Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that The Home Ranch would like to be largely self-sustaining within two years.
Last week, a group of New York City journalists and editors got to taste wild sarvisberries sourced from the Elk River Valley.
The berries were packed in dry ice and overnighted along with two pounds of steak, three lamb racks, pork, oxtail and more produce — all from Northwest Colorado.
These were the ingredients for an eight-course meal organized to let 10 members of the media become familiar with the farm-to-table mindset and high-altitude gardening success of The Home Ranch, which is located north of Steamboat Springs in Clark.
“At 7,200 feet, we can still grow wonderful things and be self-sustaining,” said Laura Fisher, marketing coordinator for The Home Ranch.
The Stranahan family, which owns the ranch, and chef Clyde Nelson hope to be role models for what’s possible with local food in the high country, according to Fisher.
The Home Ranch is the only Colorado member of the French hospitality association Relais & Châteaux and took advantage of the association’s space in New York City to put on the meal.
The attendees, including one previous guest of the ranch who lives in the area, were treated to beef tartare from Sand Mountain Cattle Co., oxtail ravioli, empanaditas stuffed with pork from The Home Ranch, lamb glazed with Stranahan’s whiskey and a pumpkin custard and basil-crusted tartlet with chokecherry coulis among other items from Nelson and chef de cuisine Craig Singer.
To provide the produce, The Home Ranch has built a greenhouse and raises its own pigs. Sand Mountain Cattle Co. is nearby to supply local beef.
The ranch hopes to be largely self-sufficient in two years, said Fisher.
“They were just extremely impressed with the quality of the produce,” she said about the dinner attendees.
The terms guest ranch and dude ranch conjure images of chuck wagons and beans, Fisher said, but that’s a far cry from the level of cuisine from Nelson and Singer.
The setup of the space meant the guests were free to interact with the chefs as they prepared the meal. Fisher said the attendees were surprised by the elegance and technique displayed.
The guest who’d been to The Home Ranch was able to speak to the other attendees about her time in Northwest Colorado and what makes her bring her family back.
“It was nice to have sort of an outside voice speak to the press about it,” Fisher said.
The dinner was organized to put The Home Ranch on the radar of the members of the press and hopefully more people in the region through coverage, such as a post at The Daily Meal.
“It was just a really pleasant evening,” Fisher said.
To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz
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