Six notable chefs, one night: Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner on April 1

Mar. 18, 2016

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On April 1st, six of Colorado’s most distinguished chefs will present their unique culinary creations at the James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner in Vail. A mixologist and winemakers will round out the gastronomic experience with pre-dinner cocktails and wine pairings. The event will take place at Larkspur Events & Dining on Friday, April 1, from 6 to 10 p.m., during the Taste of Vail weekend.

For food and wine lovers, this is a unique opportunity to enjoy a meal prepared by a team of celebrated chefs — together for just one night. Once you take a look at the credentials of each of these culinary experts, you won’t want to miss it. Here’s the lineup:


Thomas Salamunovich, the chef/owner of Larkspur and Larkburger, in a joined effort with Taste of Vail, will host the evening, which will include a cocktail reception and multi-course dinner with wine pairings.

Thomas Salamunovich

Chef Thomas Salamunovich jpg

Chef/Owner of Larkspur Events & Dining and Larkburger with 12 locations throughout Colorado

Host of James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner After attending and instructing at the California Culinary Academy in the early 1980s, Salamunovich had the unique opportunity to work with famous chefs Jeremiah Towers at Stars and Wolfgang Puck at Postrio. On a year-long tour in France, he worked and studied in the kitchens of Michelin three-star rated restaurants l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges under Paul Bocuse and Lucas Carton in Paris, two-star restaurant Elysee Lenôtre in Paris, and the world-renowned bakery Poilane Boulangerie. Since then, he has developed, managed, and operated dozens of successful restaurants in Colorado and beyond.

Celebrity Guest Chefs

These 6 notable chefs will be in the kitchen:

Paula Turner

Chef Paula Turner

Executive Chef at Larkspur Events & Dining in Vail

A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Paula worked in fine dining restaurants in her home state of New York (as well as Providence, Rhode Island and London, England) before finding her way to Larkspur in 2013. She loves to learn anything and everything about food, and today, with so many innovative cooking techniques and ideas available, there’s always more knowledge to gain.

Jennifer Jasinski

Chef Jennifer Jasinski

Chef/Co-owner of three Denver restaurants: Rioja and Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen, Stoic & Genuine

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Jasinski was named 2004 Colorado Chef of the Year and 2005 Western Regional Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation, and also appeared on The Food Network’s “Thanksgiving Challenge” the same year. Her experience includes positions as: Sous Chef at Postrio, San Francisco; Café Chef at Spago, Las Vegas; Executive Sous Chef at Granita, Malibu; Executive Sous Chef at Spago, Chicago; and Corporate Chef at Wolfgang Puck Food Company. Jasinski loves using fresh, local ingredients and simple flavor combinations. Her goal is to always create bright, balanced preparations.

Max MacKissock


Chef/Owner of Bar Dough in Denver

MacKissock’s latest restaurant, Bar Dough, opened this past summer. The Italian restaurant will serve the food MacKissock says he loves to eat: pizza, pasta, and antipasta. Before this latest venture, MacKissock was the executive chef at the award-winning Squeaky Bean. While he was at the helm the restaurant received a four-star review from the Denver Post, a nomination in Bon Appetit’s 50 best new restaurants, was a James Beard semi-finalist in the Best Chef Southwest category, and was named Eater Restaurant of the Year. MacKissock also was named Eater Chef of the Year.

Troy Guard


Chef/Owner of six Denver restaurants: TAG, TAG Raw Bar, TAG Burger Bar, Los Chingones, Sugarmill and the newest, Guard and Grace

Drawing from his Hawaiian upbringing and travels in Asia and Latin America, Guard uses fresh local ingredients to offer a cross-cultural culinary adventure. His playful cuisine, described as Continental Social Food, melds classic and contemporary styles in a chic urban atmosphere to inspire a sense of community among friends. His unique cuisine can be described as a culinary journey — food that is unconstrained by national boundaries.

Paul Anders 

Executive Chef of two Vail restaurants: Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Anders trained under European chefs and was exposed to continental cuisine and classical technique. He learned to cook “California cuisine” at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach, and then honed his skills running four and five-star kitchens at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver and The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.

Mark Metzer

Chef Mark Metzger

Pastry Chef at St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder

A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Chef Metzer’s experience includes positions as Executive Pastry Chef for both The Stanley Hotel and Larkspur Restaurant & Events and Pastry Chef Consultant for both Hot Corner Concepts Restaurants and Vollmer’s Bakery and Cheesecake Factory.


Bryan Dayton


Owner/Beverage Director of two Colorado restaurants: OAK at Fourteenth and Acorn

Dayton mixes unique spirits with of-the-moment seasonal ingredients to create innovative, yet accessible libations. A bartender with over 15 years of experience, Dayton is also a certified sommelier and graduate of the Beverage Alcohol Resource Program (BAR) with honors. In 2008 he started the Colorado chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild (COBG) and regularly participates in cocktail competitions as a nationally acclaimed judge and competitor. Prior to operating his own restaurants with business partner Stephen Redzikowski, Dayton worked alongside Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey at Frasca Food and Wine. Acorn’s cocktails have been featured in a number of national publications including Bon Appetit and Details magazine.

Tickets for the Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner are available for $195 per person.

To purchase, go to or call 970-754-8070.