Cooking Classes at Boutique Inn Set on Western Colorado Vineyard
In a thick French accent, chef Yvon Gros sums up the allure of Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards and its pastoral setting. "This valley is very special. The farmers here are growing some incredible produce. It's just fresh, organically grown. I love to teach how to cook with it." Yvon and his wife, Joanna, own and operate Leroux Creek Inn, an adobe-style B&B in Hotchkiss, Colorado, a few hours southwest of Denver. Joanna runs the spa, whereas Yvon heads the winemaking operations and cooking classes, where you'll have a chance to prepare French-influenced, farm-to-table cuisine.
The three-day package begins with a welcome dinner, for which Chef Yvon pairs four gourmet courses with wine from the onsite Leroux Creek Vineyards. Each morning, you'll start the day with a wine-country-inspired breakfast, with dishes based on the season's produce. During the interactive classes, you'll prepare your own meals using ingredients from local farms, with the chef on hand to help you through each step. In the savory-themed class, Yvon will share his culinary philosophies, and show how to use each ingredient to its full potential. The pastry class will touch on fundamental French pastry techniques as students begin to master skills like piping a macaroon or forming the delicate crust of a crème brûlée.
While on Leroux Creek property, take a guided tour of the vineyard to see the journey from grape to wine to bottle and to learn how vines, soil, and pruning techniques influence a wine's flavor and scent. A visit to the winemaker's cellar provides an up-close look at the aging and blending process. A wine tasting finishes the tour, as you’ll be able to taste varietals such as muscat, chardonnay, and the port-style après vous.
Apart from the vineyard, Leroux Creek's property encompasses native-grass pastures, wooded areas, and hiking trails. The mountains of nearby Grand Mesa National Forest can be seen from several guest rooms, and the shared living room's log beams, tile floor, and kiva fireplace create an atmosphere reminiscent of the southwest.