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Bringing a restaurant home

Photo by Mark Hatch
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado While you probably miss Dlice of Aspen for its buttery pastries, succulent soups and such, Walter Huber mourns something else.Oh, I miss people, he said, in his thick Swiss-German accent.Quite jovial, he joked, I was able to sit down with everybody and keep them captive to listen to me. Yeah, that was a wonderful time.It was one stretched over 50 years. Begun in Aspen in 1957, his bakery and restaurant spent 22 years upvalley and another 28 in Glenwood Springs. Even into his 80s, Huber was always there, dutifully, until the place closed its doors in 2007. As he remember it, it was the kind of place that attracted loyal locals and celebrities alike. When he was in Aspen, he served people like Robert Wagner and Tyrone Powers.Food with that much draw cant just die can it?Not if Hubers daughter, Cynthia Vodopich, has anything to say about it.

As the author of the new, spiral-bound Dlice of Aspen in Glenwood Springs Recipe & Scrapbook, shes spent the past two years compiling old recipes, pictures and stories from the eatery. The result is more than 150 pages of everything youve ever wanted to know about Dlice, plus a recipe for each thing it served when it shut its doors. She even tells readers how to make the places signature mayonnaise, jams and jellies.Basically, I didnt want those recipes to disappear, she said. With good reason. Dlice did things differently than almost everybody else around. Everything was fresh, with no artificial anything ever added, she explained. They werent about being chic. They werent about being health-conscious. In their European-inspired pastries, they used real butter and real cream and loads of both. That, she thinks, is a lost art.They made fresh soups everyday, too, had daily specials to boot. There was nothing quick or easy about how they prepared meals. Perhaps thats why they were so beloved.It was the same faces over and over again, Vodopich said, of her customers. It was the local hangout. It really was.This book is her way of honoring that. Despite her caring about the place, writing it wasnt an easy road, though. Since shed been working at the restaurant in one capacity or another for as long as she could remember, she knew all the recipes by heart. Still, she had only ever learned how to make the dishes in huge batches, and shrinking them down into manageable sizes proved to be quite a task. In the midst of all that experimentation, she tracked down old pictures and wrote little histories about the recipes. Add to that the proofreading, printing and binding, (almost all of which she was intimately involved with) and there are a few reasons why she describes the experience as a mad scramble.She sounded tired and happy it was all done, but some satisfaction and pride did sneak into her voice, as well. I really miss the restaurant, she said, at one point.Like Huber, however, she doesnt miss the work. Thats what made Dlice so special and, ultimately, led to its end. Never cutting corners and never going the easy route does take a lot out of a person, you know.As Huber said, over and over, It was quite a job.Now its time for Dlice customers to carry that tradition forward but in their own kitchens.Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111ssieg@postindependent.com


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