Elkstone offers unique dining experience at Strawberry Park farm
The summer growing season is winding down at Elkstone Farm, but executive chef Russell Goodman is encouraging those looking for a unique dining experience to head to Strawberry Park and discover what he has to offer this winter.
“I feel like, in the context of a visitor or a local just enjoying the holiday season, it’s a unique way to experience the fruit of the valley,” Goodman said of the Chef’s Table at Elkstone Farm, or booking a private dinner. “For the price point, I feel like it’s a competitive experience with anything available in the valley.”
Goodman said groups of six to eight diners can enjoy a farm-driven dinner with products sourced exclusively from the Yampa Valley and greater Colorado at a table in the Elkstone Farm’s kitchen. Guests can watch their food being prepared and interact with the chef, and because the dinner is not open to the public, guests may bring their own wine.
“If I were to share a message with the public, it would really be about the private dinners,” Goodman said. “With the Chef’s Table, you can sign up on the website, and there are eight seats available. If you want, you can sign up for, say, two people and then you’ll be sitting at a table with six others. With the private dinners, you can reserve the entire table, and then it’s just your group with a minimum of six and a maximum eight.”
Elkstone Farm will offer three or four Chef’s Tables in the farm house at 40345 Virtus Way each month through the winter. Goodman said that the end of the year is already starting to get booked, but he has one dinner with full availability and select spots here and there through the end of December. He said reservations for private dinners have also been brisk, but there are still spots available during the holidays and into 2023.
“We have scheduled a number of private dinners throughout December so far, but we have dates that are open particularly even during the Christmas to New Year’s week,” Goodman said.
He added the best way to get involved with the Chef’s Table is through the website at ElkstoneFarm.com/Events. However, those interested in booking a private dinner should email him directly at email@example.com.
The dinner will include five or six courses, and menus will be guided by what’s available, Goodman added.
“It’s definitely not a set menu,” he said. “It has a lot to do with what’s available at places like the (Community Agriculture Alliance Market) downtown, and we work directly with ranchers to source animal proteins. It’s not like going to the grocery store where you can expect to find the same thing every time. We reach out directly to the producers and find out what’s available.”
Goodman said the meals are prepared by him and an experienced staff who understand the quality of the food they are working with and the best way to bring out its flavors.
“We don’t adorn the food with a lot of extraneous ingredients,” he said. “We want the ingredients themselves that come from this valley to shine through, so it’s a very straightforward interpretation using classic techniques of the ingredients of the region.”
Goodman said whether it’s the Chef’s Table at Elkstone or a private dinner, guests should expect a unique experience that reflects the agriculture that has defined Steamboat Springs for generations.
“The time and the place, I think those are the most important considerations,” Goodman said. “The place sort of comes from the provenance of these things and how we find them in our valley and the people that grow them, but then the time is also important because not everything is available all the time. The menus reflect this tiny window and the time and the place, agriculturally speaking.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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