Give me a moment, will you please, to brag on my talented daughter…? She’s 11, almost 12, and has learned the fine art of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” My husband Roberto, my daughter Gabi, and I were in Crested Butte, CO for the end of the year 2014 and had the distinct pleasure of dining at Uley’s Cabin on Friday January 2, 2015. What a GREAT way to start the New Year – not just for the meal but also the amazing experience the crew provided us! Side note: You must first understand that Gabi positively LOVES cooking, and Roberto and I have been looking for ways to support her interests and develop her talents.
After the wonderful sleigh ride from the bottom of the mountain to the cabin (complete with heavy-duty blankets), we three were ushered into the warmth and wonder of a log cabin nestled up into the ski mountain of Crested Butte. The staff were amazingly accommodating and welcoming. We sat at our table and immediately enjoyed our first of five courses – a plate of beautifully prepared cheeses, meats, and other appetizers on the wooden cutting board waiting for us at our table. Our server Kate came over promptly, introduced herself, and welcomed us. Gabi had already told Roberto and I that she would really like to see the kitchen. So when Kate came over Gabi politely said, “When and if it’s possible at all during the course of the evening, I would love to see the kitchen” (remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! – something that Roberto and I have drilled into her since she was a small infant), I will admit I was beaming with a bit of pride when she so nicely asked this. Kate responded, “Let me just check with the chef and the kitchen and see how things are going” (fair enough, right?). Within five minutes, Kate returned, and replied, “The Chef would love to meet you and let you see the kitchen.” I jumped up and said, “I’m coming, too!”
The kitchen itself was small, efficient, and immaculately kept. Chef Chris Schlaudecker greeted us warmly and asked Gabi, “So, you like to cook, eh?” To which, she smiled giddily and said, “Yeah,” as only a near 12-year old can so utter in such profound and convincing terms. We asked the Chef a few questions about how he got started – he’d been cooking with his mother and grandmother since age 14 – and then politely left as we knew they had dinner service to attend to and we were officially in the way.
We finished a beautiful meal of Filet Mignon and Salmon, our plates had been cleared away, and we were anticipating the promised and menu-advertised flourless chocolate cake when Kate re-appeared at the table. She looked squarely at Gabi and said, “Your presence has been requested in the kitchen – would you like to help prepare dessert?” Gabi absolutely beamed and replied, “REALLY?!” She was out of her chair in a breath and beat feet behind Kate into the kitchen. Roberto and I looked at each other and laughed, enjoying our sweet little chef’s wonderful energy. After a few minutes, Kate returned and asked us if we’d like to see Gabi in action. We leapt to our feet and quickly followed Kate and found Gabi and crew thoroughly enjoying adding a dollop of fresh-made whipped cream and mint leaf to each cake. Gabi was positively beside herself with joy, and for that lovely gift – and the wonderful dinner we had – we owe a note of gratitude to Chef Chris Schlaudecker and Uley’s Cabin a wonderful note of THANKS!
Here are some photos commemorating the experience: