F&B Program Going Anywhere But Downhill at Mammoth Mountain

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mammothdining.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Attention, outdoors-loving oenophiles:  Gone are the days of scarfing sub-par sandwiches and downing cheap brews between downhill ski runs. Well, at least for those of us lucky enough to hit the slopes in Southern California, that is.  There, über chef Joachim Splichal of LA's venerable Patina Restaurant Group (think Patina, Pinot Bistro, and Vegas's popular Pinot Brasserie) was recently appointed to oversee all food-service operations on Southern California's Mammoth Mountain, which means that visitors to the state's most popular year-round resort can now enjoy the fruits of the group's signature French-Cal cuisine between runs.

Serious Fare On the Slopes
The new partnership signals a new level of sophistication in ski fare at California resorts, and seriously ups the ante for competing resorts' F&B programs.  Indeed, Splichal's fare - which focuses on fresh organic ingredients - is widely lauded as among of the most innovative in the country, and Mammoth's new dining offerings follow suit.  To wit, one of the more adventurous options in fine dining at Mammoth is the Parallax Snow Cat Dinner excursion, which ferries guests by snowcat to a restaurant at 9,600 feet, where they enjoy multi-course tasting menus before being escorted home once again by snowcat après meal.   Wine - as you might imagine - is also on the menu at Mammoth, where high-end dining venues as well as the resort's more casual venues and bars now carry a sophisticated selection of California wines.

It's all further evidence of America's 21st Century march towards food and wine utopia, epitomized by the popularity of The Food Network, cookbooks and cooking shows, and colleges making over cafeterias into high-end kitchens.    Watch out, France, we just might be the new you.

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