Alpino Vino Telluride


Chef Nicola Peccedi is AlpinoVino Telluride. His connection to this top on-mountain restaurant has become an integral part of his persona in Telluride, Colorado. He brings the rustic refined flavors of Northern Italy to the ski slopes of the San Juan Mountains. Peccedi has a boyish charm, is easy on the eyes, super fun to talk to, and greets friends old and new with a big hug and a vibrant “Ciao.” His eyes sparkle as he speaks about his high alpine cuisine at Alpino Vino. “Guests here enjoy the fresh, hearty, and homemade food I grew up eating in Bormio, Italy,” says Peccedi. Peccedi made his way to Colorado in 2000, bringing with him years of kitchen experience in Italy. His hometown of Bormio is also well known for its world-class skiing. Located in the Lombardy region of the Alps, it’s just over the hill from glitzy St. Moritz, Switzerland.

On mountain dining in the USA can hardly be called dining, known more for a quick fuel stop for burgers and beer. In the Alps, stopping for a slope-side meal is altogether different. It’s an event. Lunches are longer, and hours are spent soaking in the sun, with lively conversation, sipping wine, and enjoying the cuisine. Food in the Alps is fresh, local, and downright honest. What Peccedi has created at Alpino Vino echoes experiences reminiscent (in a smaller scale, as this tiny restaurant seats just 28 indoors) of Rifugio Maison Vielle in Courmayeur Italy, Chez Vrony in Zermatt and Hospitz Alm in St. Christoph, Austria. Peccedi says he wants his guests to “feel at home enjoying the authentic flavors of the Italian Alps.”

Chef Nicola Peccedi Alpino Vino Telluride
Chef Nicola Peccedi Alpino Vino Telluride

What sets his cooking apart goes back to the basics. “Living here in the mountains, you depend on the essentials. I use all organic ingredients, and we make everything from scratch, from our pasta to the gnocchi and tiramisu,” says Peccedi. Take a bite of his homemade Pasta Bolognese, and you find yourself transported to faraway places. The sauce, made from locally sourced organic ground beef, red wine, and San Marzano tomatoes and served over homemade al dente pasta. “This is the closest we get to the Alps here in Telluride,” says Peccedi. Alpino Vino Telluride is the highest fine-dining restaurant in North America, perched at 11,966 feet. It is accessed only by skiing, take the Gold Hill Express (Chair 14), and swoosh partially down the See Forever run enjoying snow drenched views of Revelation Bowl and the local 14ers. On skiers left, straight out of a chic ski poster, revelers sit on the deck on sheepskin-lined chairs and day beds. Pop off your skis and sink into Alpino Vino’s refined elegance, made even better clinking glasses of rose or Prosecco.

When Peccedi took over the restaurant in 2012, he changed all of the sourcing of the ingredients, including sheep and goat cheeses from small Colorado-based farmers. “They cannot be complicated; they must be simple and fresh. Everything is real. We prepare virtually everything up here, so we need to be sensitive to cooking at high altitude.” says Peccedi. His deep connection to the mountains and the cuisine and presentation is present in every dish. Not to be missed is the Salumi e Formaggi Plate with traditional alp cured meats and farmhouse cheeses. Dinner specials change according to what he can have flown in fresh. The Seared Fresh Hamachi on the menu is a gorgeous dish with a risotto cake, crispy fried capers topped with Osetra caviar. It’s the kind of meal you hope will never end. The wine is expertly paired by Sommelier Andrew Shaffner, and the list of Brunello wines is one of the largest in Colorado. Peccedi is grateful for his tasks beyond the kitchen too. “I transport most of the ingredients daily by snowmobile. One of the best parts about this job is that I get to ski and spend time outdoors enjoying these magnificent mountains”.

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