Year after year we have been blessed by Executive Chef James Africano, owner of The Warehouse Restaurant in Colorado Springs, and Vermejo Park Ranch’s amazing Chefs who prepare a gourmet meal for our Cavalry level sponsors the night before the shoot. This year will be no different. I haven’t been told what the menu is going to be this year but, you can rest assured it will be unbelievable.
Last year Chef Africano and gang arrived a week ahead of time to begin preparations for the dinner.
I have never seen such a flurry of activity. Pots and pans and knives flying about and an entire 18 wheeler trailer full of food was parked behind the Circle H. It was incredible to watch all that chaos settle into a hurried buzz of work. Then, magically it seemed, the mountain of foods and the gurgling pots and the chopped up this-and-thats started taking on recognizable shapes. Shapes as appetizers or as entrees or desserts.
By the time Thursday rolled around I couldn’t hardly contain myself. Heavenly aromas wafted from ovens and then the excitement of seeing the smoker / grill being primed for use was almost unbearable. I stayed in a constant state of hungry towards the end. Fortunately Chef let me sneak a taste now and then…. that helped to stave me off.
Thursday evening arrived in a crescendo of gloriously plated delectable dishes. the swarm of people around the tables of tediously prepared, artistically fashioned, savory appetizers made it evident that everyone was excited to taste the wonderment that the Chefs had created. Soon everyone had settled into their seats. Then the waves of inspired courses began. Each one built on the other and all of them were covered, drizzled, prepared or garnished with some mouthwatering something that I could hardly pronounce and wouldn’t dare try to spell. Finally, as if to add an exclamation point to the end of this rapturous meal, a scrumptious dessert.
At this point I was channeling Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote. My stomach was full but my mouth wouldn’t let me put the fork down.
Anticipation is high this year, so be sure to show up hungry. I know I will.