5 Reasons We’re Buying Tickets to JH Food and Wine

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With Jackson Hole Food & Wine just around the corner (it starts Feb. 28!) we’re ramping up for a weekend of après-skiing, food and wine. Here are five reasons we are getting tickets to the second annual Winter Fest, like, right now. Buy them here.

Chef Richard Blais

Celebrity chef Richard Blais, who you may know from Top Chef, Juniper & Ivy and Crack Shack, headlines the signature Winter Fest Wine Dinner dinner at 9,000 feet, presented by First Republic Bank and hosted by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The dinner, at Piste Mountain Bistro on March 1, will feature a specially curated menu from Blais paired with exquisite wines from Figgins Family Wine Estates that will elevate each bite.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s festival, and am especially excited to cook at 9,000 feet on top of the mountain,” Blais said. “I’ll be creating some exciting new dishes, like a lobster and ginger ravioli with sherry shellfish butter, as well as a few others that I’ll keep a surprise!”

Until then, he gave Dishing readers a recipe for spicy green pozole (find it at the bottom of the post). “My spicy green pozole is one of my favorite dishes for winter – it’s spicy, savory and salty, perfect for a cold day on the slopes.

Cocktails with Alex Day

Also on Friday, the festival hosts its Cocktail Codex Master Class with famed mixologist Alex Day (from Death & Co in New York and Denver) for a hands-on class in the private dining room at Il Villaggio Osteria. Attendees will learn tips and tricks from Day about how to shake, stir and mix cocktails with top-shelf spirits and by the end of the class, each attendee will have created and mastered a new signature cocktail.

Big Wines, Small Plates

Kicking off the festival on Feb. 28 is Big Wines, Small Plates hosted by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort at its new Solitude Station. Unless you are in ski school, or attending this event, this might be your one shot at having a meal at this new resort facility. Attendees will experience a menu of small plates from chef Michael Britton of Piste Mountain Bistro, in collaboration with Blais’ team. Find all the dishes expertly paired with superb wines. The evening will also feature an illustrious panel of food and beverage enthusiasts that will take guests on a journey of their own “winter inspired” culinary moments that influenced each wine and food pairing.

Big Wines Small Plates

Taste of Teton Village

On the final day of the festival, head to Four Seasons Resort and Residences for the ultimate après-ski during Taste of Teton Village. The evening will bring together 15 acclaimed chefs and restaurants from in and around Teton Village, each serving a signature winter dish alongside more than 60 selections of wine, beer and cocktails while local DJ Rocky Vertone spins tunes.

Taste of Teton Village

Hotel Deals Galore!

If all this wasn’t enough, find great deals and other packages at local hotels.

Mountain Modern Motel is offering 15 percent off published rates; complimentary breakfast; complimentary skier shuttle trips to and from Teton Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

SpringHill Suites Marriott is offering 10 percent off published rates (discounted rate available until Feb. 8). A stay includes access to complimentary fitness center, business center and high-speed internet; complimentary breakfast each morning; lobby bar featuring local craft beers, spirits and snacks; complimentary skier shuttle running trips to and from Teton Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

The Anvil Hotel will offer 20 percent off published rates.

The Wort Hotel is offering a Food and Wine Festival package starting at $506 for two-nights between March 1–4. Call 800-322-2727 to book and refer to the package, which includes access to complimentary fitness center, business center and high-speed internet; complimentary breakfast each morning; two complimentary drinks (per adult) at The Silver Dollar Bar; and complimentary skier shuttle to and from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Jackson Hole Food & Wine’s 2019 winter and summer festivals support Hole Food Rescue, a local nonprofit that distributes excess food from grocery stores, bakeries, farms and local businesses to organizations serving the at-risk, in-need residents of Teton County.

Chef Richard Blais' Spicy Green Pozole

Ingredients

  • 5-6 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 fresh poblano chiles
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Two,15 ounce cans hominy
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Mexican crema (can substitute with sour cream)
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup radishes, sliced 1/8 inch think
  • Small handful of fresh cilantro stems and leaves
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
  • 12-16 sprigs purslane (optional)
  • 4-6 lime wedges
  • Sliced jalapenos, for garnish

Instructions

  • Position broiler rack a few inches from the heat source.
  • Heat the broiler.
  • Spread the tomatillos, poblanos and jalapenos on a baking sheet.
  • Slide it under the broiler and let the vegetables char for 3-4 minutes, until blackened on one side.
  • Turn the veggies and let them cook until blackened all the way around.
  • Remove them from the broiler and let cool. When cool, seed the chiles and chop them and the tomatillos into small dice.
  • Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When close to smoking, add the chicken thighs, skin sides down and cook without moving the chicken until the skin stars to separate from the meat, 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over and add the onion and garlic to the skillet.
  • Cook, stirring, until the onions are fragrant and translucent, 5-6 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken, onions and garlic to a large soup pot.
  • Add the charred chiles and tomatillos, hominy and then the stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken and hominy are cooked through and the flavors blend, 40-45 minutes, adjusting the heat up or down to maintain the simmer. Season to taste.
  • Lift the chicken from the pot and, using a fork, shred the meat from the bones and return the meat to the soup.
  • Discard the bones.
  • Reheat the soup until hot, if necessary.
  • Ladle the hot soup into large bowls and top each serving with a dollop of the crema, the cabbage, radishes, cilantro, scallions and purslane, if using.
  • Squeeze lime into the bowls, and garnish with jalapenos.
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About Author

Also originally from the South, Cara Rank discovered cooking was a creative outlet that helped her relax after long days writing magazine and newspaper articles during the past eight years in Jackson. Really, she just missed Southern food. A lot. During a 12-year career as a journalist, Cara has won numerous awards for her work and has written about everything from rodeo queens to Dolly Parton tomatoes. She spends her weekends making jars of pickles and jam and amazing dinners for friends. She loves shishito peppers, Chicago-style hot dogs and elderflower-spiked cocktails.

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