What better way to kick off summer in the Gunnison valley  than with Crested Butte Restaurant Week? With over 80 restaurants in the immediate area we have everything a food connoisseur would look for. Using the calendar of culinary events below I’m sure you will be able to find that delicious culinary moment you have been hungry for. While you are here enjoying the great food we have to offer make sure you visit the Crested Butte Farmer’s Market and the Gunnison Farmer’s Market of which you will find the freshest produce and unique food items anywhere.
Corey Dwan
Benson Sotheby’s International Realty
970-596-3219 Cell
On Saturdays, the Gunnison Farmers’ Market takes place from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Virginia and Main Street (June 25 – Oct. 8) and Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center multi-purpose room (Oct. 15 – Nov. 5).  On Sundays, June 12 – Oct. 16 the Crested Butte Farmers’ Market is on Elk Avenue between First and Second Streets, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visit http://www.cbfarmersmarket.org/.
Schedule of Culinary Events
June 3 – 10                               Crested Butte Restaurant Week
June 12 – October 15                Crested Butte Farmers’ Market, Elk Avenue, Crested Butte (Sundays)
June 25 – November 5               Gunnison Farmers’ Market, Virginia & Main Street, Gunnison (Saturdays)
June 26 – September  11            Tour de Forks, Various Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley Locations
July 20 – 24                              Crested Butte Land Trust Wine & Food Festival, CB & Mt. CB
August 5 – 7                             Crested Butte Arts Festival Culinary Events, Crested Butte
August 29                                 Chefs on the Edge Competition, Crested Butte
September 10                           Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off, Mt. Crested Butte

Crested Butte Restaurant Week, June 3 – 10
The second annual Crested Butte Restaurant Week will provide culinary aficionados with great dining and lodging deals from June 3 – 10.  Diners and overnight guests in Crested Butte, situated at 8,885 feet above sea level, can revel and relax to their hearts’ content for the price of $88.85 for meals or lodging.  Participating restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for $88.85 for a party of four, or $22.21 per person.  Establishments that do not serve dinner will provide multi-course lunch promotions for $8.85.  Special lodging rates will be available starting at $88.85 per room, per night.  Prices do not include tax and gratuity. Participating businesses and menus will be posted at http://www.crestedbutterestaurantweek.com/.
Screening of the movie “FRESH” will be on June 9, 6 p.m. at Crested Butte Center for the Arts with proceeds benefiting the local foods advocacy group, Paradise Food Project.  Visit http://www.paradisefoodproject.org/.
10th Annual Tour de Forks, June 26 – September 11
Tour de Forks 2011 is ready to celebrate the summer and fall in style, running from June 26 – Sept. 11.  With locations ranging from beautiful mountain homes and stunning outdoor vistas, the gourmet dining series promises culinary delights and architectural summits.  Fifteen themed events will be prepared and delivered by local and visiting chefs in tandem with local hosts.  A few examples are a gourmet barbeque block party in Skyland, an intimate concert in the home of famed Aspen Crystal Palace owner Mead Metcalf, an exclusive guided hike at Lake Irwin and an elegant dinner with Jason Vernon at Grant Ranch.
Another favorite is Chefs on the Edge on Aug. 29 where three chefs from the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley square off on stage at Crested Butte Center for the Arts to decide who will win the 2011 title. Each event is individually priced and includes gourmet cuisine, fine wines and other beverages. Reservations are required.  Brochures and reservation forms will be available in late May at Crested Butte Center for the Arts or http://www.crestedbuttearts.org/ or call (970) 349-7487.
Crested Butte Land Trust Wine & Food Festival, July 20 – 24
The fourth annual Crested Butte Land Trust Wine & Food Festival will showcase wines from around the world and amazing cuisine.  The signature event is a Grand Tasting on July 23, 4 to 7 p.m., at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort ski area. The tasting will feature hundreds of wines and a selection of light appetizers.  Tickets cost $70 if pre-purchased or $80 the day of the event (ages 21 and over), with $15 tickets available for children and designated drivers.  Proceeds from the Grand Tasting benefit the Crested Butte Land Trust.
The Crested Butte Food & Wine Festival welcomes back the Celebrity Chef Tour benefiting the James Beard Foundation.  The evenings, hosted by Chef Eric Jaeger of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and feature multi-course dinners prepared by guest celebrity chefs at Uley’s Cabin, situated mid-mountain at the ski area. The Aug. 20 dinner will feature cuisine by Jesse Griffiths, chef/owner of Dai Due Supper Club in Austin, Texas, and Bravo Top Chef Carla Hall.  On Aug. 22, Alex Seidel, chef/owner of Fruition Restaurant in Denver, , Eric Skokan, chef/owner of Black Cat Farm Bistro in Boulder, and Matt Selby, chef/owner of Vesta Dipping Grill in Denver will be on hand.  The cost is $200 per person or $375 per couple.
