“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” –Ruth Reichl

Dear friends,

Since the beginning, I have wanted to share experiences from my heart on this blog; like my ever-growing passion for the area, the people who have come into my life, and of course, the food. Ah, the food. How anyone can cook like the outstanding chefs I have met in Jackson Hole is beyond me! Each is both artisan and magician. In their hands, ingredients become something more luscious than the sum of their parts. It’s alchemy.

Jarrett Schwartz, Ariel Mann, Rick Sordahl and Eddie Kolsky are great friends and incredible chefs all, and I continue to be inspired by their inventive cooking. I hold out hope that some of it will rub off on me! We all hike the same trails, after all, we see the same sunsets, and have now been bound together by the love we share for this extraordinary place…

The big news is that Jarrett’s beautiful baby did finally arrive, to the dumbstruck adoration of the new parents; and Eddie Kolsky (broken hearts scattered across the valley) has become engaged to Liz. They’re getting married in September, that golden, glorious month. Much love, and many congratulations to you all!

As the years pass and The Clear Creek Group’s circle of friends continues to grow, much is changing around here. But what isn’t changing is the way people come together and form unbreakable friendships in Jackson Hole. The number of friends I have made here – and their incredible diversity – will never cease to amaze me. Life is busy and often I can’t keep in touch with people I’ve met here as often as I’d like, but somehow they continue to tolerate and love me, which is both humbling and wonderful.

Stephanie Sias and I met at my birthday party one year (I was turning 35. Well, 45. Well, age doesn’t matter – that’s what I was turning….. hummm?). We have become fast friends, and I count myself one of her many “number-one fans.” After meeting her beloved Spence at Amangiri in Utah, Stephanie and Spence moved to Jackson together, and the two of them became a part of Amangani extended family, where our son Chandler has worked for three years.

tccgjh_chef_steph_1Stephanie is a little sprite of a gal, cute as a button, with a melt-your-heart smile. Her passion for cooking is inspired by the beauty and bounty of the area. She seamlessly incorporates a vast assortment of locally sourced food – wild game, fish, meat, cheese, vegetables, fruit and eggs. One thing’s for sure – we certainly do not live in a food desert. Jackson Hole is more like a food wellspring.

Stephanie used to be the sous chef at Snake River Grill. At one of Jackson’s best and most demanding restaurants, she held her own and then some. She left Snake River Grill to follow her heart as a personal chef: and though I am sure her colleagues at the Grill were sad to see her go, there were hoots and hollers up and down the valley from devotees overjoyed to hear that she could be reserved to create stunning in-home meals. I can’t wait to have Stephanie over to cook for my partners, family and friends. Bring it on, Steph!!!

Stephanie’s repertoire is incredibly diverse. She is cooking Passover dinner for our community rabbi, and can fix a mean mac- n-cheese or Frito pie. She can head in the other direction entirely and cook with such subtlety and flair that what else could you call it but haute cuisine? She even keeps a boatload of hungry families’ refrigerators full with healthy, delectable, bi-weekly meals. What’s not to love???

So, here’s the deal: whether you want a lazy, lakeside picnic with your true love, supper ready and waiting in your refrigerator after one busy day after another, a six-course, sit-down dinner in your Clear Creek vacation home, or just a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres party where you can have as much fun as your guests, Chef Sias is one of our top Clear Creek Group recommendations.

Let me tell you one of the things I was most excited about. See the gorgeous, mouth-watering dishes below? The ones Stephanie prepared for the photo shoot? Well, we got to eat them!! I wish I could give you a spoonful to taste right from the screen. Zay were…’ow shall I say eet… Scrumptious. Divine. (I know you love my French accent).

But never fear, you can experience Stephanie’s cooking for yourself: either book her directly, or let us make all the arrangements.

Thanks to Gordon Gregory for the wonderful photos, and to The Clear Creek Group Pines Garden Unit 4050, one of our newest additions where Gordon shot, Stephanie cooked, and I ate! In closing, I wish you peace, a bountiful table and the blossoming joy of the season. Happy Easter, happy Passover!

Much love, and bon appétit –

betsy_sig_small

 

 

Chef Stephanie Sias; 304-939-2009, chefsias@gmail.com

Chef’s current favorite. How appropriate for the season! It’s a Persian curried lamb dish with rice. Chef recommends a bottle of Luigi Bosca- De Sangre, a wonderful full bodied red wine. I recommend two bottles- opening the first then…..

Toss cubed lamb (stew meat) with salt, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, and apple cider vinegar and let it sit overnight, at least 8 hours. The next day, heat a skillet and get a nice dark sear on the meat. Set the meat aside. Then, dice one white onion and about a tablespoon of fresh ginger and sweat in EVOO over low-med heat in the same pan as you seared the lamb in.

Next add in 6 T curry powder and toast in the pan. Add the lamb back in with 1 cup vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Next bring 1.5 cups of toasted cashews and add to the pan, turn to low heat and let stew.