Featured among the Wine Festival’s special events this year are three lunches, each prepared by one of Telluride’s culinary stars in coordination with a visiting chef and hosted by wine experts.
“We are excited to put the Wine Festival back in the seats of our local restaurants,” said Megan Dougherty, wine coordinator for the Telluride Wine Festival. “This year we are enthused to be uniting with our local culinary heroes!”
Executive Chef Bob Scherner is the head chef and general manager at Allred’s, located at the top of the Gondola with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valley below. A Telluride resident since 1991, Scherner has received accolades from Gourmet, Food and Wine, USA Today, Denver Rocky Mountain News, and numerous international magazines.
Scherner’s cuisine has been described as internationally influenced regional American. Asian simplicity and Mediterranean zest intertwine with classically prepared foods. Simple, creative combinations with an emphasis on quality ingredients and impeccable preparation have become his trademark.
Scherner developed a passion for restaurants at the age of 15 and became enamored with the fast-paced “organized chaos.” He went on to graduate from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore.
“Culinary schools give you a great start, but the real knowledge and skills come from working with established chefs and gaining hands-on experience,” said Scherner.
His hands on experience came from working as sous chef with Charlie Trotter in Chicago. At this highly regarded establishment, Scherner witnessed a cross-section of the top culinary talent, such as Emeril Lagasse, Thomas Keller, Norman Van Aken, David Bouley, and Nobu Matsuhisa.
Scherner will partner with chef Franco Maddalozzo, from AQUA in Cancun, Mexico, for a lunch on Friday, June 27, 11 a.m-1:30 p.m. Accompanying the meal, appropriately, will be a focus on high altitude wines. Master Sommelier hosts will be Steve Olson, who is also the festival’s Master of Ceremonies, and Jesse Becker, from Frasca in Boulder.
Keeping Fusion Food Simple
Chad Scothorn is executive chef and owner of Telluride’s Cosmopolitan restaurant, located inside the Hotel Columbia, and its recently opened counterpart in Durango. Scothorn is known for providing generous portions and using outstanding ingredients. His menu exhibits diverse cuisines, including French, Southwestern, American, and Thai. Though the overall approach is “fusion,” you'll never find crossed cultures on one plate.
Scothorn brought his culinary vision to Telluride in 1996 with 22 years experience as executive chef of restaurants in Beaver Creek, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, and Las Lenas, Argentina.
Scothorn has received national attention for his innovative American cuisine. Food critics from The New York Times, Nation’s Restaurant News, Snow Country, Esquire, Bon Appetit, Connoisseur, and Town & Country have praised his creative, fresh approach to food preparation. In 2002, Scothorn was honored to appear at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, and another James Beard Foundation performance in Aspen.
Scothorn has a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Oklahoma State University and an associate’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America. He has continued his education in the culinary arts at the intensive cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America in Sicily, and in classes for bread making and advanced pastries at the internationally recognized Ecole Lenotre, near Paris.
Schothorn will partner with Paul Bartolotta from the Wynn Las Vegas on Saturday, June 28, for a lunch event. Michael Weiss, a wine educator at CIA, and Master Sommelier Robert Bath, from Napa, will host.
The Cosmopolitan is located at 300 West San Juan, just steps from the Gondola.
Street Food Reborn
Whenever traveling, Honga Im Hopgood enjoys learning about the food behind a culture. Her enthusiasm has been the ticket to visiting five-star kitchens in Thailand and stepping behind food carts on the streets of Bangkok and Vietnam.
Hopgood has successfully combined her two passions – mountains and cooking – in her restaurant, Honga’s Lotus Petal, which grew out of a foodcart opened on Telluride’s main street in 1987. In the 16 years since her restaurant’s inception in Telluride, it has evolved into a popular, thriving establishment, loved by locals and glowingly touted by the New York Times, In-Style, 5280, Ski, and other national and Colorado publications.
Adding to Hopgood’s accolades are rave reviews for a recently published book of her restaurant’s most popular recipes, titled Honga’s Lotus Petal: Pan-Asian Cuisine. With vivid photographs and intuitive step-by-step instructions, the book has earned a fan base as loyal as her restaurant’s.
Honga's Lotus Petal defines creative with a menu that honors Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and even dips down to Polynesia. From the tofu to the fish dishes to exquisite sauces, the book includes recipes for soups, salads, appetizers, main dishes, sushi, drinks, desserts, and more.
Hopgood will partner with Mark Tarbell, from Tarbell’s Restaurant in Pheonix, on Saturday, June 28. Master Sommeliers Laura Depasquale and Doug Frost, who is also a Master of Wine, will host, with a focus on sushi wines.
Honga’s Lotus Petal is located at 135 E. Colorado Ave.
More information on the 2008 Telluride Wine Festival, including a complete schedule of events, can be found at www.telluridewinefestival.com. Tickets for individual events or the whole festival can be purchased at www.tellurideticket.com.