The Mountain Times

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Winter in August celebrates ski industry and awards talent

The Annual "Winter in August" celebration is an opportunity for the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce to recognize the contributions of local ski areas. Area restaurants set up displays and offered bite sized samples for members of the community, local politicians and congressmen.
One of the most intriguing edibles was an offering from The Foundry at Summit Pond. A hollowed out potato was wrapped in bacon and filled with cheese before being topped off with a red wine and stock reduction. "These have been very popular today," said Sean Miller of the Foundry. "I think I have served most people here at least one."
The Killington Grand Hotel and Conference Center had an impressive setup and their mini bison burgers with homemade barbecue sauce and blue cheese were also a hit. But it was Okemo Resort who won the Chef's award for best taste.
"Okemo Resort won top honors with the Chef's Best Taste Award," said Tom Donahue, CEO at the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce in a recent release. "They made a wonderful impression with their delicious food."
"I know that it was a close competition," said Okemo Mountain Resort Executive Chef Scot Emerson. "All of the chefs who competed are very talented, which makes winning the Best Taste Award a real honor."
The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce announced three awards at the event: the Chef's Best Taste Awards, Chef's Best Presentation Award and People's Choice Award.
The Chef's Best Taste Award was presented to Okemo Mountain Resort with the Chef's Best Taste Runner Up Award going to the Bryant House at The Vermont Country Store. 
The Chef's Best Presentation Award went to Killington Resort. 
The People's Choice Award was presented to The Foundry at Summit Pond.
This is the first year the Chamber established a "Chef led panel" of experts to make the decision. The panel was led by former NYC Chef, Paul Lasky. In addition we had Chef Rick Iffland from Middlebury College and Mike Clifford (with extensive local restaurant experience). The nine criteria included everything from complimenting flavors to appeal to the eye. Restaurants were rated on a weighted point system and scored accordingly. Attendees voted by ballot throughout the evening for the People's Choice Award,
According to the Rutland Chamber 36 businesses participated in this year's event with nearly 600 people including Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, Mayor Chris Louras and many other officials.