Every Foodies Enchanted Dream!
Story and Photos by Christopher J Davies, except where noted.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of taking our annual foodie pilgrimage to the fabulous Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The resort is set on 3000 beautiful acres, with four award-wining championship golf courses (that will play host to the 2011 U.S Women's Open) , 593 guest rooms, 107 suites, gargantuan 185,000 square feet of meeting space, 6 tennis courts, a full service spa, 18 restaurants, café's and lounges.
Guest rooms are lavishly appointed and opulent. Ours was located in the original main building with a birds eye view of Cheyenne Mountain and the resort’s own Cheyenne Lake. Our bathroom was totally renovated with marble tile, modern glass enclosed shower and a large five-fixture bath.
Three of the Broadmoor restaurants are Mobil Star rated, In 2007, Penrose Room became the first Colorado restaurant to receive the AAA Five-Diamond Award. Both Charles Court and Summit are AAA Four-Diamond Winners. The Broadmoor's reputation for "raising the culinary bar" spans way beyond the Rocky Mountains. This allows them to attract culinary students from around the globe for their apprentice programs.
The Broadmoor's 7Th Annual "A Salute to Escoffier" honored legendary French Chef of Paris' Savoy and Ritz Hotels, Auguste Escoffier. Escoffier's most noted career achievements are revolutionizing and modernizing the menu, the art of cooking and the organization of the professional kitchen. He also developed a system that simplified the menu as it had been, writing the dishes down in the order in which they would be served (Service à la Russe).(Take note all you Top Chef wanabee's!) He also developed the first à la Carte menu. Many of these achievements are taken for granted today.
Photo (C) The Ritz, Paris
As a food writer, I have immense respect for Escoffier, as he was the author of numerous cooking books and articles over the years. His most famous book "Le Guide Culinaire: A Guide to Modern Cookery" by Auguste Escoffier is considered the "chef's bible" and original copies have auctioned on Ebay for thousands.
Over the years Escoffier received many awards and honors. The most famous was granted by Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II when he told Escoffier, “I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the emperor of chefs.”
DISHES INVENTED BY AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER
•Cuisses de Nymphe Aurore:
a dish of frogs legs created for the Prince of Wales
Named after the great Italian composer, Gioacchino Rossini
In his later years, Escoffier became a consultant to many resorts and cruise lines. One of his most infamous menus was a 10-course dinner created for the First Class Passengers on the RMS Titanic. The menu was served on it's ill fated final night. (At least they ate well!)
For Escoffier's Titanic Menu & Recipe's click here:
Today, there are several organizations dedicated to the memory and traditions of Escoffier, in a similar fashion as The James Beard Foundation honors it's namesake chef. The most famous, Les Dames d'Escoffier International, is an organization for women with careers in the food industry, made up of chapters in cities across North America. In 1977, the organization named Julia Child as their first recipient of their Grande Dame award. www.ldei.org
When asked about this event, the Broadmoor's Director of Food & Beverage, Craig Reed, remarked "A Salute to Escoffier was so honored to Georges Auguste Escoffier as we thought would be unique as he was considered the "king of chefs and chef of kings"---we also knew that we were uniquely able to host such a grand event because of the rich culinary talent we have at the Broadmoor. Be it our garde manager, sauce & roast department, butcher shop, pastry & bakery department, the culinary diversity of our many restaurants and their chef's. All of our chef's are lead by Executive Chef "Sigi" Eisenberger, only the 4th Executive Chef of the Broadmoor over it's 90 year history.
We also wanted the event to raise money for something we thought special, The Broadmoor Culinary Apprenticeship and The Colorado Restaurant Associations ProStart Program."
The Broadmoor's 7Th Annual "A Salute to Escoffier" took place over a unusually warm January weekend. On Friday evening, guests enjoyed a welcome reception that showcased International wines paired with culinary creations from The Broadmoor's celebrated restaurants. Wines were generously poured by representatives of Republic National Distributors,event sponsor and Colorado's largest distributor of wine.
