Vail Valley Cooking Camps and Classes for Kids and Teens

School’s out for summer!! Well, not quite yet but it’s never too early to start planning activities for your Vail Valley child or teen so they stay out of trouble and engaged in healthy activities. Season to Taste is on a mission to help kids and teens get excited about food and cooking!  Chef Ally developed a love of cooking and learning about food at a young age and wants to share that joy with today’s budding chefs.  Not only is cooking a fantastic sensory activity, but they will be cooking and eating food forever and Season to Taste wants to encourage kids and teens to enjoy it. The hope is that your budding chef will not only walk away with an expanded palate and fundamental kitchen skills but, also, the overwhelming significance of how food brings people together. The kitchen table is where stories are told, memories are made, laughs are had and tears are cried.  And, after all, don’t we always end up in the kitchen at a gathering?!

Season to Taste offers one-time cooking classes for kids or teens, such as a birthday party, like this recent 7-year old cooking class birthday party.  Chef Ally went to the home of the birthday girl and taught the girls fundamental skills such as how to properly hold a knife all the way to making fruit kabobs, sliders and sweet potato fries complete with homemade dipping sauce for their fries.

If you’re looking for something more hands-on or long-term, consider a focused fundamental classic techniques class for your child or teen. Chef Ally can come to your home or open up her own Eagle, CO home for your budding chef.  Season to Taste offers different classes geared to the right age group throughout the summer in her home. The next round of summer cooking camps and day classes in the chef’s home are opening in early June once school is out! The schedule will be out soon. Drop us a note if you’d like to stay informed of the upcoming schedule.

To learn more visit www.seasontotasteco.com or reach out to Chef Ally by email: ally@seasontotasteco.com or phone: (303) 523-5539

We can’t wait to see your Vail Valley budding chef in the kitchen soon!

Farm to Table in the Bahamas

Hands down, the absolute best day I had during this chef trip to the Bahamas almost didn’t happen (well, part of it).  The yacht owner has some friends who live on a, mostly private, island.  Since we were anchored right near their beach, he wanted us (the crew) to go spend some time there.  As I was responsible for preparing dinner for them and others that evening, and he really wanted to impress them, I felt a little pressed for time and almost chose not to venture over to their island. However, he was adamant about all of us crew going over to the island to meet his friends and see their land and home.  Since this man had hired me, I felt I should go knowing I could always get back to the yacht via the 30-some foot tender.  Boy am I glad I did!  Check out that beach!  And, those hammocks under the shade right in the water! They built a home over 7 years, some of which is still a work in progress.  Before they could build they had to clear out very thick, dense trees. You can see their home peeking through some of those trees here right behind their private boat dock.  When we pulled up in the tender we were greeted by two beautiful and very hard-working humans. A retired yacht captain and yacht crew member have now turned their “retirement” into a full-time garden tending, solar-power generating, chicken parent caring, beehive keeping, among many other things life.  Their “garden” spanned most of their land.  Their trees were planted with purpose – to bear fruit, vegetables, even spices such as this allspice tree. They kept their own bees to make honey.  They had hydroponics, the beginning of an aquaponics system, and everything in between.  These folks must be up at the crack of dawn and hit the bed at dusk!  They made my day when they let me choose anything I would use the next few days and then just started loading me up.  Check out my bounty (just part of it!)  

This place was heaven on Earth!  Look at those massive collard greens – I’d never seen anything like it! They even had a chocolate pudding fruit tree-never heard of those and they weren’t ripe enough to try but looked beautiful! Almost like a green persimmon.

Below are some more shots, which only show a fraction of what they tended to on a daily basis:

It was breathtaking! I was honored to take some of these gorgeous fruits, veggies and herbs back to the yacht to prepare for the owner and guests.

As you would suspect, it takes a lot of energy to care for what this couple has on their island.  As I mentioned, they run solely off of solar power – amazing!  And, should they ever need to generate more power, why they just start cranking this bad boy like back in the olden days in the military.  Honestly, this was one of the most spectacular experiences I have ever had!  Well, I had to get back to the boat before these folks as they were my dinner guests for the evening.  But she wouldn’t let me leave without saying goodbye to Fred Astaire…

 

All new experiences that I will greatly cherish for a long time to come! I also had a great evening using such fresh ingredients for the dinner!

Vail Private Chef on a Yacht in the Bahamas 2.0

Ahoy Mateys! If someone would have told me three years ago that I would be pursuing my dream of owning a personal chef business, living in the Vail Valley and would have the opportunity to chef on a private yacht in the Bahamas, not once but twice, I would’ve thought they were out of their mind!  Speaking of, it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it!  Thanks for following along on my journey as this Vail personal chef cooked her way through the beautiful Bahamian waters once again! Please note that I did not have any significant wifi while on board so I took notes and will be updating my blog back from the Rocky Mountains.

Off I went, back to the Bahamas, this time to the Abaco Islands.  There wasn’t much (okay no) downtime once I arrived to get reacquainted, provision, adjust, etc. as the first group of guests were already on board!  Not to mention, the next day was Easter so any food store would be closed and most were closed the following day as well.  I tell you what, other countries really know how to take the much needed rest days!

Anyway, there was a small “grocery store” near the marina we were docked at for a couple days.  I grabbed a few items the afternoon I arrived and hoped for the best, most creative juices to come my way and help me make it until Monday or Tuesday when I could provision for the next week or so.  I would say it started out on a high note! Easter brunch the following morning was a feast, albeit “unique,” as one guest mentioned.

Easter brunch consisted of delicious deviled eggs, in honor of my mom who makes them every year, Prosciutto di Parma wrapped melon and mozzarella drizzled with cherry balsamic vinegar, fresh tropical fruit, a serious assortment of fresh sauteed veggies blanketed with…bacon! And, assorted breads with Bahamian guava jam (yum!) Oh, and breakfast dessert of fresh scratch made pumpkin nut bread. And, did you notice those adorable bunny napkins that Amanda whipped together to add to the festiveness?!

As you may remember, the crew gets to eat whatever I prepare them, so, naturally, I fully take advantage of serving us up the same delectable bites.  As you can imagine, the food just gets better and better on these trips!  With that said, I have to fit my daily exercise in whenever and however I can. Since we were still docked at the marina in Treasure Cay, I ran straight to the beach after digesting this Easter feast.  I’m convinced that the Bahamian beaches are among the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen.  Decide for yourself…

I was in such awe of this beauty that I ran a little further than intended this day (sometimes I forget that I also have to run back to the starting point!) Even though I missed being with my family on Easter Sunday, I certainly made the most of this experience!