By Scott Mayerowitz
Forget that fresh arugula and grilled chicken salad. This season, ski resorts are letting us indulge with a new slate of warm, hearty comfort foods. They might not be the healthiest thing on the mountain, but after a day of racing down the slopes, they are just what skiers are craving.
Warm bowls of chili and greasy cheeseburgers are long-time staples of ski cuisine. But this season’s comfort foods go beyond chicken fingers and curly fries.
At Colorado’s Copper Mountain, skiers who pop into the Sugar Lip Donuts eatery can now indulge in Little Piggies, which are maple bacon doughnuts. Down the road at Vail’s Four Seasons Resort & Residences, guests can put on some extra calories with “That’s Just Wrong Dog,” a Kobe beef hot dog wrapped in house-cured maple bacon with blue cheese coleslaw and heirloom tomato ketchup.
And in Utah, the Goldener Hirsch Inn & Restaurant at the Deer Valley Resort has unveiled a Rocky Mountain Poutine — a Western twist on the Canadian specialty — with braised lamb and cheese curds (both locally sourced), crispy fries and lamb gravy. It’s described by the restaurant as a “rib-sticking, heart-pounding, I-better-ski-some-more” dish.
“After a day of hard skiing, who wants just a salad? So this season we’re seeing more savory, high-calorie options,” said Susie English, director of communications for Ski Utah. “There are so many creative chefs. They love to create these amazing feasts and dishes. It’s so much more exciting for them.”
Of course there are still plenty of healthy options — and a growing number of gluten-free dishes — but let’s face it, most skiers are on vacation and want to indulge.
Professional skier Chris Davenport spends about 200 days a year skiing. Each day on the mountain burns a lot of calories.
“You need something substantial to fill that tank,” Davenport said. “A salad or a sushi roll isn’t going to do it.”