Who’s in the band? What kind of music do they make? I’ll explain.
Aspen Colorado 2012.
For years I attended the Aspen Food & Wine Festival. I would see clients, eat great food, drink the best wines and live it up at high altitude. That year I had a new client – The National Pork Board. Stephen Gerike, their head of Foodservice Marketing, was also attending the festival and we made an immediate connection. Through the years, I’ve done many projects with him and we’ve become great friends . . .
Stephen G (The band leader in the green shirt) and his team attended many events every year for the Pork Board including Aspen, CIA Greystone in Napa Valley, and various Pork Crawls. (A Pork Crawl is like a pub crawl but with pork dishes.) He wanted all these events documented so my team and I jumped in to take photographs.
Chef Justin Brunson (pointing his finger above), from Denver CO, chef Jason Alley (in the baseball cap), from Richmond VA, chef Adam Sappington (he’s the beardless guy that isn't me), from Portland OR and my pastry chef wife, Celeste, (with the long hair) to name a few.
The chefs and I ended up being involved in many of the same events. They acted as guides for the Pork Crawls, as presenters in Napa and never missed an Aspen party – all while I took photos. We easily became friends and we spent so much time together that our peers started calling us the band.
The band is formed.
Some people curate art, but I learned quickly that Stephen G is an artist who has the unique ability to curate the right mix of people. Especially chef-friends from around the country.
The band at the James Beard House NY 2016.
One of my best memories with the “the band” was when they teamed up to cook dinner at the James Beard House. I felt lucky to be their taste tester and photographer. The food was out of this world and it was clear that the camaraderie was unequaled. If you didn’t take into account the historic location of the dinner, you would have thought we were just friends cooking at one of our homes.
At the 2022 reunion the band plays together once again with their instruments and ingredients . . .
The band reunion dinner at Channel Lake 2022
Through our 10 plus-year friendship we have become family – a family that serves excellent food, drinks amazing wine and tells corny jokes. Recently we were able to get everyone together for a weekend of cooking and reminiscing. It felt like the music had never stopped playing. What I can tell you is that it was great to have ‘the band” back together!
Charcuterie & Cheese Platter
Stephen G – Ocean Point Oysters Rockefeller
Stephen G – Pasta with Maryland Lump Crabmeat
Justin B – Bone-in tomahawk rib eye steaks
Jason A – Home style tater tot casserole
Adam S –Vegetables
Celeste H- Apple tarte tatin with floral tea infused roasted white chocolate whipped ganache
Stephen H – Photography à la carte