When you get an invitation like this you have to accept: “Join us for a night climb and ski of Buttermilk ski area, with dinner at the warming hut catered by renowned chef/owner Mark Fischer of restaurant Six89 and Phat Thai…”
Six89 is one of the best restaurants in Colorado, if not North America (Phat Thai is no slouch either). That’s no exaggeration. The place (here in Carbondale, Colorado) has received heaps of accolades including coverage in everything from Gourmet Magazine to Skiing Magazine. Every time we eat there we’re stunned. On top of that, chef Fisher is a backcountry skier so what’s not to love!
|I spotted these two attractive females on the way up (we started at dusk). After exchanging phone numbers I realized they were already taken and just wanted to call me for fourteener route beta. Even so, I figured I might be able to get a date from the one on the left.|
|Once at the warming hut Mark laid out the prelim. He cooked like a champ using a Brunton propane cooktop they’d hauled up there earlier (that thing looks like the ultimate car camping stove). This trip was part of an Aspen area media junket that was being run for a group of ski writers. The group had hiked and skied Highland Bowl that day but they didn’t attack the food like I thought they would. Turned out they’d gorged on raclette cheese for lunch up at Cloud Nine restaurant at Highlands. I’m glad I wasn’t there, as after a gut bomb like that I probably couldn’t have skinned up the ski area, let alone eaten anything. As it were, my appetite was totally adequate.|
|Fisher exposits the menu.
)ANTIPASTI BRAESOLA, PROSCUITTO, CHICKEN LIVER PATE, OLIVES, ALMONDS, AGED RICOTTA, BREAD
)FRESH SPRING ROLLS OF CRISP TOFU WITH SWEET CHILE SAUCE
)HEFE STEAMED BLACK MUSSELS WITH SAUSAGE, ROASTED GARLIC & TOMATO
)CRISP GNOCCI SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS & SHROOMS
|The media guys were touting these cool folding chopsticks that Brunton makes (shown here grabbing a “fresh spring roll of crisp tofu with sweet chile sauce”). I used a pair of the sticks and they work well. Very cool. Perhaps bordering on hip? You keep them in your wallet and whip out when a utensil is required.
I like eating with chopsticks. It somehow makes the dining more focused and elegant than shoveling food with a fork and spoon. The sticks brought back fond memories of an Outward Bound course I worked years ago, with only chopsticks and a Swiss army knife for utensils. Why? I had this vision of myself as some kind of mountain monk climbing ascetic and the sticks seemed to complete the picture. But after the course and back at basecamp, the 6-pack I consumed in one sitting blew my cover. Even so I did keep using the sticks — and folding ones would have come in handy.