Editor’s Note: The following recipe continues a bi-monthly series of recipes from the kitchen of Chef Erich Owen, classically trained and oh so popular executive chef (since 2008) of the Chop House at the New Sheridan Hotel.

Awarded the 2011 Four Diamond Hotel rating, the New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride is one of the premiere historical destination resorts in Colorado. The hotel was also recognized by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 5 “Best Places to Ski & Stay in North America” and number 1 in service.  Having first opened for business in 1891, (when the Town of Telluride was just four years old), the New Sheridan is listed on the Department of the Interior’s Register of National Historical Places.

In addition to the hotel’s historic Bar and its Parlor, great places to meet, greet and eat, the New Sheridan’s Chop House is where to head for a fine dining experience. At the Chop House, Erich Owen oversees a menu based on New American cuisine with international flavors and regional ingredients (whenever possible).


I fell in love with mussels while working in Europe. They were on every menu and prepared in so many creative ways I never tired of them. I did, however, have a favorite: classic Pernod, vine ripe tomatoes and shallots, all simmering in a lobster fume broth and served, naturellement, with a grilled baguette. After I returned to the States and hit Las Vegas, I discovered the Lotus of Siam, a classic Thai restaurant off the beaten path of the strip. When I tasted their mussels, prepared much like my recipe below, I found them irresistible: the spicy curry and coconut milk mixed with ginger, cilantro and Thai chilies are a combination that to this day makes my taste buds smile. So grab your favorite Gewurztraminer or Riesling and treat yourself. Remember to save some for your friends.

Thai Chile Mussels

Makes 5 lbs of mussels
¼ lb butter
2 tbls fresh ginger (grated)
4 shallots minced
1 tbls maoy ploy red curry paste
2 stk lemon grass (minced)
1 bunch cilantro chopped
4 Thai chilis (whole)
2 cups chix stock
1 cup sake
1 can coconut milk

In large pot add ginger, shallots, lemon grass, Thai chilis with ¼ lb butter.  Sweat out and hit with sake.  Reduce by ½.  Add mussels, chicken stock, coconut milk, red curry.  Cover pot with lid.  Steam for 5 mins or until mussels fully opened.  Garnish with cilantro.

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