Chefs Club

story by Jeanne McGovern photos by Anna Stonehouse
The details: 315 E. Dean St. (inside The St. Regis Aspen), 970-429-9581, Prices: $69, pre-fixe Ambience: Upscale, yet funky with an open kitchen concept Signature dishes: Focaccia “caprese” with smoked American ham; potato gnocchi with sweet corn and smoked mushroom; Wagyu skirt steak topped with a zesty ramp salsa verde Not to Miss: Watching chef Matthew Accarrino work his magic in the kitchen; The Tre Chocolati’ Budino — a devine dessert; This summer’s $69 prix-fixe menu

Chefs Club has always done things right. And this summer, they’re raising the culinary bar yet again by rolling out a new chef residency program with San Francisco-based Matthew Accarrino leading the way.

Accarrino, of Michelin-starred SPQR, is serving up a menu that showcases his creative, seasonal, and ingredient-driven cooking — a perfect fit for Aspen guests.

“Matthew will be here regularly through the summer, changing the menu and pairings,” says Marco Cingolani, general manager of Chefs Club Aspen. “Once we get in full stride, things could change constantly, with daily features.”

Formatted as a multi-course prix fixe, the menu will feature locally sourced ingredients “with a creative and welcoming approach to a seasonal menu and convivial dining experience.”

Begin with an Aperitivi, meant for sharing, such as zucchini and runner bean salad with sheep’s cheese and senise pepper, followed by a second course – Primi – featuring pasta dishes like burnt flour pasta with asparagus, lamb, fresh ricotta and mint. Main courses – or Secondi -– options include sea bass with charred vegetable sauce and blistered peppers, or Wagyu skirt steak topped with a zesty ramp salsa verde. The meal is rounded out with a selection of Contorni, or side dishes, served center of the table, and ends (as every meal should) with each diner choosing their own individual dessert.

And while the menu is true Italian (a nod to Accarrino’s Italian roots), it pays homage – more than anything else – to the local landscape.

“Everything is designed around local farmers and locally-sourced meats,” Cingolani says. “A lot of focus and attention will be spent around that type of cuisine.”

Similarly, Chefs Club keeps the standard going with high-end service in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere; even the art on the walls screams good vibes and good times.

“We’re serving up true summer food, in a great summer environment,” Cingolani says. “Adding Matthew and his menu to Chefs Club just brings that home even more.”