Last weekend, the Broadmoor resort hosted its 11th annual Salute to Escoffier a weekend-long celebration of food and wine at the luxurious property in Colorado Springs. The event, meant to honor Auguste Escoffier, the father of French Cuisine" Auguste Escoffier brought a welcome reception on Friday evening featuring two dishes from each of the Broadmoor's restaurants, a cooking demonstration and a cocktail-making demonstration Saturday during the day, and a grandiose, lavish, and spectacular buffet on Saturday night. Eater attended the Saturday night event and brought back some photos and observations to get you excited to attend the event next year.
Over 400 guests attended the event, most of them dolled up in tuxedos, sparkly dresses, fancy jewelry, and high heels.
The event opened with a caviar and champagne reception where there was no holding back: cans upon cans of black and red caviar were opened and paired with both champagne and several cocktails and vodka drinks.
Chef Bertrand Bouquin, who took over as executive chef at the Broadmoor last April, confided that he was exhausted by the end of the night, but he was very pleased with the results.
There was live music both at the reception and inside during the dinner, provided by Ken Miller and Lila Mori and, while at times the cover songs were reminiscent of a wedding party, the guests indulged in dancing until the very end of the festivities.
Kim Stewart, food editor at Denver Life Magazine, shared stories of her days as a Pan Am flight attendant and toasted her husband's birthday during the dinner.
The selection of food was overwhelming: stations lined the perimeter of the giant room and brought everything from a vast salad and vegetable selection, a soup bar, a spectacular seafood table, a meat-carving as well as a cured meats station, and lastly an extensive poultry selection. Traditional and French dishes dominated the offerings, including those dessert finale where chefs made Cherries Jubilee, Banana Foster, and Baked Alaska to order.
A pro, Bryce Crawford, a reporter from the Colorado Springs Independent, bee-lined for the seafood station where only minutes later the line was growing rapidly. Crawford went back for more oysters, which he declared his favorite item of the evening.
Author N.M. Kelby, a special guest of the event, introduced her book, White Truffles in Winter, which details the influence Escoffier's technique and French fare had on the culinary world. The reading during the dinner was a true culinary version of Fifty Shades of Grey complete with strong sexual innuendoes.
To end the night, a fromage reception room was unveiled where a wide array of cheeses and all sorts of accoutrements plus an impressive selection of breads were featured. And there was wine, lots of wine throughout the night.
Among the best dressed couples, photographer Chad Chisholm and his date John Tobey, an event designer, stood out.
A lot of the cooking for this massive feast was accomplished with help from culinary students whose educational program, Culinary Apprenticeship Program at the Broadmoor, was benefitted by the event.