Foodie Paradise Found during TBEX 2012 Taste of Vail Resorts Opening Event

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Sipping Champagne in a Gondola, Keystone, Co

Sipping Champagne in a Gondola, Keystone, CO

“Life is good,” I thought while sipping champagne and drifting up Keystone’s North Peak in a gondola. Final destination was Keystone Resort’s The Outpost, which sits at 11,444 feet above sea level, for the opening of TBEX 2012 (Travel Blog Exchange) called “Taste of Vail Resorts.”

Keystone Resort's Gondola Up North Peak

Keystone Resort's Gondola Up North Peak

The trip took two separate gondola rides which provided spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and green spaces. Coming from Florida with a hectic work and life schedule, I appreciated the cooler temperatures (it was about 70° F) and relaxed attitude of the Keystone staff and visitors. For the first time in months, I felt as though I could forget about the chaotic craziness and just relax and exhale.

Going Up North Peak at Keystone Resort

Going Up North Peak at Keystone Resort

Ahhhh……

Cookies! I Guess it's a Keystone Thing #TBEX #TBEX12

Greeted with Fresh Chocolate Chip Cookies! I Guess it's a Beaver Creek Thing

Don’t get me wrong. Being a travel blogger doesn’t mean we’re always on vacation being pampered. OK, in this case, maybe we were because Vail Resorts did an excellent job in spoiling us with artful desserts and savory entree samples. But many of us took last night seriously – in that special travel blogger way – by networking and documenting through smartphone photos, what we consumed.

Dale & Michelle Bartlett of Have Kids - Will Travel with Our Host for the Evening, Keystone Mountain GM John Buhlerwill

Dale & Michelle Bartlett of Have Kids - Will Travel with Our Host for the Evening, Keystone Mountain GM John Buhlerwill

Regarding networking, I met Keystone Mountain GM John Buhlerwill who is pictured above with Dale & Michelle Bartlett of Have Kids – Will Travel. I also met Scott Jordan, creator of ScotteVest Travel Clothing. Remember the gear review I wrote for Yahoo! a couple of years ago? Yeah, really cool to meet him and here he is pictured with Glen Abbot of The Travelin’Gringo. (In another post, I share what every TBEX attendee received from his company.)

Glen Abbot, the Travelin'Gringo, with Scott Jordan, Founder of ScotteVest Travel Clothing

Glen Abbot, The Travelin'Gringo, with Scott Jordan, Founder of ScotteVest Travel Clothing

Taste of Vail Resorts allowed us to sample Vail’s signature restaurants, led by Executive Chef David Scott and Executive Pastry Chef Ned Archibald. With confidence, I can say these chefs and their team are culinary artists creating both palate-pleasing and visually appealing bites. Just take a gander at some of the amazing dishes we sampled last night, such as Smoked Gouda Cheese and Crab Meat Fondu from the restaurant Der Fondue Chessel.

Smoked Gouda Cheese with Crab Meat Fondue

Smoked Gouda Cheese with Crab Meat Fondue

Bighorn Steakhouse served up tender Duck Confit with Stuffed Tenderloin of Beef topped with Foie Gras Torchon with Red Current Demi Glace. Sounds complicated but it’s simply delicious.

Shrimp from Game Creek and Tenderloin from Bighorn Steakhouse

Shrimp from Game Creek and Tenderloin from Bighorn Steakhouse

During the summer, you need to either hike or take a four-wheel shuttle to reach Vail’s Game Creek Restaurant (in the winter a gondola ride is needed) so it was awesome they brought along a lovely shrimp sample. I can’t tell you its official name all that it had a nice flavor almost like cilantro but it wasn’t.

And then there were the desserts.

They Look Like Hamburgers but They're Cupcakes! #TBEX #TBEX12

They Look Like Hamburgers but They're Cupcakes!

Lots and lots of gorgeous chocolate desserts.

Look! Chocolate Spaghetti

Look! Chocolate Spaghetti

And believe it or not, I limited myself to two delicious, sweet little masterpieces.

Chocolate Tacos! #TBEX12 #TBEX

Chocolate Tacos!

Vail Resorts demonstrated they certainly know how to dazzle their guests which couldn’t have been easy at 11,444 feet above sea level. Whether vacationing in Keystone, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge or Vail, know you’ll be eating and treated very well.

Disclosure: I attended TBEX as the guest of Cottonelle which paid for my trip including registration, airfare, accommodations, meals and transportation.

Keystone Things To Do on raveable

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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4 Comments

  1. Great photos and a great post Jennifer!

    Vail Resorts, Keystone, Visit Denver and Tourism Colorado all did an amazing job hosting TBEX and Prebex this year but the Friday night opening party was definitely the crown jewel.

    I think we could have done a lot of things wrong and still got compliments on the event based on that party alone.

  2. Thanks, Rick!

    It was definitely a joint partnership (with many partners) that successfully pulled off TBEX. Looking forward to 2013!

  3. Wow! Those desserts look amazingly like savoury food.

    I’m determined to be at TBEX next year if they serve such wonderful goodies.

  4. The food was amazing! Hope you can make it in 2013 – it’s a great conference from content to networking to learning about a new destination.

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