Splendido at the Chateau opened for the summer 2016 season on June 17th with the debut of longtime Splendido Chef de Cuisine Brian Ackerman as Splendido’s new Executive Chef-Owner. “I have the utmost respect for the restaurant and its first very successful 21 years and I’m excited to lead the way for Splendido’s next decade,” says Brian Ackerman, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at well-respected local restaurants as well as under notable national chefs during his career, including Ken Oringer (of Toro and Uni acclaim).
The restaurant’s new menu will feel familiar to Splendido regulars, with a focus on seasonal food and the highest-quality ingredients Ackerman can source, all prepared with respect and care.
As ingredients can be sourced locally they will be. The staff will continue to forage for wild mushrooms, like porcini and chanterelles, as they come into season, Ackerman said, and he’s working with two farms on Colorado’s Western Slope to buy much of the produce featured on the summer menu. As usual, all of the herbs are grown in the on-site garden.
New this season, Ackerman will buy ingredients from the Edwards Farmers Market to create the menu items on his ever-evolving blackboard bar menu, which will be a little more playful and a little less composed than the regular menu, essentially “clean, simple food you can eat every night,” Ackerman says.
When the Chateau opened in 1992, the space now home to Splendido was empty, then was turned into a small kitchen and snack bar. Chadwick’s was the first restaurant to occupy the space which operated for a few years until Splendido was opened. It has occupied the space for the last 21 years (David Walford was the chef and restaurant operator during this time). Brian Ackerman has been an integral part of Splendido for the last 15 years with the exception of a brief hiatus where he was at Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail.