Taste of Vail takes over the town this week, but a handful of events that aren’t technically part of the culinary festival are getting plenty of interest, especially from the large Mexican visitor contingent who are in town over the Mexican holiday, Semana Santa. The Sebastian in Vail is hosting a slew of Mexican themed events for its “Taste of Mexico,” which Flynt Payne, director of food and beverage at The Sebastian, said they hope to include in next year’s Taste of Vail festival.
Five chefs from different regions in Mexico are in town for the events, which kick off tonight at 6 p.m. and go through Saturday. In addition, Block 16, the restaurant inside the hotel, is participating in Taste of Vail’s Lamb Cook Off on Thursday and the Grand Tasting on Saturday. In other words, Executive Chef Sergio Howland is busy. Really, really busy. But that’s OK, he said, he’ll sleep after the mountain closes.
The visitings chefs are all from different regions in Mexico.
“Each chef will cook according to their specific region and there will be authentic Mexican cuisine all week,” Howland said.
Not only are the guest chefs here for Taste of Mexico, which the hotel partnered with the Mexican consulate in Denver to host, but around eight wineries and three sommeliers are taking part in the events, Howland said.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, a kitchen will be set up in the hotel’s ballroom and the visiting chefs will lead cooking demonstrations and the visiting sommeliers and winemakers will host wine seminars.
Taste of Mexico schedule
• Opening Night: Wineries & Chefs, 6 to 9 p.m.; $95 per person, includes wines and hors d’oeuvres.
• Cooking Demonstration with Chef Paola Garduño and Chef Roberto Solis, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,; $50 per person, includes tasting of demo dish. Interactive cooking demo. Recipes include ceviche, tamales, pipian and more.
• Mexican Wine Seminar with Humberto Falcón and Bernabé de Luna, 2 to 3:30 p.m.; $50 per person, informative wine seminar explores the best wines of Mexico. Panelists will be moderated by Thamin Saleh, Block 16 wine director.
• Block 16 Vintner Dinner Series: A Taste of Mexico; $105 per person, includes five-course tasting menu with wine pairings.
• Cooking Demonstration with Chefs Solange and Benito Molina, “Tequila, Mescal & Beer — Oh My!” 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., $50 per person, includes tasting of demo dish.
• Mexican Spirits Seminar with DeLeón Tequila, 2 to 3:30 p.m., $50 per person. Taste premium tequila while learning new recipes for exciting cocktails designed by the mixologist team at DeLeón Tequila.
• Cooking Demonstration with Chef Guillermo Gonzalez Beristáin, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., $50 per person
includes tasting of demo dish. Learn to make traditional Mexican recipes with contemporary style.
• Mexican Wine Seminar with Humberto Falcón and Bernabé de Luna, 2 to 3:30 p.m., $50 per person. Panelists will be moderated by Thamin Saleh, Block 16 Wine Director.
• Block 16 Vintner Dinner Series: A Taste of Mexico, $105 per person, includes five-course tasting menu with wine pairings.
Call 970-331-0015 to purchase tickets for the culinary demonstrations and wine seminars.