Wine, foodies & song in Boulder.
Three art forms were showcased at yesterday evening’s Flatirons Food Film Festival fundraiser: cinematic arts, musical arts and, of course, culinary arts. The event opened with food samples from some of the city’s finest chefs and adult beverages. Then there was a fast-moving live auction (some guests scored great deals). Then came short films on food subjects curated by James Beard Award-winner The Perennial Plate, which documents what it calls “adventures in sustainable eating.” Each chef viewed one of the films that inspired the dishes he presented, and in addition to the resulting food/film pairings, four fine singers from Opera on Tap Colorado performed operatic pairings.
Alex Krill & David Query, Jax Fish House
Query, who founded and operates the entire Big Red F Restaurant Group, of which Jax is just one concept, said that “10 Things We love About Italy” inspired him to offer fresh, simple food, preparted with “not a lot of over-thought, just thought.”
Eric Skokan, Black Bistro
“The Importance of Being Basque,” which celebrates the dedication, heritage and love of the land exemplified the farmers who live in the rugged land where France and Spain meet, is much the way Eric Skokan, his wife Jill and their four children live. Local foodies know the Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare, just off Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, and also their Black Cat Farm’s stand at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market. His offering reflected the Basques’ “simple heartfelt food from the community and for the community”
Kelly Whitaker, Basta
Chef Whitaker’s two restaurants, Basta in Boulder and Cart-Driver in Denver, are both Italian, but festival organizers threw him a curve with the film “God’s Country” about a family (who might be Mennonites) who farm organically, ethically and responsibly in the way they treat their animals. Whitaker reached back to his Oklahoma grandparents’ farms for his choice of food.
John Platt, Riffs Urban Fare
Five restaurants and four films meant that John Platt of Riffs Urban Fare was able to take his inspiration from wherever– in this case, from his own restaurant’s menu that often features variations on the theme of roasted beets,
Kyle Mendenhall, The Kitchen
The Kitchen was a leader in serving local food, emphasizing organic and sustainable sources, recognizing the importance of community and also taking care of the disposal of food waste and the production of energy for the restaurant. “Dabbawalla,” a fascinating film about a group of people in India who prepare food for 200,000 people a day in Mumbai and deliver it by rail, by bicycle and on foot to provide reliable, homestyle food for so many. “What they are able to do is incredible,” said Mendenhall, who was inspired to offer an Indian-style item.
Alas, I had arrived about 20 minutes after the event started and the nibbles from Cured were already gone, but I made sure I got some dessert. Cured, BTW, just announced that is opening a second restaurant. It will be on 10th Street, between West Pearl and Spruce, which is my end of downtown, and I can hardly wait.
I am already stoked for the third annual Flatirons Food Film Festival (October 19 to 25).