Q&A with Mike Giorgio
Friday, January 19, 2018
MS: Who are you and what do you do here at Mount Snow?
MG: I’m Mike Giorgio; a chef, beer nerd, and lover of snow. I’m also the director of food and beverage here at Mount Snow.
MS: How did you end up here at Mount Snow as the Director of F&B?
MG: It is a typical thing for folks in the food industry to jump around to the next big position or new exciting place. I came to Mount Snow to get away from the city and give the mountains a chance, but also for my first executive chef position. Seven years later, I’m still here as director of F&B, trying to challenge myself and my staff to give others a reason to come visit us and see what we’re up to.
MS: What’s one of the things you’re most proud of during your tenure here?
MG: Well, there are a lot of things that me and my team are proud of. Personally, I have spent a lot of my time here at Mount Snow bringing the Vermont experience to our guests’ table and barstool. I have built a lot of relationships with farmers, food producers, brewers, and cider makers in order to do so, which helps me ensure that we are using some of the best stuff out there. Vermont does great things with food, and I think we have done a pretty good job bringing that to our guests, whether it’s in a can from a local brewery, or a dish on Harriman’s menu.
MS: Tell us about Canned, what is it, and why should people go check it out?
MG: Canned is a small space right in front of the Main Base Lodge, featuring a lot of windows, and even more beer. We decided to transform this one-time candy shop into a place that offers one of the things Vermont does best, beer in a can! Canned features around 30 different craft cans from the Green Mountain State, but it’s not only beer, we also have cider, mead, ginger beer, root beer and maple soda. There is an awesome beer garden with window service, so on those bluebird days you can hang out drink some of those hard to find beers we all hear so much about, eat some pretzels, and enjoy Vermont.
MS: What about these beer pairing dinners, where did you get the idea for that?
MG: Beer dinners are popular events in the food and beverage world, but for me they grew from the relationships I’ve built with brewers. I’m pretty sure it all started while hanging out with a buddy of mine who brews beer, and the idea just seemed so simple and obvious. “You make beer, and I make food, let’s do that together and make some people really happy while we do it”. After that first dinner, our guests loved it so much we decided to make it a regular thing.
MS: What’s the hardest part about planning a beer pairing dinner?
MG: Staying creative and relative is hard when you write menus. I never want to serve the same menu twice, and I want to keep it fun and interesting for all involved, including the chefs. To be honest, the hardest thing over the past year or so has come as I step back from the role of chef and transition into with my position as director. I love being hands on in the kitchen, and working the line, but my new role requires me to back off and let our extremely talented chefs take over the day to day.
MS: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
MG: That is simple. Happy guests. There is nothing more gratifying than someone telling you how much they enjoyed the experience you provided for them.
MS: What’s your go-to on a powder day?
MG: North Face. Olympic first thing, then I tend to play in the trees a lot.
MS: What’s your favorite Vermont beer or cider?
MG: That is a loaded question. Stowe Cider has been messing around with aging ciders in all types of barrels and that has proved quite tasty. Best beer I’ve had in a while was Farnham’s Milkshake #2. It’s an IPA brewed with lactose sugar so it's got this awesome creamy mouthfeel and body, with a beautiful bouquet of Citra, Galaxy, and Ella hops. We have both in Canned.