Fifteen years ago Moving Mountains, the luxury property management specialist in Steamboat Springs, introduced Colorado to the catered chalet experience that thrives in European ski resorts. Today, Moving Mountains is just one in a handful of businesses that provides this unique style of ski vacationing in North America. The company’s in-home personal chef service includes a culinary team of 6 to 10 employees who provide more than 2,000 gourmet meals for guests each ski season. Moving Mountains combines this unique culinary experience with its exceptional mountain vacation home portfolio and stellar customer service for a complete package – the Catered Chalet Experience – that allows ski vacationers total enjoyment.
Moving Mountains’ Catered Chalet package features a personal chef that prepares daily full breakfasts; afternoon tea with cookies and hors d’oeuvres; and three-course gourmet dinners, all in the comfort of guests’ ski vacation homes. Menus are tailored to guests’ preferences including vegetarian, vegan, organic, kosher and special diets. Special children’s dinner menus with earlier seating are offered. Many of the menu choices feature local meats and produce, and all are homemade.
Moving Mountains’ culinary arm is managed by the company’s co-founder Heather Craigen, a professional chef who studied at Cordon Bleu, the Culinary Institute of America and the International School of Baking. Craigen oversees the menus and food preparation for all of Moving Mountains’ catered chalets and catered events.
“I happen to love cooking, but I know many of our guests would rather not spend time in the kitchen during their ski vacation,” said Craigen. “On the other hand, they may not want to dine out in restaurants every night during their stay. With our diverse menu offerings and well-trained staff, we offer a fine-dining experience in the comfort of our guests’ homes. This can be especially appealing for families with children!”
Breakfasts typically include fresh baked goods, fruit platters, homemade granola and yogurt, and a choice of breakfast entrées, such as Swedish oatmeal pancakes, banana bread pudding, stuffed French toast or eggs benedict. Without the chore of preparing and cleaning up breakfast, guests can hit the slopes in a more relaxed and timely manner.
When guests arrive home from a day on the slopes, they are greeted with hot drinks, fresh baked cookies and hors d’oeuvres.
In the evenings, three course dinners begin with an appetizer such as smoked Colorado trout dip on crostini, mango spiced prawn cakes with tomato basil relish and citrus aioli or duck tostada with Sambal Oelek sour cream. Entrée choices range from the exquisite to the hearty. One evening the menu may feature butternut squash ravioli served with toasted walnut and sage butter sauce. Another dinner might spotlight all-natural Colorado beef tenderloin pan-seared and Boursin-stuffed. Or guests may select the chipotle and sweet basil hanger steak with wild forest mushrooms in a red wine reduction sauce. Each meal ends with coffee and a homemade dessert such as English sticky toffee pudding with a house-made caramel sauce, New York style lemon cheesecake topped with blueberry compote or apple and blackberry crumble.
“In addition to offering our standing favorite menus, we are always excited to assist our guests in planning something special, be it a child’s birthday party, an anniversary dinner or a fiesta night ,” continued Craigen. “It’s just another way we aim to ‘move mountains’ for our guests.”
This season Moving Mountains celebrates 15 years of providing mountain enthusiasts its exceptional mountain homes and the optional Catered Chalet experience. The Catered Chalet experience provides a complete package with lodging, meals and private vehicle transportation, removing day-to-day chores such as cooking, cleaning up after meals and shuttling to various activities. Guests enjoy gourmet meals, prepared, served and cleaned up by Moving Mountains’ professional chef staff, in the privacy of their vacation homes.