Keystone Ranch and Colorado Mountain College Serve Up Excellence for Scholarships

You know the Keystone Ranch is special before you even step inside. The backdrop of the Ten Mile Range and the Gore Range along with the Keystone Golf Course turned Nordic center in the winter months make the Ranch the ultimate destination for a special occasion, romantic dinner or gathering with friends and family.

Keystone Ranch2

With in our Winter 2012-13 issue of MTN Town Magazine we have written a full review on the Keystone Ranch and its relationship with Colorado Mountain College’s Culinary program. Click this Link or the magazine below to read it.

mtn town magazine winter cover

Next week The CMC Foundation will present its 8th Annual Scholarship Endowment Dinner with a five-course fine dining and wine experience on Feb. 28. The dinner will be held at the acclaimed Keystone Ranch Restaurant and raises funds for future students of Colorado Mountain College’s Culinary Institute.


The dinner also marks a very special year for the culinary program. This year is the 20th anniversary of Colorado Mountain College’s culinary arts program at the Summit County campus and the dinner will be presented by this year’s graduating class of culinary students, the CMC third-year apprenticeship students, under the leadership of Steve Vlass, executive chef of the Keystone Ranch Restaurant.


“We’ve been able to find the individuals who really want to excel in culinary arts and that makes this fine dining experience that much better,” said Kevin Clarke, director of CMC’s culinary education program in Summit County for more than 12 years.

Clarke pointed out the uniqueness of this program: CMC’s three-year, 66-credit, 4,000-hour culinary program is the only program in the United States that features a mandatory requirement for both an apprenticeship and a degree, an associate of applied science degree. The apprenticeship component of the culinary education is key to preparing students for their culinary careers, he said.

Keystone Ranch3

“You can learn a lot about cooking by sitting in a classroom but the only way you can learn to cook is by cooking and the only way you can be a professional cook is by working in a professional kitchen,” he said.


The Keystone Resort has been a training ground for many of those aspiring chefs.  Vlass, who has taken a few of the CMC third-year apprenticeship students under his wing at the Keystone Ranch Restaurant, said the students have traveled a long road from their first day of class. Vlass knows that road well – he graduated from the CMC Culinary Institute in 2005 and teaches classes for the program.

He said the culinary students work 40 or more hours a week, four to five days a week in the training kitchens and a day in a CMC classroom. The culinary students have progressed from “learning how to properly cut and dice an onion,” he said, to preparing the main entrees of the world-class dinner offered at this year’s scholarship endowment dinner: Consomme (saffron, squid, and uni) and Niman Ranch Wagyu (German butterball potatoes, king trumpet mushroom, parsnip salsify, beets, and smoked tomato).

“The apprenticeship program really opens doors for students who want the experience of working in fine dining,” Vlass said.

The dinner is held through a partnership with Keystone Resort and the CMC Culinary Institute and raises funds for the Culinary Scholarship Endowment, said Jamie Raynor, director of development at the CMC Foundation. The Culinary Scholarship Endowment provides students with scholarships to study culinary arts at CMC and the opportunity to work alongside chefs at top-notch restaurants. Vail Resort Echo has also provided grants for the last two years to off-set the price of the meal.

The 2013 Scholarship Endowment Dinner will be held on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Keystone Ranch, 1437 County Road 150, in Keystone, CO. A sparkling wine greeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner will begin at 7 p.m. The cost is $165 per person and $125 of each ticket is a tax-deductible donation to the CMC Foundation to support the culinary scholarship. For tickets and more information, contact Crystal at the CMC Foundation at 947-8361 or

We highly recommend this event. It is superb and supports an incredible cause – furthering a students education and preparing them to join the culinary world as a career!

~MTN Town Magazine

Photo Credits: Kay Beaton Photography  provided all of these amazing images!

mtn town magazine winter cover is MTN Town Magazine‘s daily journal blogging about Colorado’s mountain towns and resorts. Like them on Facebook and Follow on Twitter. Click the cover to read the Winter 2012-13 Issue.

© 2013, MTN Town Magazine. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires permission.

Leave a comment