We’re celebrating the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen with a dinner of our own. Whether you are joining the sold-out festival or want to enjoy the festivities outside of the Grand Tasting Pavilion, come celebrate Colorado’s agricultural community — and the event’s 40th year — at McCabe Ranch. We will provide shuttles from downtown Aspen to the verdant hillsides of this sprawling cattle ranch at the foot of the Elk Mountains. At the table, Chef Mattia Agazzi from Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Beverly Hills will delight us with his take on produce-driven Italian cuisine. Chef Mattia brings a resume of culinary excellence and a deep appreciation for Italian tradition to the Colorado Rockies, where he will be greeted with some of the region’s most exciting seasonal ingredients. We are lucky enough to set the table for his creations. Guests will be greeted with Napa Valley estate wines by John Anthony Vineyards, whose exclusive, single-varietal and single-vineyard wines will also be paired with the menu.
We’ve stopped in Montana only a few times over the years. Since everyone seems to be obsessed with Kevin Costner and Yellowstone lately, we thought we would revisit the state – and the work of many regenerative ranchers that were there long before the show arrived on the airwaves. Matt and Sarah Skoglund proudly run their bison ranch based on five pillars: sunshine, water, soil, grass and (of course) bison. They care for their livestock by caring for their land first: beautiful rolling grasslands on the Shields Valley at the feet of the picturesque North Bridger Mountains, right in the heart of Big Sky country. Have you ever pet a bison? Don’t do it here. We’ll get the pleasure of being entranced by their beauty, but it’s a strictly look-don’t-touch situation. Our guest chef, Eduardo Garcia, knows a thing or two about bison, and about cooking in a Big Sky kitchen. Through Montana Mex, he blends his love for his home state of Montana with Mexican flavors, encouraging everyone to play in the kitchen. He is an avid outdoorsman and a chef with a lifelong passion for food and connection, a perfect combination for anyone joining us out in the field.
This is among the most beautiful table sites on our tour—and that’s saying a lot. Here, Mead Ranch cattle range on impeccably green grass beneath the towering peaks of the Grand Tetons. Brad and Kate Mead run their ranch with a conservation ethic, and even went so far as to place their land under conservation easement in 2002, ensuring the pristine natural beauty will be preserved for generations to come. Chef Joe Boyles from The Kitchen will bring his Asian-influenced cuisine to the table for a memorable exploration of bold flavors and playful textures to match the beauty of this special site. Our crew is sure to head to nearby Jackson on their day off in the area, where the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar offers a chance to play a friendly game of pool or work on their dance steps to live country music.
When Nick Trainor was 18, he set a goal to have 500 head of cattle by the time he was 30. Over the past ten years, he has expanded his business to 26,000 acres on Lowry Ranch, in partnership with the Colorado State Land Board. Just 10 miles outside of Denver, he practices adaptive cattle grazing, which not only grows grass-fed beef, but restores and protects the ecological health of the landscape. We’ll dine at the long table nestled in the rugged terrain of one of the largest contiguous tracts of native prairie grass in the state. Kelly Whitaker and Taylor Stark will bring their James Beard-nominated celebration of Colorado’s wild and foraged to the plate with their signature seasonal cuisine that has made The Wolf’s Tailor a guest favorite year after year.
This 90,000-acre ranch is one of the largest stretches of shortgrass prairie left in the country—and there are plenty of stunning places to set the long table among their grazing bison and cattle. Siblings Tess Leach and Duke Phillips IV are currently at the helm of the organization, and will be hosting us for our first visit to their picturesque property with panoramic mountain views. Ian Dedrickson and Nora Dillon will be joining us in the field kitchen, bringing their own sense of innovation and creativity. At Ephemera, they feature local artists’ work alongside their ever-rotating tasting menu, which encourages multi-sensory interaction and experimentation. This is a seriously spectacular site and chef pairing, and one for the books.
The mission of Ranchlands is to conserve American ranching legacy and quality of life. Siblings Tess Leach and Duke Phillips IV have taken the reins of the family business, working across the American West to raise bison and cattle. Chico Basin is a special property outside of Colorado Springs, with huge swaths of shortgrass prairie and Front Range mountain vistas. It is not only home to much of the family’s cattle operation, but also their leather shop and educational programming for aspiring ranchers. Safe to say, Tess and Duke could use a break from their many pursuits, so we are happy to have them join us at the long table for a second night of panoramic views and excellent food. Our guest chef, Michael Diaz de Leon of BRUTØ, recently earned a spot on the James Beard semifinalist list for Best Chef: Mountain States for his Mexican-infused cuisine celebrating Colorado’s seasonal bounty. We know he’s going to impress us with his debut in the field kitchen.
Guest chef Kelly Whitaker is one of the most celebrated chefs in Colorado, with two James Beard awards under his belt and a spot on Bon Appetit’s Ten Best New Restaurants list in 2019. At The Wolf’s Tailor, he’s known for intricate and creative menus highlighting Colorado’s wild edibles and game. He also grows his own vegetables and herbs, mills local heritage grains for his bread, utilizes whole animal butchery, and practices an impressive low-waste culinary program. We are thrilled to have him back in the field kitchen at McArthur Gulch after a fantastic event last year. This 480-acre expanse of land protected by the Colorado Land Board Trust encompasses rolling grasslands, woodland, and wildlife including elk calving grounds and goshawk nesting areas. The view from the field kitchen doesn’t get much better than this. Same goes for the table. Guests audibly gasped last year when they saw the table revealed in a sweeping meadow of tall grass and wildflowers.
A second night at this majestic spot in the Colorado Rockies. Once again, we’ll dine in a vast meadow dotted with wildflowers and surrounded by rolling hills, woodland and wildlife beneath summer skies. Guest chef Caroline Glover cooked a fantastic feast for us at the Gulch last year—and we are thrilled to have her back! Her Aurora Restaurant Annette has made big waves in the Rocky Mountain food scene since it opened in 2016 and has earned her quite a few James Beard nominations. This year, she’s a finalist for the Best Chef: Mountain category! Her menu last year featured all sorts of glorious summer produce from area farms and freshwater fish caught in nearby mountain streams. We can’t wait to see what she cooks up this year.
Amber waves of grain! This family-farmed ranch in Idaho’s Wood River Valley is outrageously beautiful and our host farmers are extraordinarily passionate about what they do. Brett Stevenson and her brothers grow many different heirloom wheat varieties carefully chosen for nutritional quality, environmental sustainability and flavor. This is terroir-driven grain: you can taste the region’s hot sunny days, cool nights and spring-fed Silver Creek water. And their custom-made stone mill modeled after the French burr makes for some seriously delectable flour. Guest chef Jay Veregge will make good use of all that grain and flour in the field kitchen. At Warfield, he’s known for high-end pub fare and a deep commitment to the region’s agricultural community. That means lots of peak season produce and locally reared meat to go alongside Brett’s delicious grain.
Breathtaking views and delectable beef. We love dining at Mead Ranch. This historic property encompasses 1,500 acres of impeccably green grasslands and grazing cattle in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. The Mead family has been sustainably raising cattle here for more than a century, and guest chefs Nick Phillips and Joel Cox know just what to do with all their lovingly raised beef. Sweet Cheeks Meats specializes in whole animal butchery and barbecued meats — the perfect team for the job. After dinner, you’ll probably find the crew letting loose at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. In the morning, you’ll find us at Sweet Cheeks for a breakfast burrito.