After enjoying this feast, we moseyed over to the Broadmoor's newest restaurant Summit, which was designed by haute restaurant architect Adam Tihany. When you walk through Summit's doors it easy to be awestruck by the glass-enclosed 14-foot,rotating wine turret. French born Executive Chef Bertrand Bouquin greeted us before we were seated. I believe that his American Brasserie/French Bistro styled creations are on level with Thomas Keller's Bouchon, sans the touristy price tag. Chef Bouquin's version of Keller's "Mac and Cheese" was heaven! It's a rich but subtle combination of perfectly cooked noodles assembled with Lobster, Chanterelle, Bacon and Goat Cheese. We also loved the Colorado Lamb Chops with creamy polenta. Our neighboring guests ordered Summit's signature "Angry Trout" with Braised Swiss Chard, Lardons, Pine Nuts and Grenobloise sauce. Why is it called angry? The trout’s tail is inserted through its mouth just before it is fried. The final dish looks as if the trout is gritting it's teeth!
Place setting at Charles Court
Trio of Seafood at Charles Court Luncheon
On Saturday we enjoyed a cooking demonstration by Chef Bouquin as well as a fun wine paired Luncheon at Charles Court, showcasing wines from Sonoma Cutrer and Bonterra organic wines. Guests enjoyed a rare tasting of three Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay's, pairings were "spot on" with the Chef's Trio of Seafood Appetizers; Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Shrimp Fritters and Diver Scallops with Pear Risotto. Our second course was Colorado Buffalo Tenderloin in Blue Cheese Crust and Wagyu Shortribs, paired with Bonterra Syrah. For dessert, everyone loved the Colorado Artisan Cheeses(5) paired with Sonoma Cutrer Pinot Noir. This Luncheon was a steal at $45 per person.
In the afternoon, mixologist's from Summit demonstrated the "Art of the Cocktail”. Bartenders treated guests to samplings of Summit's signature cocktails "Sparkling Summit", "Woodford Smash" and Latin inspired "Cosmolito".
1.5 ounces Herradura Reposado
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce lime
1 ounce cranberry
Pour all ingredients into mixing glass and shake for about 15-20 seconds pour over rocks or into a martini glass.
Saturday evening's big event was the "Salute to Escoffier Grand Buffet" a six hour, free-flowing dining and entertainment extravaganza with a live auction benefiting The Broadmoor Culinary Apprenticeship Fund. The Grand Buffet would make Escoffier proud.
On Sunday, seasoned, well-rested Foodie's went medieval over The Broadmoor’s "Traditional" (I say colossal!) Sunday Brunch with a selection of more than 70 items. Thank god we managed to fit in time for the Broadmoor's spa and fitness center during our stay!
Mark your calendar...the dates for The Broadmoor's 8Th Annual " A Salute to Escoffier are February 5 to 7, 2010. Two night packages begin at approx $449 per person, based on double occupancy. (Limited to 250 guests).Call(800) 634-7711, ext 5775.
You do not have to wait until next year to "Salute Escoffier" and enjoy The Broadmoor's rich culinary offerings. For special celebrations, enhancing the Penrose Room’s romantic charm is a glass-enclosed 24-seat private dining room, affording guests a breathtaking mountain view.
Colorado's only 5 Star restaurant also offers special tasting menus.
Three course $62
Four course $72
Chef’s tasting menu $95, with wine parings $150
For additional information visit www.broadmoor.com or call (866)381-8432 or (719)577-5733
BONUS RECIPE FROM COOKING DEMO
Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Oyster and Caviar
14 oz Cauliflower
2/3 oz Butter
1 4/5 Cream
2 ea. Gelatin sheet
To taste Salt and white pepper
12 each Oyster
Caviar – for garnish
Dice cauliflower and put into a small pot. Add butter and water to barely cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered, until tender and most of the water has evaporated. Add cream and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. Blend to a fine purée, stir in pre-soaked gelatin and pass the cream to a fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the Panna Cotta into small dishes and allow to cool.
Open the oyster and remove them from shell.
Place the oyster on top of the Panna Cotta and decorate with caviar and dill.