Photos: Cooking at the Aspen Ideas Festival

  I was invited to cook the "Meal of a Lifetime" for the Booz Allen Hamilton dinner at the Aspen Ideas Festival, a solid week devoted to gathering some of the greatest minds across the world and listening to them discuss topics related to the economy, energy, citizenship, design, innovation and so much more. Fresh off my trip to Aspen for the Food & Wine Festival, I was happy to be back in town. Although I was only there for less than 24 hours, I was thrilled to meet the great people who came out to the dinner and share a little taste of Red Rooster in Colorado. Here's what we served:


Hors D'Oeuvres Colorado Lamb Kitfo with Berbere, Mint, and Ginger Deviled Eggs with Chicken Skin Mayo, Local Eggs and Chives Rooster BLT with Pork Belly, Local Tomatoes and Mustard Seed Mayo Shrimp Ceviche with Tomatillo, Lime and Cilantro

Starter Course Pickled Trout Garam masala roasted beets, local yogurt and crispy onion

Main Course Fried Yardbird Chicken liver butter, cornbread, mace gravy, collards and pickles Tomato and Watermelon Salad Fried Green Tomatoes

Dessert Fresh strawberries, Rhubarb broth, and Sour Lemon Yogurt Sorbet

Dessert showcased the fresh flavors of summer

My sous chefs Mark Gandara, Kazuo Shimamura and Akashia James got to Aspen early to accept deliveries from the amazing local purveyors and farmers in Colorado. Emphasizing our wish to always cook locally, we received amazing lamb for the tartare, the freshest veggies that were made into pickles and the richest yogurt for the trout starter. The best local good we sourced came from a butcher block maker right there in Aspen who custom made these beautiful boards for the fried chicken and collards we served family style.

Handmade butcher blocks from a local Aspen craftsman.

The 125 guests were made up of premiere journalists, politicians, authors and the ever cool Annie Lenox, who can do no wrong in my mind. And when Annie Lennox says she likes your food, it's really all you need to have a great night.

Thanks to the Aspen Institute for this opportunity and a very special thanks to the Colorado farmers and purveyors who helped make this dinner as delicious as it was memorable. Hats off to Boulder Natural Meats, Crystal River Meats, Noosa Yoghurt, Aspen Produce and Shamrock Foods.