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“How many have you had?” the staffer asked her patron,
struggling to look uncritical.
The unkempt guest said nothing, attempting his best innocent
expression, exaggerated doe eyes and all. She wanted to cut him off, but
allowed him one more.
Knowing just how addictive the stuff can be, I approached
the guest. Signs of his consumption were all over his face.
“So,” I pried. “How many have you had?”
“Five,” he answered, his head reaching just above my belly
I didn’t have time to react — the kid was already off to the
fire pit to complete his bender.
All things in moderation, I thought, before finishing my own
s’more, which featured banana-flavored marshmallows made in-house by The
Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
During my stay, the hotel’s complimentary Marshmology
session, which takes place daily from 4:30 to 5 p.m., was the highlight of my
apres-ski itinerary. Each time, I approached the fire pit with wonder: What
flavor would they conjure up next?
Blueberry, root beer and blood orange followed the banana.
The staff’s marshmologist — a member of the guest services team — personally
hands off each skewer and marshmallow. Up to three other staffers stand by,
clutching open-face graham cracker and chocolate sandwiches. This service
detail was the truest luxury for me; I usually only stop roasting when the
marshmallow folds under its own weight and begins its droopy descent off the
With such a short window for an activity as popular as
making free s’mores, it’s a given that you’re going to rub shoulders with staff
as well as guests.
“Hey, did you go skiing today?” one kid asked a new friend,
who was wearing a yellow beanie in the shape of Pikachu’s ears and eyes. “Today
was my first time skiing ever,” he gushed.
I, on the other hand, got on a first-name basis with the big
man himself: Nick Mayer, the on-duty marshmologist.
On my final day, Mayer challenged me to make a s’more with
two homemade marshmallows, usually not allowed. I soon learned why: It was no
small challenge. He interjected my attempt with a lesson.
“Spin it like a rotisserie,” he said, modeling how it should
Struggling to eat my s’more before the marshmallows oozed
onto the floor, I managed to get strings of fluff all over my face, and thick
blobs covered my napkin. I never did pull off looking classy eating my treat,
but, like the boy on the five-s’mores diet, I was enjoying myself too much to
“Look at that lady,” one 10-year-old whispered to her
friend, nodding in my direction. “She’s a messy eater.”