Category Archives: Award

Lakewood Coffee Roaster on Top-21 List

Lakewood’s Sweet Bloom on the national map.

Thrillist-logoWhen I read the headline,  “The 21 Best Coffee Roasters in the Country,” I idly wondered which Boulder or Denver roaster would be on the list. Answer is “none” — or “one, sort of.”  Sweet Bloom is the only Colorado roaster to make the list. It’s located in Lakewood, but its bags say “Denver.”

Sweet Bloom
Lakewood, CO
The bean: San Adolfo Colombia (floral, berry, nougat)
Most roasters are proud to have visited the farms they source their coffee from, but Sweet Bloom takes it a step further by actually inviting its farmers to its Lakewood, CO headquarters to taste the fruits of their labor, which happen to be roasted by a guy who’s taken home first or second in nearly all of the most important competitions in coffee. The roasts skew lighter than average, with an emphasis on sweetness (go figure) and floral aromatics. Word on the street is that Colombian beans are the move, but it’s hard not to try the Guatemalans once you hear the story of the third-generation farmers behind the crop.

FIVE Colorado Chef Selection for 2016

DenverFive-logoFIVE Colorado, restaurant consultant Leigh Sullivan’s ninth annual selection of leading local culinary and beverage talent, has been announced. Originally called the Denver FIVE,  the list features five chefs, including an alumni chef from a past season, and a beverage team, to create five unique dining experiences throughout the city, represent the city and state at Aspen Food & Wine in June, and wrapping up their rein with a truly special dinner at the James Beard House in New York City on October 13 , 2016.

The 2016 FIVE chef roster:

  • John Depierro, Alumni Chef & Chef/Co-Owner, Mijo
  • Dana Rodriguez, Chef/Owner, Work & Class
  • Alicia Luther, Executive Pastry Chef, Black Eye Coffee
  • Thach Tran, Chef, Uncle Joe’s Hong Kong Bistro
  • Darrel Truett, Executive Chef, Barolo Grill

The 2016 beverage team:

  • Gerard Collier, Pinche Tacos
  • Ryan Fletter, Owner & CoMS advanced sommelier, Barolo Grill

Kilwin’s Coming To Boulder

Franchise fudge shop named one of the best in the US.

Kilwins-logoIn part of the space on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall that once housed Trattoria on Pearl, a Kilwin’s shop is taking shape with a promised January 9 opening. I’ve been to the Kilwin’s in downtown Fort Collins and am therefore looking forward to its appearance in Boulder too. just release a list of what it considers “America’s 25 Best Fudge Shops” to be. Eight are in Michigan, but Colorado’s Front Range will soon have two locations of one brand. Here’s what the site says:

Kilwins was founded in 1947 by Don and Katy Kilwin, and today there are nine locations as far and wide as Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Atlanta. The fudge recipe used at all the locations was created by Don and Katy themselves, and crafted on marble slabs. Top selling flavors include classic chocolate, sea salt caramel, and turtle; with seasonal favorites including egg nog and peppermint stick.

The Daily Meal’s writer isn’t much of a reporter, claiming that there are “nine locations far and wide,” when in truth there are more than 100 which would be both farther and wider.

Three Chefs Honored at Winefest Pairing Competition

Denver International Wine Festival’s Pairsine showcases culinary talent.

Pairsine-logo2Eleven chefs from Colorado and beyond each prepared two dishes to pair with award-winning wines at last night’s Pairsine competition, for me a highlight event of the 11th annual Denver International Wine Festival. Competing chefs often seem to be on the same wavelength. Last night, six of the 11 prepared beef — mostly braised — and two served octopus. But there was not a single dessert. Not one.

Competitors in the 2015 Parisine competition.
Competitors in the 2015 Parisine after the competition was over .
Judges chef Michael Long, chef Jean-Luc Vogele of the Westin Downtown Denver and yours truly. Both of the chefs had won top honors earlier Pairsines.
Judges chef Michael Long, chef Jean-Luc Vogele of the Westin Downtown Denver and yours truly. Both of the chefs had won top honors earlier Pairsines.

This year’s honorees were Best Chef, Laurent Mechin of Jill’s Restaurant in the St. Julien Hotel, Boulder; People’s Choice Chef Franco Ruiz, executive chef,  Fruition Restaurant, Denver, and Jay Spickelmeir, chef de cuisine, The Vail Cascade Resort and Atwater on Gore Creek, Vail.

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Best Donuts in Colorado? Guess.

Thrillist-logoYesterday, I posted an item about a Halloween pop-up by Old Major and Glazed and Confuzed Donuts. Today comes Thrillist’s list of “The Best Donut Shops in Every State.” Colorado’s is…..drum roll……Glazed and Confuzed. Here’s what Thrillist posted:


Glazed and Confuzed (address and info)
Alright, get your lazy McConaughey impression over with now. You done? Good, because there’s a lot more to this Denver shop than movie puns. Like donuts with Mediterranean sea salt caramel glaze and cups of joe from local favorite Pablo’s Coffee. (Specifically, the “Danger Monkey” kind.)

Great Deal on Denver Winefest Tix

Metro area wine festival for a song.

DenverWineFest2015-dealI plan to be at the upcoming Denver International Wine Festival for several events. I am again honored to be a judge at the October 29 Parisine wine/food pairing competition, when 10 leading regional chefs will vie for honors in their creativity in preparing dishes to pair with 20 gold medal-winning wines from 2015 Denver International Wine Competition. I’m always blown away by the creativity these chefs exhibit.

The Grand Tasting is the highlight of every wine festival, and organizers of the metro Denver event have dropped the price on entry to the Grand Tasting on October 30 — more than 400 wines, beers and spirits, plus small food samples and food for sale —  for three indulgent hours, 6 to 9 p.m. To buy tickets for just $45 each — regularly $75, including a logo glass, go to <> .

The Festival takes place at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, conveniently just off US 36 whose upgrade is almost complete. Spend the night at the Omni for only $99, take a taxi,  use Uber or have a designated driver so you can fully enjoy the evening.

‘Dining Out’ Mag Readers’ “Prime Picks”

Diners select their Denver & Boulder favorites.

PrimePicks-logoDining Out magazine — mostly menus but some features too — invited readers to select what they considered the best in various categories. Like all such reader selections, the results are heavily weighted toward what’s “hot” and “in” now, not necessarily the best. How, for example, would Black Cat and/or its sister restaurant, Bramble & Hare be left off the farm-to-table list? And not to put to fine a point on it, but Chez Thuy is not really Chinese and Sherpa’s is not really Indian. But here, with that caution, is the Prime Picks list. Clicking on a category should bring up details on the winner:


Continue reading ‘Dining Out’ Mag Readers’ “Prime Picks”