3 Colorado Nominees for Best Beer Town

USA Today is looking for the country’s 10 best.

USAToday-logoOf the 19 nominees for USA Today’s 10 Best Beer Towns list, three are in Colorado: Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. Those are pretty good odds in the Centennial State’s favor. ‘Nuff said. Now vote.

USPS Puts Its Stamp on Good Food

Chef series and farmers’ market stamps send mail on its way.

USPostalService-logoLast month, the US Postal Service issued a set of cheerful stamps commemorating farmers’ markets and the nation’s bounty. I only wish that the US Department of Agriculture and federal Food and Drug Administration were also supportive of organic farms rather than big corporate agriculture and all of it chemicals it uses and unleashes into the soil, water and air. At least there’s not a Monsanto stamp — yet.Stamps-FarmersMkt

September 26 is the official release date for a new series of stamps honoring American celebrity chefs — culinary pioneers who awakened palates across the land. The design of the James Beard stamp was the first to be revealed. Joyce Chen who brought an understanding of authentic Chinese food to America, legendary cookbook author and television Julia Child, Southern cooking ambassador Edna Lewis and South American chef Felipe Rojas-Lombardi who extended knowledge and awareness elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere. In case you are wondering why Wolfgang Puck, Grant Aschatz, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Paul Prud’homme and other celebrity chefs haven’t “been stamped” yet, it is because the Postal Service will not even consider a commemorative stamp until the individual has been dead for at least two years.

Stamps-Beard

Both of these series are being issued as Forever stamps, which always are equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

Food & Wine Festival This Week

DenverFoodAndWine-logoThe 10th Annual Denver Food and Wine Festival from September 3 to 6 is four indulgent days of wines, spirits and delectable cuisine. The various events culminate in the DFW Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 6 from 1  to 4 p.m., the rare daytime grand tasting. It  features samplings of more than 600 featured wines and signature spirits, cuisine from  fine restaurants in Denver and beyond, a silent auction and a Viking Culinary Chef showcase.

The event takes at the Auraria Campus of Metropolitan State University in Denver. The goal of this event is to help raise funds for the Denver Post Community Foundation, Colorado Restaurant Association Education Foundation and Metro State University of Denver, whose culinary and hospitality program is gaining renown. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $95 ($125 for special early entry beginning at 12 noon).

Top Taste of Colorado Restaurants

Labor Day food-focused festival in Denver produces winners.

TasteOfColo-logoI was in Vienna when the 31st annual Taste of Colorado started, was traveling on a series of airplanes when it shifted into high gear on Saturday and since I just got home that evening (yesterday), not inclined so insert my jet-lagged self into the tumult and crowds into the final two days of this events. But if you are in Denver, looking for some diversion, I recommend it. So head over to Civic Center Park though Labor Day and enjoy yourself.

In addition to standard festival fun (carnival food, vendors, entertainment and more), a restaurant row features some of Colorado’s favorite food establishments offer tastings and demos, and a “Best of Taste” competition was held.

I don’t know the rules or the judges, but the following restaurants have been named the 2014 Best of Taste honorees:

Best Menu/Taste. 1. Little India 2. Tocabe 3. Tie- Mountain Diner and Rocks Grill

Best Value. 1. Rodizio Grill 2. Tocabe 3. Little India

Most Unique. 1. Rocks Grill 2. Little City Chefs 3. Tocabe

Best Décor. 1. Gigi’s Cupcakes 2. Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que 3. Spice Island Grill

Best of Taste Fine Dining winners:

Best Menu/Taste. Randolph’s Restaurant

Best Value. La Cour Bistro & Bar

Most Unique. Randolph’s Restaurant

 

Festival of Mountain and Plain … A Taste of Colorado is a community celebration that is produced by and benefits Downtown Denver Events, Inc., the Downtown Denver Partnership family’s community events nonprofit organization. The Festival is an opportunity for people throughout the region to come together to experience and appreciate our diverse cultural traditions, and to learn more about our state’s Western heritage. The Festival highlights visual and performing arts in addition to featuring educational programs and culinary demonstrations.

Vienna: Carb-Loading & Loving It

The breads, the pastries, the noodles and oh, the taste.

carbsLiving in carbohydrate-averse Boulder, I felt a delicious thrill of the forbidden when I again realized that central Europe hasn’t yet abandoned traditional foods. The Viennese seem immune to the current American dietary no-carb obsession. Yes, I know that for people with celiac disease, wheat products in particular a really are a problem, and diabetics and those with other issues must keep control of their intake.

For the rest of us, cutting out carbs completely is optional. I hold to Michael Pollan’s advice not to eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, and I truly enjoy the Austrian specialties that my grandmothers both made, served and ate. During a short trip, I indulged. Did I ever! In addition to flour, sugar, heavy cream, chocolate and cooked fruit abounded. And was it all ever good! Here are some images from Vienna in no particular order:

Nudeln mit Eier, the "noodles" are pinched-off dough that is droppedinto boiling water, cooked, drained and scrambled with eggs. A small green salad comes with this dish.

Nudeln mit Eier, the “noodles” are rough-cut dough that is dropped into boiling water, cooked, drained and scrambled with eggs. A small green salad comes with this dish.

Typical basket of different kinds of rolls, at least one of which had coarse salt on the surface.

Typical basket of different kinds of rolls, at least one of which had coarse salt on the surface.

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