Throughout the weekend, wine seminars will be hosted by sommeliers at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.  This year, a panel of top sommeliers has been assembled to determine the programming of the seminars with topics such as Red Wines of Summer, Old World vs. New World and a special reserve tasting.  Seminars will be held at 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.  Capacity and pricing vary.
New this year is Canvas & Cabernet on July 22 from 4 to 6 p.m.  Led by a professional instructor, this event allows guests to enjoy wine while painting their own work of art.  Held outdoors at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort under the Grand Tasting tent, there is no better backdrop for this artistic experience.  Price to be announced.  For more information, call (720) 375-5241 or visit http://www.crestedbuttewine.com/.
Crested Butte Arts Festival Culinary Events, August 5 – 7
The 39th annual Crested Butte Arts Festival will offer expanded culinary programming after a highly successful inaugural year. “Art of the Ride” will kick things off on Aug. 5 with a guided, two-hour mountain bike ride with Dave Wiens and Doug Bradbury followed by a bike maintenance clinic from Peak Sports and an Oskar Blues Brewery beer tasting.  The start time and price to be announced.
That evening, “Arts Extravaganza” will celebrate the visual, performing and culinary arts in an interactive and engaging format. Guest chefs Jason Rogers (Homemade Liquids & Solids), Tyler Wiard (Elway’s Cherry Creek), Brian Laird (Barolo Grill), Rachel Kesley (Watercourse Foods) and Vaughn Hobbs (Kimball/Viking) will create culinary works of art expertly paired with award-winning Darcie Kent wines.  Patrons will mingle, talk with the chefs and observe art in the making as select visual artists create on the spot.  Tickets cost $80.
The culinary arts will permeate the festival on Saturday and Sunday with free chef demonstrations and tastings inside the culinary demonstration tent featuring VIKING appliances and accessories. When the festival closes at 5 p.m. on Aug. 6, an “Art of the Cocktail” seminar will begin immediately inside the tent and feature the summer’s hottest cocktails (including samples!).  The cost is $25.
Wine lovers will want to head to the “Art of Pairing” seminar at Django’s in Mt. Crested Butte from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.  Join Chef/Owner Kate Ladoulis and Janet Hammer of The Wine Group as they teach participants how to expertly pair food and wine. Kate’s house-made charcuterie platter featuring a variety of cheeses and duck proscuitto will be the jumping off point for tasting and discussing the complexities of Concannon wines. The price is $40.
If an ice cold beer and a succulent slab of ribs is more your style, then “Art of Craft Beer & BBQ” is it!  Jason Rogers, executive chef at Longmont’s Homemade Liquids & Solids, will be serving up a mouthwatering barbeque dinner complete with all the fixin’s at Avalanche Bar & Grill in Mt. Crested Butte at 7 p.m.  On tap that evening will be several award-winning Oskar Blues Brews, including Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub and Dale’s Pale Ale. The cost is $45.
Visit http://www.crestedbutteartsfestival.com/ for a full schedule of culinary events and chef demonstrations and to purchase tickets.
Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off, September10
Get into the spirit of autumn with Mt. Crested Butte’s Annual Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off held on Sept. 10 at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) ski area.  Heat up by sampling great chili prepared by area cook-off contestants, cool off with beers poured by several microbreweries and savor live music all afternoon.  For admission costs and times, contact the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce at (800) 814-8893and visit http://www.cbchamber.com/.
Dinner Float Trip
Enjoy the area’s only dinner cruise, Rocky Mountain style!  Start out at Three Rivers Resort in Almont by 4 p.m. and enjoy a 10-mile scenic float trip on the Gunnison River to Garlic Mike’s Restaurant for a delicious Italian dinner. The cost is $58 per person and $35 for children ages 10 and under. You will receive the float trip, vehicle shuttle and a voucher for up to $25 per adult and $10 per child (age 10 and under) for Garlic Mike’s.  Anything above those amounts, including tip, is additional and payable at the restaurant. Garlic Mike will even throw in a special surprise at dinner!  The total time required is approximately three hours.  The trip is available seven nights a week with at least 24 hours notice and a minimum of four people.  To book, call Three Rivers Resort at (888) 761-3474.
Cooking Classes
Two of the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley’s most popular chefs offer cooking classes on a regular basis.  Mike Busse, proprietor of Garlic Mike’s Italian restaurant, hosts classes at Interiors with Oohs & Aahs’ demonstration kitchen in downtown Gunnison.  People also may gather their own group (minimum of 12) to book their own class.  To find out more, go to http://www.garlicmikes.com/ and call Char at Interiors with Oohs & Aahs, (970) 641-3935.
In downtown Crested Butte, Keely Murphy shows aspiring chefs how to make hearty soups, amazing chocolates, French and Italian cuisine and much more at her catering kitchen.  Arrangements Catering & Events offers a schedule of classes and custom classes for groups of eight people.  Call (970) 349-0956 or visit http://www.arrangementsandevents.com/.