My son Sasha Heller, a newspaper designer and journalist, lived in Denver, Colorado from August 2018 to January 2022. Sasha and I are pictured standing in front of Chris Lanter’s smoker eyeing delicious briskets to be sliced up in his Home Team BBQ restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. We’ll explain why.
I visited Sasha Aug. 6 – 10, 2019 to spend time together. My son hadn’t a chance to see much of his new state since moving there from Austin, Texas, so we headed to Aspen Aug. 8 – 10 for some fun and sightseeing.
I first visited Aspen in 1972 with Sasha’s mom when it was a small hippie enclave where Jack Nicholson and four girl-friends were known to hang out. My impression was of a modest mountain village of small wooden buildings, some frankly a bit dilapidated.
I returned thirty years later in 2002 with my friend Steve Shine who was living in Breckinridge at the time and found a hugely expanded and opulent city of serious affluence. Seventeen years later I was again returning to an even larger and richer city of 7,400 that my son marveled about supporting two daily newspapers.
This time I was coming to visit Chris Lanter, the celebrated chef-owner of Cache Cache, Aspen’s best restaurant located in the heart of town at Main and Mill. I was Chris’ social studies teacher at Northside High School in Atlanta, GA 1988 – 90 and his chaperon to the Soviet Union at the end of 1989. For more information, please see the video One Moment in Time on www.arnoldheller.org/social-studies/northside-high-school-of-the- arts-soviet-youth-visa-exchange-dec-22-1989-jan-6-1990.html.
Facebook reconnected us and he extended an invitation to stay with him and his lovely wife Rena in their beautiful Snowmass condo. Chris and Rena are terrific hosts and made Sash and I feel right at home.
They are also very generous hosts and invited us to be their guests at Cache Cache that Saturday night.
I found a Southern Coterie friend’s letter to Chris that reflected my own similar mission to Aspen.
I apologize that the rest of the background information got cut off – Chris’ son is skiing at top levels.
Chris, through hard work and a genius for cooking, has created a special dining experience. Welcome to Cache Cache where the staff is lined up at the entrance to show their support for a friend’s Olympic skiing quest.
Sash and I entered the cozy bar, sat on the right side, ordered a drink, and were drawn in by the warm welcoming vibe.
The restaurant is tucked away snug in the corner of a retail mall a stone’s throw from the main plaza. There is a cute outdoor plaza for dining – weather permitting.