Healthy Gourmet | AspenTimes.com

Healthy Gourmet

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

Chef Flynt Payne of Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, prepares lunch in Barbara Fleck's kitchen for his group during the Healthy Gourmet cooking classes. (MEH)

Aspenites are eager to learn new ways to stay healthy and become healthier, so they looked forward to the second annual Gourmet Fest presented by the Aspen Center for Integral Health in late July. After a day of lectures about optimum health, fest participants attended cooking classes given by top healthful gourmet chefs. I attended the one at the home of Barbara and Aaron Fleck, which featured chef Flynt Payne of the Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Flynt prepared Mexican dishes that were defined by his unique and untraditional style. We all gathered around tables on the Flecks’ patio and enjoyed coconut-tomato gazpacho, baked chipotie shrimp, manchego cheese and epazote pesto, pineapple raviolis and agave honey and kiwi salsa. Flynt gave several hints about gourmet cooking stating, “Don’t follow a recipe completely, use it as a guideline. Use recipes as ideas!”

The next evening at the Ritz Carlton at Highlands, everyone gathered for a gourmet dinner prepared by several chefs. I noted that most of the Aspenites attending are quite beautiful and healthy-looking, so they must already be doing a lot of things right. The Center for Integral Health was founded by Glenda Greenwald, and the director is Jennifer Young.

We seem to be losing so many of our pioneer photographers who had founded Photographers Aspen many years ago with offices in the Benedict Building on Ute Avenue. The latest to leave is Paul Chesley, who has his Aspen home on Independence Pass for sale and has bought a home near Diamond Head on Oahu, Hawaii. Paul is already active in Hawaii; he has had photography shows at the Honolulu Academy and at the University of Hawaii. He will have another show in October at the Lyman House Museum on the Big Island of Hawaii. Paul has kept the space in the Benedict Building so he still has a presence in Aspen. Before Paul’s departure, Photographers Aspen had already lost Jonathan Wright, who was killed in a snowslide, and Nicholas DeVore, who died last year in Bisbee, Ariz. I hear that David Hiser also may move away. And another photographer, Jeffrey Aaronson, already moved earlier this year to Santa Barbara, Calif.Undercurrent … Bright yellow are the blooms on the chamisa.

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