a look at the economics of wine. Taste of Vail takes place April 7-9, 2011 at various venues throughout North America's most popular mountain resort. Seminar ticket prices begin at $35 per person.

The event kicks off on Thursday, April 7 with Taste of Vail on Snow, a ski event that allows festival goers time to ski and spend one-on-one time with local chefs and participating Taste of Vail vintners. Ski instructors will lead the groups on a three-hour morning tour of Vail Mountain from 9 a.m. to noon each day of the event - April 7, 8 and 9. The group meets at 9 a.m. in front of Arrabelle at Vail Square on the snow beach. Cost for the tour is $50 per person and does not include a lift ticket.

Vail's own Kelly Liken who recently competed on Season 7 of Bravo's "Top Chef" program will present "The Art of Cooking with Liquor" on Thursday, April 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Terra Bistro. Liken who is owner of restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, which features seasonal American cuisine, will present the art of cooking with Belvedere Vodka and Colorado Lamb. Tickets are $60 per person.

After the Colorado Lamb Cook-off and Apres Ski Tasting from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Vail Village, festival participants can adjourn to the Tap Room in Vail Village for Davidoff Cigars & Craft Distiller Liquors from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Cigar and liquor representatives will be on hand pairing the two renowned products. Tickets are $50 per person for the cigar event.

For the late night crowd, Frost Bar at The Sebastian Vail promises to be the place to be seen for "Get Your Frost Off" - an after dinner drink mixoff featuring Belvedere Vodka, Grand Marnier, Hennessy and 10 Cane Rum. Mixologists from various bars and restaurants in Vail will make their favorite drinks featuring these signature spirits. Pastry Chef Dale De Simone from The Sebastian will present a tray of amazing dessert options to accompany the various cocktail creations. Tickets for Get Your Frost Off are $40 per person.

Friday begins with another opportunity for festival participants to enjoy Taste of Vail on the Snow tours in the morning followed by the signature Mountaintop Picnic at noon. Wine lovers can learn to "Taste Like a Master Sommelier" after the picnic by attending the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail's blind tasting event from 4 to 5 p.m. Master Sommeliers Jay Fletcher, Doug Krenik and Sean Razee will be on hand to teach the secret art of blind tasting. This two-part seminar will demystify the components of six wines and show attendees how to use deductive reasoning to master the art of the blind tasting. The second part of the seminar will be a question and answer session, as well as an open discussion on how to navigate wine lists to maximize time and money. Tickets for the Sonnenalp Sommelier seminar are $40 per person.

Join Paul Mugnier of Dow's Port as he leads guests through a tasting of fine port paired with artisan cheeses on Friday, April 8 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Sapphire Restaurant and Oyster Bar. His seminar called, "A Natural Match - Dow's Port and Cheese" promises to educate guests on the art of pairing with ports. Be prepared to not only discover Mungier's pairing secrets but to hear fun serving suggesting and entertaining tips. Mungier is a 20- year-old veteran of the food and wine industry and honed his skills in cities know for their culinary excellence such as New Orleans and San Francisco. Mugnier currently is the vice president of sales and marketing for Premium Port Wines in San Francisco. Premium Port Wines' portfolio includes five Ports, three Madeiras and five Douro red table wins. Tickets are $35 per person.

After Saturday morning's Taste of Vail on the Snow, the event gets a little sparkle - sparkling wine that is. Chef Adam Votaw from Atwater on Gore Creek at the Vail Cascade has teamed up with vintners from Gloria Ferrer for pairing, sampling and discussion of the evolution of sparkling wine. "Bubbles and Bites" takes place from 11 a.m. to noon at Atwater on Gore Creek at the Vail Cascade. Tickets are $50 per person.

Josh Wesson returns once again to the Taste of Vail for "Is the Price Right?" on Saturday, April 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. at Sonnenalp Resort of Vail. His engaging seminars have entertained participants for years. This year's session will be a blind tasting of top-rated wines priced from $10 to $100. The goal will be to connect the right price with the right bottle of wine. Attendees may be surprised as the price quality may be deceiving. Tickets to Josh's popular seminar are $40 per person.

For more information on the Taste of Vail or this year's seminars, please visit www.tasteofvail.com for updated times, locations and tickets.

Taste of Vail is the nation's premier spring food and wine festival, held at several venues throughout North America's most popular mountain resort. In addition to the new seminars offered during the 21st Annual Taste of Vail, popular signature events will return such as the 7th Annual Colorado Lamb Cookoff and Apres Ski Tasting, Mountaintop Picnic at 10,350 foot above sea level on Vail Mountain and the Grand Tasting. Ticket can be purchased for $75 for unlimited all-you-can eat and drink lamb and wine. The Mountaintop Picnic is $125 with tickets for the Grand Tasting $175. The Festival Pass is $350 or attendees may purchase the all inclusive Festival Pass which includes all the seminars and dinner for $495.

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High resolution, downloadable images of the 2010 Taste of Vail event are available by visiting http://www.tasteofvail.com/gallery.php

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