Fresh, farm to table dining is a pretty big thing in Colorado these days. It’s nice to know not only where your food comes from, but also that you’re supporting local businesses. There are many farm to fork or farm to table options locally available, but you may be a bit surprised at the location of one of our family favorites.
We’ve been fortunate to visit Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs quite a few times. Although we usually stay overnight, occasionally we visit only for an afternoon or evening. Honestly! The kids like to do the Adventure Park activities or play MagiQuest. It’s a great place for a family night out where the kids have plenty to do and there are delicious dining options for everyone.
While you may think that Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs only offers your typical resort food, you are in for a surprise. Barnwood offers locally sourced dishes and delicious craft cocktails. We also adore that the menu changes periodically to take advantage of seasonal availability.
During our last media visit, we heard from Executive Chef Matthew Redmond and you could tell he had a true passion for creating at Barnwood. I was able to ask him a few questions about the restaurant and the creative process behind it, which you’ll find below:
Motherhood & Beyond: Can you tell me a bit about the process of how the menu is created?
Executive Chef Matthew Redmond: The inspiration starts with the season. I research the available local products and then decide how best to capture and highlight the time of the year. Working closely with our culinary team I consider all ideas, offerings and pairings we have available to us. The process of finding the right balance and inspiration is how the menu finally starts to take shape… which I find truly exciting. Ultimately in the end we get to provide our guests with a great dining experience and a taste of the region and season.
MB: Do you pick local ingredients and then create the menu items or vice versa?
Chef Redmond: To be honest both, I will spend time looking at local offerings each season to see if something stands out and try to balance it that product into a menu offering. Other times I will have a dish in mind, search to find the components by working with different farms or ranches in the area.
MB: How often does the menu change?
Chef Redmond: Our menu changes about 3 times a year. Once in the first part of the year to complement the colder winter months, another around late spring, and finally it will change around summer as the local harvest start to get into full swing.
MB: How are local farms/businesses selected?
Chef Redmond: Prior to opening we visited a number of farms, and purveyors of local products and established those relationships in order to get a sense of what area had to offer. Even now I still continue to explore new sources regularly in order to discover fresh new items for inspiration… however sometimes these new items find you. For example we’ve recently partnered with Microvora, a new up and coming grower of Micro greens here in Colorado Springs, Microvora. He came into the Lodge a few times to showcase a sample of the different greens he produced. It’s a great product that I knew would help enhance our guests dining experience.
MB: I know Barnwood was a first for Great Wolf Lodge. Can you remind me again what other properties have or are scheduled to have one?
Chef Redmond: So far our recently opened LaGrange, Minneapolis and Gurnee properties also have Barnwood and there may be more in the future.
MB: I know Great Wolf Lodge is big on assisting guests with food allergies, can you elaborate a bit on that process?
Chef Redmond: Our philosophy is that every guest should have an exceptional dining experience, regardless of allergies. Planning a family trip while taking into consideration the potential limitations due to diet restrictions can be very challenging. Because of this we created a way to assist families with even the planning stages of their vacation. If there are allergies our guests need to plan accordingly for we recommended reaching out to us by calling or by email at Food.ColoradoSprings@greatwolf.com prior to arrival. They will not only receive a response from one of our chefs but they will work with that chef personally for the duration of their stay. Of course you can also speak to your server while on property and either I or one of the chef’s will be happy to assist you also. Guests will also find that our food & beverage offerings at the resort are peanut and tree nut free. Bringing joy to families while ensuring a memorable and inclusive dining experience is something we take great pride in.
As you can tell Executive Chef Redmond and his team work hard in creating a fresh, locally sourced menu for their guests. The pictures just don’t do justice to the incredible tastes and flavors of their work. So, the next time you’re looking to try a new place on date night, or need a place to take the family out for a little fun. Head over to Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs and give Barnwood a try!
During our last visit we were guests of Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs as an opportunity to learn and share with our readers. Please see the disclosures page for more information. Thank you!