August 23, 2010 (Telluride, CO) – Just under 300 guests attended One to One’s World Wine Tasting and Telluride Top Chef Competition on last Thursday evening at the Peaks Resort in Mountain Village, Colorado.
Along with sampling wine from 11 countries, and sampling appetizers from the new Palmyra menu, guests watched four famous Telluride chefs compete for the title of “Telluride’s Top Chef”. A panel of five judges rated the dishes based on taste, aesthetics, and creativity.
Emcee at the event and executive chef at the Peaks, Patrick Laguenes, said, “The judges took everything very seriously – they would leave the room to deliberate. “All of the rounds were extremely close. In fact, in two of the rounds, the winner won by just one point” Laguenes was the only person who knew what each of the proteins would be and at 8pm he announced the mystery protein for the first round: Halibut. In this first round, Eliza Gavin of 221 South Oak faced off and won against Erich Owen of The New Sheridan Chop House. In the second round, Chef Bud of Taste Bud’s Catering and Mark Regiannini of La Marmotte, cooked New York Tri Tip. The competitive spirit leaned toward camaraderie as chef’s slapped each other’s backs, between jovial teasing and lending and sharing each other’s ingredients and equipment.
The Judges favorite from this intense second round? Chef Bud’s creation of seared beef sirloin, steamed asparagus, and wild mushroom stroganoff with white truffle oil. Bud also prepared seared sirloin with parsnip foam, parsnip chips, and red wine jus roti. “I made everything from scratch and to order” Bud quips, “and I had the best sous chef (Brady Pitt) in the state. This was the perfect time of year to do this event with all the local produce. Brady picked our mushrooms in the high country that morning, the Palisade peaches and Moab tomatoes were ripe and the and Olathe sweet corn is cranking”
After a live auction featuring exotic trips and stunning jewelry, winning finalists Eliza and Bud competed in the Final Round for the title “2010 Telluride Top Chef”. Spectators drooled, the pots steamed, and the grill sizzled rack of lamb being turned into all different kinds of flavors and creations including a coffee coated lamb with chocolate berry sauce. After a long and deliberate process, the judges proclaimed Eliza Gavin of 221 South Oak as Telluride’s 2010 TOP CHEF.
Eliza was crowned with a bejeweled chef’s hat, and given a tall trophy. Of winning, Gavin says, “I feel lucky winning this event as my competitors are very talented individuals. I had a great time and can't wait for next year. I couldn't have won without (sous chef) Sue Govindsamy or my incredible team at 221. I have a fabulous staff at the restaurant and owe them more than I can express. Thank you!” Eliza is now featuring some of the dishes that won her the competition at her restaurant at 221 South Oak. She must return to the competition floor next year to defend her title as “Telluride’s Top Chef”!
All the participating chefs were tremendous sportsmen. Chef Erich Owen stayed until the very end, cheering on his friends. Chef Bud’s smile never left his face as he congratulated and hugged his competitors. Chef Mark said of the competition “it was great to help raise some money for One to One – I had a blast!”
Guests also were treated to live music performed by Rob Drabkin and Dave Preston. Guests bid on auction items and all the proceeds from the event will support One to One mentoring programs serving youth in San Miguel County.
One to One Board President Rick Fusting thanked The Peaks Resort and Spa, and the Peaks staff, for their generosity in hosting the event as well as their tremendous donation of time and effort. “We couldn’t have done this without you.” Fusting also thanked Republic National Distributing Company for the bountiful selection wine. “We are extremely lucky to have such generous sponsors. With the current economic times the non-profit donations and grants diminish quickly, as there is just not enough money to fund all the non-profits. We are no exception as we will not have nearly the amount of donations that we saw last year or the year prior. We needed an event like this badly and I thank you again for its success.”
One to One Executive Director Vivian Russell said, “One to One served 115 youth in the last year. As the organization grows, we are thankful to have community members come out in droves to support this first annual fundraising event. We are sorry we could not accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. Next year, be sure to secure your tickets early!” To see pictures and find out more information about the event, visit Telluride Top Chef & World Wine Tasting Event on Facebook. To find out more about One to One’s programs or to become a mentor, visit onetoonetelluride.org or call 970-807-0885.
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