Westword’s DISH Food Fest Tomorrow

All you can eat and all you can drink at DCPA event.

westworddish-logoMore than 40 Denver restaurants and other food purveyors are doing their culinary thing in the shadow of the “Two Dancers” sculpture at the Denver Performing Arts Complex tomorrow, September 25, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  during the 22nd annual Westword DISH food festival. It’s a bargain as such things go — $20 general admission and $75 VIP early entry. Both levels include unlimited food samples and beverages (Stella Artois beer and others).

Syrup, Little Man Ice Cream, The Real Dill, Aikopops, Onefold, Biker Jim’s, Roaming Buffalo BBQ, The Vegan Van, Dirt Coffee Bar, Interstate Kitchen, Neighbors Wine Bar, Milk & Cake, Brazen, Il Porcellino, Frijoles Colorado, Amore Gelato, Jozi’s Kitchen & Sheebeen, Americatus, the Nickel and more will all be dishing samples at DISH. It’s not a family event, however, as it’s 21+. (Take RTD and bring an ID.)

You can buy tickets online or at the entrance beginning at 10 a.m. with no service fee.

Denver Central Market Opening on Sunday

RiNo’s second market hall set to open officially.

foodmarketstandI’ve haunted food market halls forever — Boston’s long-gentrified Haymarket, the Essex Street Market in New York’s Lower East Side that has also been gentrified and no longer feels like a corner of Eastern Europe, the Fulton Fish Market when it was still in Lower Manhattan, Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the Los Angeles Farmers Market and so many more around the globe.

Ever since it opened, The Source in the RiNo Art District has been one of my favorite Denver destinations, and I am looking forward to the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, although it is diagonally across metro Denver from Boulder. I’ve also I’ve been keeping an eye on The Denver Central Market, since the project was started. Now, according to reports from first looks by other local food writers and bloggers, it’s gorgeous. It is ready to go with the official opening scheduled for Sunday, September 25.

The Denver Central Market early in its development.
The Denver Central Market early in its development — last April. The hoped-for spring 2016 opening was pushed back, but now, it’s happening.

Restaurateurs Jeff Osaka (the late lamented Twelve, Osaka Ramen, Sushi-Ramen) and Ken Wolf (Empire, Pizzeria da Lupo) undertook the ambitious project of turning the 1928 H.H, Tammen Building from a shell into gorgeous light-filled, 14.000-square-foot artisanal marketplace.

Continue reading Denver Central Market Opening on Sunday

Denver Chef to Cook at Beard Pork-A-Palooza

Justin Brunson among 10 selected chefs.

JamesBeardFoundation-logoAs it says on that chef’s apron that is a  popular gift for hefty home cooks, “Never trust a skinny chef.”  Bu that measure,  chef-owner Justin Brunson of Denver’s Old Major, Masterpiece Kitchen and Masterpiece Delicatessen is one of the most trustworthy chefs around.

Chef Justin Brunson.
Chef Justin Brunson.

His skill and rep for his way with meats, not his BMI, earned him an invitation to at the James Beard Foundation’s Pork-A-Palooza on October 4 at the James Beard House. The kitchen cadre:

  • Stephen Gerike, The National Pork Board. Des Moines, IA
  • Jason Alley. Comfort and Pasture, Richmond, VA.
  • Justin Brunson. Old Major, Masterpiece Deli and Masterpiece Kitchen, Denver.
  • Brad Farmerie. Public, New York, and Saxon + Parole, New York.
  • Jose Garces*. Garces Group, Chicago; Moorestown, NJ; Palm Springs, CA; Philadelphia; Scottsdale, AZ, and Washington, D.C.
  • Paul Kahan.* One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago.
  • Adam Sappington. The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar, Portland, OR.
  • Chris Shepherd*. Underbelly, Houston.
  • Celeste Campise. Who’s Hungry?, Magazine and Room 1520, Chicago.
  • Jared Rouben. Moody Tongue Brewing Company, Chicago.

    *James Beard Foundation Award winners.

The cost of the dinner is $160 for Beard members and $210 for the general public.


