This time of year is so strange for us in Colorado. It’s the beginning of the slow season at Keyah Grande. Once the flurry of the holidays dies down it will be quiet. Wolf Creek is not really close enough for us to attract the serious skiers who don’t want to spend this much money to stay an hour away from the slopes. In any case although the cold as been fierce, the snows have not yet arrived in our little corner of the world. It’s actually a major issue for the hotels in town. Thanksgiving weekend was a bust due to lack of snow. People were canceling their reservations left and right. If the New Year arrives without significant snow on the mountain the local businesses will be in dire straits for the winter season. It’s easy to forget what a large part Mother Nature plays in all of our lives, especially when you live in an area that is relatively sheltered from natural disasters. But, as the lack of snow illustrates for many locals, disasters don’t have to be large to have an impact.
Globalization has somewhat sheltered us and separated us from nature. If a locale has a bad growing season, someone somewhere else had a good one. It will cost a bit more but we can easily import the food that we need to survive. Because of our insulation we tend to look out at nature as something apart from ourselves. Moving out into the country has helped me gain a sense of perspective that I never had living in a city. When it rains, depending upon the time of year, I think of mud or flooding or green shoots blanketing the meadows and forest or filling reservoirs or saturating the land to protect from wildfires. I don’t think about umbrellas or boots or how the weather will affect my hair and my outfit or wet seats on the subways or puddles splashing as cars go by. I don’t have street gutters and sidewalks. I live out along a dirt road which in torrential rains first becomes slick and then as the water soaks in it soft and thick leaving tread marks gouged out of it’s surface which dry into an rutted obstacle course of mythic proportions.
So, what does this have to do with food? I was mulling over the concept of distance today. We go out of our way to procure the finest ingredients that we can. It’s a never-ending search because there are people all over this country and the rest of the world doing amazing things with food. We’ve developed good relationships with the people who we deal with but there are so many others who we haven’t discovered yet. The thing of it is that they make what we do fun. Their passions and enthusiasms create the products that inspire us. But we don’t think of them personally as often as we should. The same goes for our guests, the people who dine with us and the people who read this blog. You are a huge source of our inspiration and one of the main reasons why we enjoy what we do. So thank you, to all of you, because the inspiration that you provide us with is the spark that allows us to keep creating in the kitchen. Our jobs would much harder without you.