Sip & Savor
Beaver Creek has long been a destination for those who like to be indulged. From the escalators that whisk skiers up to the slopes to the end-of-day chocolate cookies that are distributed to happily weary kids and adults alike, Beaver Creek is a fairytale setting for those wishing for a winter wonderland. And for those who want their wonderland even more luxurious? The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch awaits.
Nestled between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a vignette of easy elegance. The Bachelor Gulch Express is located just steps from the resort, zipping skiers and snowboarders to wide open glades and pristine tree runs. When the day is done, guests gather around the fire pit for cocktails and conversation, making plans for the evening; those plans should—if they do not already—include dining at Wyld.
Take a seat, get a little wild
In the mountains, it’s not unusual for decor to rely too heavily on antlers and dark, heavy furniture in an attempt to evoke an “authentic” feel. Walking into Wyld, the first impression is of a modern, airy forest: a contemporary take on rustic. Wood accents (like the walnut-top tables) bring warmth, along with the rich hues of butter yellow and persimmon. Expansive windows seem to bring the outside in; aspen-inspired artwork and black and white photos from John Fielder reinforce the feel.
But it’s the menu that truly brings the “wild” to the table. Executive Chef Jasper Schneider, who most recently oversaw culinary operations in Anguilla, B.W.I. of 13 dining outlets within CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and The Reef by CuisinArt, took the helm of Wyld in June 2018. Bringing a new twist on classic ingredients is committed to finding the best seasonal ingredients and making them the stars of the show.
Fresh, not fussed-over… and don’t forget the truffles
Partitioned into pleasant pairs like “Sea & Land,” “Grains & Things” and “Birds & Game” along with Today’s Farm, Table Snacks and Things to share, the menu highlights the bounty of Colorado’s flora and fauna along with some no-less attractive imports. Ingredients are sourced locally when possible. The Farm at Knapp Ranch, located just a few miles down the road in Edwards, provided a wide variety of vegetables during the summer; Schneider plans to continue utilizing the farm as much as possible in the winter, too.
The composed dishes illustrate the collaboration between Schneider and his chef de cuisine, Manual Gutierrez. There are Japanese influences, like the ahi tuna with yuzu, served in a sesame-miso cone with tobiko; alongside the confit Spanish octopus, resting on Romesco with olives and espelette.
“We’re using great seasonal ingredients in their prime and hey, if it turns out Japanese or turns out a little bit Midwest or whatever, we’re just going with it, which is great,” Schneider said.
Winter weather begs for comfort food and Schneider and his staff deliver. A classic carrot dish is elevated to a complex play of sweet and spicy: Roasted with lime and chiles, they retain their inherent sweetness yet are tempered by a fresh raita and are studded with fresh Fresno chile peppers.
“You look at the balance (of the dish) and when people taste the food you want them to say, ‘I didn’t expect that,’” Schneider said.
The steel-cut oats are a unique twist on a childhood favorite. Instead of sweet, this creamy concoction is savory, featuring mushroom dashi, a curry pumpkin puree, more mushrooms and parmesan: It’s possible to scrape the bowl and still be attempting to catalog each and every flavor.
Then there are the truffles. Perhaps the most indulgent earthy addition to almost any dish, truffles are de rigueur at Wyld. Along with a black truffle mac and cheese, the matzo ball soup is Schneider’s grandmother’s recipe, but “up level” with the addition of black truffles. The roasted squab terrine features foie gras and braised daikon and is accompanied by a black truffle jus. And if the listed options aren’t enough, be sure to inquire about a special that comes with—you guessed it—shaved truffles.
A journey to remember
It’s not often that a dining experience ticks all of the boxes, from start to finish. From the impeccable service to the consistently beautifully composed, incredibly delicious dishes that arrive at the table, this restaurant is worth making the journey.
“We’re doing something that nobody else is doing in the valley,” Schneider said. “And that, to me, is special and it’s exciting.”
Wyld at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
0130 Daybreak Ridge Rd.
Avon, CO 81620
The Rosewood (pictured above)
2 oz Woody Creek Colorado Gin
3/4 oz blueberry-rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
½ oz fresh lime juice
Splash of Source soda water
Blueberries and rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Pour gin, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds (or until shaker is frosty). Pour over ice in a collins glass. Splash with soda water for effervescence. Garnish with blueberries and a sprig of rosemary.
Blueberry-Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tbsp sugar
⅓ cup water
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary
Simmer blueberries, sugar, water and rosemary in a small heavy saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced, about 10 minutes. Pour into a very fine sieve and save solids, if desired. Chill syrup until cold.
Roasted Heirloom Carrots
(Makes 8 servings)
1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
½ English cucumber, peeled and cut in half
½ Serrano chili, cut in half with seeds
½ bunch cilantro, whole leaf
½ tbsp honey
1 cup mint leaves
fine sea salt to taste
½ tsp xanthan gum
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; season to taste.
Pickled Fresno Chile Peppers
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups sugar
½ tbsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp sea salt
½ bunch cilantro
1 lb Fresno chile peppers, thinly sliced
Put cider vinegar, sugar, salt and coriander seeds and cilantro in a saucepan and bring to boil. Let cool and pour over Fresno peppers. Season to taste.
2 lbs baby carrots
zest from 1 lime
micro cilantro for garnish or cilantro leaves
Peel baby heirloom carrots, season with sea salt. Grate the zest of one lime over the top of the carrots. Place in pan to roast with a jalapeno. Roast in 500-degree oven for 20 minutes, let cool to room temperature.
To serve, spoon raita on plate; arrange carrots on plate and add the pickled Fresno chile peppers and micro cilantro to garnish.
Katie Coakley is a freelance writer based in Denver covering travel, beer and outdoor adventure. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Whisky Advocate and Outside. She has a new appreciation for oatmeal after dining at Wyld.
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