Cosmo’s on Best College Town Pizza List

Thrillist-logoThrillist’s selection of the “21 Best College Town Pizza Joints in America” naturally included the University of Colorado, which means best pizza in Boulder. The site selected , writing:

You will not find the best pizza slice of your life in Boulder. But if it’s 2am and you’re a 21-year-old CU student with a powerful hunger after a powerful night of drinking, Cosmo’s slices are National site singles out “spicy ranch” (also on pizzeria’s own website).hard to beat. While plenty of students eat (and work!) there, locals often swing by for a cheap, quick bite. Each slice runs about $3, and is about the size of former CU basketball star Chauncey Billups’ leg. Don’t forget the spicy ranch, which elevates every bite of pizza. There’s a reason Cosmo began bottling this stuff and selling it in local supermarkets: it’s got a heat that lingers without being overpowering, and it meshes beautifully with the NY-style thin crust. You can dip without judgment at Cosmo’s. In fact, it’s encouraged.

The national site singles out “spicy ranch,” which also on pizzeria’s own website’s home page. Coincidence? I think not .Both Boulder locations are near campus (one east, one west), and there’s one each in Denver and Fort Collins.

Meanwhile, Travel & Leisure assembled a list of the country’s 30 most beautiful college campuses. CU-Boulder  is one, but the magazine picked a particularly unlovely photograph — an empty mottled field in the foreground, a jumble of buildings behind and the rounded lump of Flagstaff Mountain behind those. No signature sandstone buildings that the write-up lauds, no Old Main, no tree-studded Nolin quad, no Flatirons in the background, now snowcapped peaks referred to.  Not much thinking on the part of T&L.

Winery: Crash, Not Crush

Wayward truck destroys Aspen Peak Winery.

aspenpeakwinery-logoEvery time I’ve come down the steep hill into Bailey on U.S. Highway 285, I’ve been astonished that no one has plowed into the that has been housing the Aspen Peak Cellars & Winery. Now someone has.

Terrifying runaway truck barreled into the Aspen Peak Cellar and Winery in Bailey.
Terrifying runaway truck barreled into the Aspen Peak Cellar and Winery in Bailey in the middle of the night.

Around midnight on Monday, the driver of a semi-trailer fell asleep or lost control or something and slammed into the winery , destroying the building and rendering the operation a “total loss,” according to authorities and the owners.

At this time of year, wineries typically think about the grape harvest and crush. Marcel and Julie Flukiger began making wine as a hobby before starting the Aspen Peak Winery, first in Conifer, where they operated restaurant and winery. After the restaurant’s event venue, a 140-year-old barn, burned, they moved the winery to this vulnerable property in Bailey. Let’s hope that if they relocate again, that the third time’s the charm and the next location doesn’t suffer some unforeseen disaster.

Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week Bargain

VailRestaurantThe fourth annual 2016 Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week, promotionally called Dining at Altitude, takes place from September 30  through October 9 and with weather luck, coincides conveniently with aspen season.  The 10-day event features a wide variety of prix fixe menus and specials at $20.16 per person.  Click here for participating restaurants in Vail and here for those in Beaver Creek.

RIP: Chef Evan Treadwell

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Evan Treadwell dies in boating accident.

dtr-logoChef Even Treadwell, captain of the kitchens at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, died on September 6 following a boating accident.

The luxurious and highly honored Grand County resort posted on its Facebook page, “Chef Evan was the heart and soul of the acclaimed culinary team at Devil’s Thumb Ranch. He mentored many food and beverage professionals, and his talents will be carried forward through the skills and passion he imparted on the culinary team at the Ranch.”

Chef Evan Treadwell (Photo by Laurie Smith, courtesy of Devil's Thumb Ranch)
Chef Evan Treadwell (Photo by Laurie Smith, courtesy of Devil’s Thumb Ranch)

Chef Treadwell came to Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa from the AAA Four Diamond Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in California. His signature culinary style earned him an Iron Chef Award and Santé’s Culinary Award for Innovative Regional Cuisine. Earlier in his career, he worked at Viogner Restaurant with James Beard Award winner Chef Gary Danko.

When Chef Treadwell joined DTR in 2011, it was already known for  sustainably focused cuisine, as local as possible (sourcing summer produce from Morales Farm), and hoping one day to have a vertical greenhouse on the ranch). The spacious ranch also has a Wagyu beef herd to headline its beef-forward menu. He cooked at New York’s prestigious James Beard House in 2012 and again in 2013.   Chef Treadwell built on that reputation and was a charismatic presence who inspired many chefs who, on social media, quickly expressed their shock and profound sorrow at his passing.

Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.