Colorado contending for Outstanding Restaurant & Best Chef Southwest .
Narrowing down the annual list of James Beard Award winners is a length process: nominations, semi-finalists and finalists all announced with deliberate timing by the James Beard Foundation. Two Colorado contenders have made it to the finalist round: Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine in the Outstanding Restaurant category and Steve Redzikowski of Boulder’s Oak on Fourteenth and both Acorn and Brider in Denver as Best Chef, Southwest. As I have written before, being nominated is an honor. Being a finalist is greater honor. And winning a Beard Award is, well, over the moon.
Gayot.com picks the country’s top 10, including one in Denver.
I have mixed feelings whenever I see a list of the “best women something.” Unless it’s a sport that requires brute strength, I wish women were given equal opportunities and judged equally. But since they aren’t (yet), we have the token woman in a list of men and also “the best women.” The latest in the culinary realm being Guyot’s selection of the “Best Female Chefs in the U.S.” When I saw the title, I figured that she was a shoe-in.
Here’s what self-described “guide to the good life” wrote about her:
Chef Jennifer Jasinski climbed the culinary ladder at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant empire before settling down in Denver, where she and business partner Beth Gruitch have had a string of hits.
Just a five-minute drive from Boulder, find Flagstaff House: a family-owned establishment built into the mountainside. At an elevation of 6,000 feet (1,828.8 meters), views from the window-encased dining room and outdoor patio overlook the city and surrounding mountain scenery. Known for its extensive wine list – Flagstaff House has a 15,000-bottle wine cellar on-site – and French-American cuisine, this Boulder favorite is perfect for special occasions and romantic evenings.
Congrats to the Flagstaff House for yet another honor. We have a 25th anniversary coming up next year. Hint, hint, hint to my husband. 🙂
The James Beard Foundation released its list of semi-finalists for its 2017 James Beard Award. Three Colorado chefs — all from the Front Range — are in the running for Best Chef, Southwest recognition:
Steve Redzikowski. Acorn, