CULINARY EXCELLENCE AT THE BROADMOOR, ONE OF THE FINEST RESORTS IN THE WORLD
OUTSTANDING ARRAY OF EXCELLENT CULINARY EXPERIENCES
Eating well is a refined art at The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Some luxurious resorts offer a main restaurant or two, a café for breakfast and lunch, and the requisite poolside lunch service and bar service, but The Broadmoor does hôtellerie on a grand scale offering an impressive variety and quantity of restaurants, cafés and lounges. It stands out from the competition much like nearby Pikes Peak towers over other summits in the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Yet, thanks to its sizable number of superbly trained staff, the resort still manages to offer its discerning guests an array of outstanding culinary experiences, including the personal attention and sense of intimacy typical of only the finest resorts in the world. Here is an overview of the culinary scene at The Broadmoor as we experienced it.
CHOCOLATE CREATIONS AS GOOD AS IT GETS!
To kick off our visit starting on a Friday, we had the distinct pleasure as unabashed foodies to begin our four-day stay at The Broadmoor with a meet and greet and eat with two of the resort’s top chefs whose training and talents contribute significantly to the success of the resort.
Our first culinary encounter was with Executive Pastry Chef, Adam Thomas. What Adam and his very talented assistant, Amanda, produce along with their staff is truly heavenly. Their chocolate creations are quite simply as good as it gets. From their relatively small facility, they are managing The Broadmoor’s chocolate program which services the sweet needs of the entire resort. A most impressive program which is growing rapidly, undoubtedly thanks to the superb, first-class quality of the artistic and exciting patisserie and confiserie creations.
Moreover, I imagine that our awesome culinary experience with Chef Adam was very representative of his expert work, as he is one of only ten chefs in the U.S. who has received the title Certified Master Pastry Chef ® from the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The ACG has also awarded the title Certified Master Chef ® to 68 chefs in the U.S.
On a related note, it is perhaps not too surprising that The Broadmoor hosted the American Masters Chef Annual Summit in the fall of 2017 and that Chef Adam’s entirely edible chocolate presentation was judged by the resort’s Executive Chef, David Patterson, to be the “most well-received food station ever done at the hotel”. Could it be at least in part that Adam is as adept and talented as he is because his training included a year of working with the Maîtres Ouvriers de France (MOFs)?
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GUEST EXPERIENCE!
Chef Adam has one overriding goal in mind when he creates his delicious confectionery … “it’s all about the guest experience”. He wants each and every guest to go away with a “wow” experience like Denis and I had as we sampled each delectable morsel of confiserie and patisserie Adam offered us. Along with Amanda, he is rapidly expanding the chocolate program at The Broadmoor, which is most unique for such a large resort in that at least 90% of its chocolate program is hand-tempered and hand-made. Moreover, the program includes not only the French pastries and confectionery used in the restaurants and sold in shops throughout the resort, but also includes huge impressive chocolate displays used for decoration which are also for sale.
Not too surprisingly, The Broadmoor‘s chocolate program features exclusively Valrhona chocolate from the Rhone Valley in France, the long-time favorite of professional chefs and serious home cooks. But the professional relationship with Valrhona goes well beyond that in several respects. Not only does Chef Adam travel with Valrhona when the French chocolatier judges contests in the U.S., but he also travels to France to take courses from the company. Plus, Valrhona provides Adam with technical support and, in a most exciting venture, Valrhona and The Broadmoor have recently partnered to formulate a custom blend of Valrhona chocolate specifically created for the resort. Clearly, this partnership identifies The Broadmoor chocolate program as one of the finest in the world, bar none. Expect to see Broadmoor Valrhona chocolate in 2018!
ARTISTIC SENSE OF PERFECTIONISM & INNOVATION
So, what did Denis and I experience and sample from the exceptionally talented team of Executive Pastry Chef Adam Thomas, and his assistant, Amanda? My first impression was that Adam and Amanda are both passionate about their chosen profession and they approach it with a true artistic sense of perfectionism and quest for innovation. As they talked about their technique of making praline by roasting hazelnuts until dark to bring out a “super deep roasted flavor” and then crystallizing them overnight with sugar caramelized to a rich and flavorful dark color followed by grinding the mixture twice the next day, I marveled not only at their devotion to flavor but also at the drawer units housing the many different clearly marked sheets of flavored truffles and other confectionery. I had the unique impression that I was in a culinary laboratory where creating and perfecting ultimate mouth-watering flavor combinations was the end game.
Here are our favorites from this sweet and most memorable tasting experience…
- one of Amanda’s newest creations, a blueberry & rosemary ganache… delightfully savory
- blueberry pâte de fruits (“fruit jelly”) … just the right amount of sweetness
- rosemary infused ganache … the savory element helps showcase the sweetness
- roasted black sesame praline …. very savory & unique
- Adam’s favorite ~ bergamot tea and orange zest … divine!
- peanut butter caramel ganache … Adam says “all the chefs eat these!”
- my favorite? … I need to return for more sampling to decide (!)
Are you salivating yet?
TASTING EXPERIENCES THAT EXCITE FROM START TO FINISH
Next, from the petit gâteau collection we sampled the open-face Pistachio and Raspberry Eclair with classic pâte à choux and crème patissière. An intense tasting experience which Adam says characterizes all the pastries in the petit gâteau collection – even the cupcakes – for which he strives to create an experience that excites not just at the first bite, but throughout the entire eating experience. Adam’s year-long training in France with the MOFs has clearly inspired his style and creations … from the visual to the very first taste right on through to the final bite! I think of him as the Leonardo da Vinci of pastry and confectionery.
Our second culinary encounter was with Chef Maxwell Robbins, Chef de Cuisine of The Broadmoor’s award-winning Penrose Room fine dining restaurant. We were ushered into his large, elegant, sparkling and magnificently equipped and luminous kitchen where he invited us to partake of an outstanding platter of house-made pork & duck confit rillettes with chopped parsley and crispy shallots on top, house-made foie gras mousse, and various French, Italian and domestic cheeses, accompanied by house-made crackers and toast, date and tamarind chutney, fresh figs, house-made beet relish, and toasted hazelnuts & pecans, all from purveyors carefully nurtured by Max. What was Max hoping to achieve with the assortment of accoutrements with the paté and cheeses? Why, layers of flavor of course … more depth, more intensity, greater satisfaction.
As we enjoyed this divine pre-lunch feast, perfectly paired with wine from The Penrose Room’s extensive collection, we enjoyed our second encounter with The Broadmoor focus on “layers of flavor”. Plus, Max introduced us to The Broadmoor approach to fine dining and chatted with us about our culinary preferences because we were to be his guests the next evening for an extensive Tasting Menu dinner at The Penrose Room. It proved to be a truly extraordinary experience! …. check out our recent article about Fine Dining at The Broadmoor‘s Romantic Penrose Room.
FROM MOUNTAINTOP TO TABLETOP and LOTS OF SATISFYING FLAVOR
And what is my take on the heart and soul of The Broadmoor approach to culinary excellence? First, the resort employs at least 12 exceptionally talented and well-pedigreed chefs clearly recruited for their innovation and professionalism. Second, The Broadmoor takes great pride in its own Broadmoor Farms which cultivate more than 84 different vegetables, herbs, and ornamental and edible flowers, which are grown organically from heirloom seeds. No corners skipped or expense spared here. And third, the chefs source many of their ingredients from the resort’s farm as well as from the best of the best … the state-of-the-art purveyors, from Valrhona chocolate to Green Circle chicken.
Their motto: “from mountaintop to tabletop because excellent cuisine starts with excellent ingredients”. Let me add that our culinary experiences at The Broadmoor are also about flavor … layers of flavor, depth of flavor, intensity of flavor. Indeed, flavor, very satisfying flavor, deriving from maximum freshness and quality of ingredients combined with the awesome talents of the resorts highly trained team of chefs, is the hallmark of an excellent Broadmoor culinary experience.
For my focus on the restaurants we enjoyed during our visit to The Broadmoor, please stay tuned for CULINARY EXCELLENCE AT THE BROADMOOR ~ PART TWO.
Many thanks to The Broadmoor for this spectacular visit. As always, our focus at BonVoyageurs is on the joie de vivre we experience when we travel, and all opinions expressed in our articles are our own.
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