The December holidays were a big success in the Vail Valley, with fresh powder, sunshine, and fun in abundance throughout the last few weeks. Vail becomes a magical place when lit by the thousands of sparkling lights and sparkling white snow in the backdrop, a perfect place to start the year with a clean slate! The fun continues into January with a cultural bent; events this month revolve around fine food and drink and the arts in four special upcoming January events. January is the perfect time to nest into a cozy Vail condo or luxury home and enjoy the month’s inspiring activities.
Starting this weekend, January 4 & 5, a very special exhibit of celebrity culinary talent is on hand at Matsuhisa. The eponymous restaurant’s founder, Nobu Matsuhisa, the culinary genius behind an empire of 10 incredibly successful, elevated Asian restaurants around the world. The Vail outpost of Matsuhisa opened in 2012 to rave reviews and bustling crowds and has not slowed down. Nobu Matsuhisa will partner with James Beard- winning chef Jose Andres for two nights of a special prix fixe dinner full of exotic, creative world flavors and Dom Perignon champagne. Reservations and more information are available on the Matshuhisa website or by calling 970-476-6628.
The focus turns to another kind of bubbly January 9- January 11, when the annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival. The festival brings together Professional Brewmasters, Homebrewers and beer connoisseurs for a 3-day study in the ages-old craft of brewing. The Big Beers Festival is revered as one of the most interesting beer festivals in the country, thanks to its vast international collection of beers, interesting format celebrating the craft beer movement, and the unique opportunity to earn Cicerone Certification whilst attending the festival. This will be the 14th installation of the event in the Vail Valley and will have a host of seminars, tastings, and pairings on tap for any style of brew aficionado. Many of the event’s components will be held at the Vail Cascade hotel, with a new Brewmaster’s dinner this year at the Lord Gore restaurant in Vail Village. Tickets for individual events or combined packages are still available; for more information please visit the official event website.
Beaver Creek has a turn in the culinary activity of this month on the weekend of January 23-26, when the 2014 Beaver Creek Food & Wine Festival returns for a wonderful combination of skiing, dining and sipping in late January. This is one of the premier ski town culinary festivals, presented by FOOD & WINE magazine, and is the winter adaptation of the magazine’s famous annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen in June. This 4-day celebration of winter, skiing, and culinary and vinous delights take place at various venues at the base of Beaver Creek mountain. The event is chock-full of creative, inventive events to tease your palate while giving you a taste of Beaver Creek and the Vail Valley’s wonderful outdoor adventures. Just a few of the many exciting foods and wine adventure in tap include a Snowshoe & Gourmet Lunch with Guest Chef Fabio Viviani; Apres Tiki (a Hawaiian-themed après-ski) with Guest Chef Tim Love; Ski-Eat-Ski with a gourmet lunch at Zach’s Cabin; and Sunday Funday! Celebrity Chef Ski Race and Brunch. In addition, a myriad of exciting seminars and intimate wine pairing dinners with celebrity, local and guest chefs will round out the schedule of this culinary weekend like no other. A full schedule of event and ticket information is available at beavercreek.com.
Also, this January, fine art cools off in Vail Village with the highly-anticipated Arches by Paul Wertin exhibition beginning January 17, 2014. Wertin wowed the landscape along the banks of Gore Creek last year with his first Triumph Winterfest presentation, AlpenGLOW. This year promises to be just as exciting, as Wertin will sculpt “large, undulating walls of ice that fade into arches” along the Gore Creek Promenade. The concept is a natural, interactive and environmentally appropriate seasonal art installation that can be appreciated and enjoyed by all ages. The installation will be on display January 17- February 16, 2014.