Community Table: Summer Issue 2014

The mixed bag of the community table was once an Aspen hallmark. Here’s our fantasy guest list to restart the trend.

By Michael Miracle May 1, 2014 Published in the Summer 2014 issue of Aspen Sojourner

0514 community table theaster gates eq8dxm

Image: Matty Newton

Theaster Gates is the rare contemporary artist whose work is both critically lauded and socially consequential. He has exhibited at the 2010 Whitney Biennial; he also restores run-down buildings in his native Chicago and fills them with art. As Anderson Ranch’s 2014 National Artist Honoree, Gates will appear at a ticketed recognition dinner (6 p.m.) and a free lecture (12:30 p.m.; reservations required) on July 19.  





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Image: Matty Newton

As the guest services director at the Aspen Airport, Dorothy Frommer estimates that she and her coworkers interacted with more than 15,000 people a month this past winter. Frommer and Co.’s reputation for having an answer to every question prompts even nontravelers to call and ask whether a movie is still playing at the Isis or the Cantina is open. They always get the right response, and the calls keep coming.





0514 community table matt zubrod dye127

Image: Matty Newton

Matt Zubrod is back. The former Dish Aspen and Willow Creek Bistro chef left town for five years, to the delight of taste buds in Malibu and on Hawaii’s Big Island. Zubrod’s still six-foot-four and blond, so he’ll be easy to spot, particularly at bb’s, where he’s now top dog in Bruce Berger’s open kitchen. Fish, some of it raw, will figure prominently on Zubrod’s menu, which represents the latest chapter in bb’s ongoing reinvention. 





0514 community table lauryn hill ls861d

Image: Matty Newton

Fifteen years may have passed since Lauryn Hill won five Grammys (out of ten nominations, a record for a woman) for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and her work with Wyclef Jean and Pras as a member of the Fugees goes back even further, but Hill (Belly Up, July 2) still has hip-hop-royalty status. Though her performances over the past decade have occasionally veered into the bizarre, she sounded outstanding at Coachella earlier this year.





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Image: Matty Newton

Aspen has had a longstanding love affair with biking. Charlie Tarver has been the man matching cyclist to cycle—and a good fit is perhaps the biggest factor in ensuring the hookup goes long-term—in many of those relationships since he opened his Hub of Aspen bike shop more than three decades ago. But even noncyclists appreciate Tarver, a man usually wearing pink clothes while riding his pink bike, as one of a waning breed of Aspen originals.






0514 community table danielle becker aqsb5p

Image: Matty Newton

Talking for the first time to Danielle Becker, manager of the Nest at the Viceroy Snowmass, invariably results in learning a new term: “master cicerone.” It is the beer world’s equivalent to an oenophile’s becoming a master sommelier. At the Nest, where forty-five Colorado microbrews are on tap, Becker can match any food—whether the restaurant’s coconut curry shrimp or an artisanal hot dog—with a beer that makes it taste even better.

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