Aspen Snowmass | Michelin-Starred Culinary Greats at the 2018 Guest Chef Series
Back by popular demand for the third consecutive year, The Guest Chef Series at The Little Nell brings talented chefs from international backgrounds to Aspen to take over the element 47 kitchen for one night only.
Each offers a unique dining experience for guests and an opportunity for The Nell’s culinary team to work under them, preparing their style of cuisine. Guests who purchase tickets for all three dinners up front will be invited to an exclusive Chef Meet & Greet bubbles and canape reception prior to each dinner in element 47’s legendary cellar. Not surprisingly, all of these guest chefs not only love to cook, but they also have profound affections for skiing and look forward to spending time in the kitchen, as well as on Aspen’s fabled slopes.
The first chef in the series was Thomas Troisgros, of Rio de Janeiro’s Olympe, a one Michelin-starred restaurant, also named one of the “Top 100 World’s Best Restaurants” and 17th on “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.” He’s creating a six-course dinner with cuisine described as “a perfect balance between French elegance and Brazilian soul.” Thomas is a fourth generation chef in the Troisgros family, a revolutionary name in contemporary gastronomy from France to Brazil. When he was just ten years old, he spent a season in France with his grandfather, Pierre. During his formation in renowned restaurants, he learned the importance of scents and texture of fresh ingredients.
This would be Troisgros’ seventh straight year returning to Aspen, noting. “What I love about Aspen is skiing and how easy it is to get to the slopes, the atmosphere the town has, the friendliness of the locals and especially the food scene. What amazes me about The Little Nell is its high-end cuisine with the best local products Colorado can offer used with extreme expertise by the culinary team. Another fun fact is that Carlton (McCoy, wine director at The Little Nell) and I went to the Culinary Institute of America during the same time. I’ve made great friends at The Little Nell and it excites me to come back and be able to see them once more!” He’s bringing Brazilian ingredients such as Acai Berry and Brazilian coffee. The menu will consist mostly of the new menu he’s currently serving at Olympe. “One could say I’m bringing Olympe’s culinary experience to the Nell!” he adds.
Friday, March 2 – Chefs Jean-Georges and Cedric Vongerichten, France
World-renowned Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his son, Cedric, are arriving for their debut collaboration in Aspen. Jean-Georges operates a myriad of four- and five-star restaurants worldwide, and has published several cookbooks reflecting his influential style of cooking. Following in his father’s footsteps, Cedric helms the kitchen at Perry Street in New York City, creating dishes that reflect his own keen instinct for balancing flavour and texture with an exquisite blend of French, American, and Asian influences and ingredients. Both father and son have been to Aspen before and “always have a wonderful time skiing and spending time with friends around delicious food and wine,” said Cedric.
“I remember skiing in Aspen at the age of 9 years old, and I am now happy to bring my two kids to ski with them!” Cedric knows element 47 Chef de Cuisine Patrick Dunn from Perry Street, as well as Carlton McCoy as they graduated together from the CIA. The Vongerichtens look forward “to cooking and giving a little taste of New York to Aspen, and, of course, to meet and cook again with Patrick and his culinary team.” While they’re still in discussion about the menu, Cedric assures us it will be “a ‘best of’ Jean-Georges and Perry Street.”
Thursday, March 22 – Chef Håkan Thörnström, Sweden
Chef Håkan Thörnström opened his Michelin-starred restaurant, Thörnströms Kök, in Gothenberg, Sweden, in 1997. He has since become a leading figure in the renaissance of Swedish cuisine and returns to The Nell with a seafood-driven menu featuring Nordic cuisine. Like Troisgros, this is Thörnström’s seventh visit to Aspen. His wife, Anne, lived here 25 years ago for a couple of years and developed a fondness for the area. For his menu, Thörnström will focus on the Nordic/Scandinavian cooking methods (pickled, marinated, smoked and fermented cuisine) and will serve slices of ”gravlax” (marinated salmon with dill and mustard). The menu will be complete with meat, veggies and seafood.
“We will also serve our own recipe of warm herbal spiced red wine during the dinner,” he added.
Thörnström looks forward to ”a sold-out restaurant, long and happy prep hours in the kitchen together with Chef Matt Zubrod and his team, interacting with the sommeliers, waiters and the rest of the staff in the restaurant and hotel. It´s a privilege to spend time both as a guest and as a part of the team at The Little Nell. I almost cry every time when I leave Aspen. At take off at the airport I start to long to come back to this magical place. The Little Nell is like the jewel in the crown of Aspen. A fantastic hotel with the best staff and accommodations.”