Eating with your eyes to help Ski Patrol |

Eating with your eyes to help Ski Patrol

Head chef of the Pullman restaurant, Chris Randall.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |


1st course: Impressionism

Tuna dynamite, miso crema, chorizo oil, sprouts

Italian fog: Valori Trebbiano, wheelers gin, beet ice, soda

Artist: Emilee Phelan

2nd course: Realism

Cauliflower and sunchoke bisque, roasted pepper coulis

Roses and bubbly: rose petals, rosemary, rosewater and bubbly

Artist: Ian Clark

3rd course: Surrealism

Pork meatball, red chard, cream, fried pasta cone

Gin elderflower, cranberry puree, sage foam, spiced rum

4th course: Cubism

Red clay red salt crusted striped marlin, radish puree, Campari pomegranate syrup

Grilled red onion, onion pine ash, olive oil powder

Black garlic scotch, Campari, cranberry, pomegranate, Jamaica, almond

Artist: Chad Stieg

5th course: Expressionism

Rabbit pot pie: milk braised rabbit, crust, root veg, red sauce, cotton candy tail

Barrel aged blended liquor (whiskey, rum, cognac), coconut milk eggnog

Artist: Corie Ducombs

6th course: Abstract

Salted rosemary brioche, strawberry lemon preserve, pistachio milk crumb

White chocolate shapes, vanilla cream

Woody Creek vodka, Aperol, blood orange, Lambrusco

Artist: Josh Oakley

Pullman Chef Chris Randall says the first thing we eat with is our eyes. It makes sense, then, to create an event around the pairing of visual art with food.

The Pullman is hosting a Red & White dinner to benefit the Volunteer Ski Patrol at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27. The six-course meal bases each course on an artistic genre — impressionism, surrealism, etc. — and pairs a piece of visual art with the courses.

The artists are all connected to the Pullman as past and present members of its team, and their artwork will be on display as part of a silent auction benefiting the Ski Patrol.

It costs $57.63 per person to attend, and while the event is already sold out, Randall encourages interested parties to call 970-230-9234 and add their name to the wait list.

The idea for the Red & White dinner came from Randall, who was an artist before he was a chef.

Randall said he attended art school but had a little too much fun and dropped out. He eventually found a creative outlet that turned into a career.

“I get to create artwork through food,” he said.

He and various other past and present team members at the Pullman have backgrounds in art, so he thought pairing the visual arts with food would not only make for a successful event, but it would also push him and his team to come up with creative, inspired dishes.

“We get to push our limits to come up with something beautiful that also tastes good and elicits an emotion,” Randall said. “Art doesn’t just appeal visually. When you think of visual art, it brings up a feeling and memories. With this dinner, we get to push the envelope a little bit.”

Randall said the courses for the evening correspond with artistic genres on a few levels. First, they considered the region from which the genre arose.

“If it’s surrealism, it has a Spanish/French twist,” he said.

The surrealism dish — pork meatball, red chard, cream, fried pasta cone — also looks surreal. The plate is structured to look like a melted ice cream cone, inspired by Salvador Dalí’s melted clocks in his famous painting “The Persistence of Memory.” It also relates to surrealism in that it’s a savory dish structured to look like a sweet ice cream cone.

Chad Stieg, who manages Mark Fischer’s restaurants from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs and who has been with the Pullman for five years, will be painting live in a cubist style.

“Cubism is traditionally Picasso’s style he’s been famous for,” Stieg said. “I wouldn’t say I work in a traditional cubist style, but it does fit into that in a related way.”

Stieg decided to paint live after a discussion with Randall about how to make the event as entertaining as possible for patrons.

“We said, ‘What would we want to see if we walked into a restaurant? What would make us want to buy a ticket?’” Stieg said.

The ideas they came up with seemed to work, as the event sold out two weeks out. Stieg said the Pullman’s events usually sell out, but rarely do they sell out that far in advance. He said the pairing of art and food clearly works, and he’d like to see more of these collaborations among artists of different mediums.

“Food is just like paint; you just can’t eat paint and feel as good as after you eat food,” Stieg said with a laugh. “But put passion into anything, and it turns into art.”

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