Community Table: Summer Issue 2015
You would expect a place called Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop to employ a good butcher. Flip Wise is a cut above: he’s cheffed at the Little Nell and Denver’s Oak on Fourteenth. More significant, he was certified as a butcher by Mark DeNittis, a Denver-based guru of the profession. Wise’s smoked ham and Hudson Valley Foie Gras both take three days to make; his house lardo requires five weeks. Despite that, Wise never speaks pridefully of his creations. He just praises the healthy animals that were his raw material.
The Wheeler Opera House’s hiring panel didn’t let any Aspen-Vail rivalry prejudice its choice for a new executive director. Gena Buhler was plucked from the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, where she spent six years. Her tenure at Aspen’s most venerated venue began in May, and she’s talked of tapping contacts from her days as a New York City booking agent to bring bigger—and, many locals hope, younger—names to the Wheeler, whose musical programming in recent years has felt like it should include an AARP membership.
When Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass opened his clothing store and diner in 1987, some locals dubbed the steel-and-glass-capped structure the “Boogification” of Aspen. Now that Weinglass is selling the building—and shuttering Boogie’s Diner in the process—many of those same folks are crying in their milkshakes. But Aspenites might better think of Weinglass for the “Buddyfication” of the Roaring Fork Valley. His financial support of the Buddy Program contributed to the mentoring of more than 1,000 local kids last year.
Spending time at Rita Bellino’s Queen B Salon improves not only one’s coiffure but also one’s outlook on the day, thanks to Bellino’s relentless cheerfulness. Her staff pedicurists and aestheticians make feet and skin look better, too. So does Bellino’s own line of products, which she created out of concern for the number of chemicals in many beauty lines. Using safe, organic ingredients, Bellino hand-blends every batch, including her most popular item, the Royal Treatment, a deep-conditioning mask.
It’s hard to believe that Christopher Martin has been in Aspen for barely five years. Despite his gallery’s hidden courtyard location on Cooper Avenue, Martin’s abstract contemporary art has become a fixture on local walls and a source of funds, through the annual Hearts for Hounds benefit, for the Aspen Animal Shelter. But Martin was well established before he came to Aspen. His new book, Twenty Years, chronicles that career; Martin will sign copies at a retrospective of his work on July 23.
Seeing Kate Ramirez or Aki Blake at Whole Foods in Basalt or Frisco usually results in a smile. Is there any other response to receiving a free cookie? Ramirez invented the oatmeal-heavy recipe for Kate and Aki’s Cookies as a ten-year-old to appease her health-conscious mom. Childhood friends from New York who both wound up in Carbondale, Ramirez and Blake decided to market the confections and recently broke into Whole Foods, where one of them hands out samples almost every week.