EMP Winter House Pops Up in Aspen

Trout toast smoked with horseradish, fennel, and dill. Veal Schnitzel served bone-in with lemon. A four-course fondue of melted Alpine cheeses. No, it’s not a dining room inside a private residence nestled in the Swiss Alps. But that’s what Chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur and business partner Will Guidara want to evoke. It’s the EMP Winter House in partnership with American Express, and it’s popped up at Chefs Club at the St. Regis Aspen through April 6. “EMP Winter House serves the food of my [Swiss] heritage at its core,” Humm says. “It tends to be more hearty and indulgent, and it’s also the type of food you want after a day on the mountain.”

EMP Winter House’s menu includes comfort food like the Alpine Fondue. (Courtesy of American Express/EMP Winter House/Gary He)

Which is why they chose Aspen for their newest restaurant location: You might recognize the duo from their permanent endeavor in New York, Eleven Madison Park (which has won multiple James Beard Foundation awards and earned three Michelin stars), or the Hamptons pop-up version, EMP Summer House in partnership with American Express. Or their other hospitality ventures under their Make It Nice brand, including NoMad New York. But after working together for 13 years, Humm and Guidara wanted to try something a bit different. “Both the EMP Winter House and EMP Summer House are meant to be delicious, hospitable, fun restaurants that are part of our family, but not at all replicas of Eleven Madison Park,” Humm says. “There are some signature dishes or techniques that make sense across multiple restaurants, but there isn’t a ton of overlap with this menu. Some items like the truffle tart, foie gras or tagliatelle with king crab may have appeared elsewhere, but they only made their way to Aspen because they made sense as part of that experience.”

In addition to American Express being the only credit card accepted at the restaurant, card members enjoy a host of travel benefits from the entity as well, and the St. Regis as a destination itself. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, the resort features discerningly appointed suites, and access to skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, Krabloonik dogsledding tours, apres ski cocktails and conversation, and the Remède Spa, which houses an oxygen room that is much appreciated in Aspen’s high altitudes. “Aspen is such a beautiful, enjoyable destination, and following East Hampton, we wanted to make sure we found a place equally special,” says Guidara. “Going into the St. Regis, specifically with Chefs Club, was an easy decision after meeting with their team because they understood exactly what we wanted to do—create a unique experience, something not found in Aspen, and done so with our food and
hospitality standards. It also needed to be a lot of fun!”

The St. Regis Aspen (Courtesy of St. Regis Aspen/David Marlow)

In addition to a menu inspired by Humm’s Swiss upbringing and more than 250 wines, guests of EMP Winter House can partake in private dining outside in the Yurt Village—a collection of unique wintery tents. Filled with vintage ski and snow gear, the yurts reflect Aspen while transporting guests to other cold-weather destinations like St. Moritz and Chamonix (they can warm up with yak, camel, and cashmere throws from Hangai Mountain Textiles in Basalt, Colorado, and Mongolia). “With EMP Summer House, we had the backyard where guests could play games, order large-format lobster boils or tacos spreads, and just spend hours of the time reveling in the experience,” Guidara says. “We had to have something like that in Aspen, but of course there are some limitations with the weather. Yurt Village helped us achieve that experiential element and flex some of our creativity. It’s also a ton of fun, light hearted, and it’s a magical place to spend an evening with friends and family around the table.”

Yurt Village at the St. Regis Aspen (Courtesy of American Express/EMP Winter House/Gary He)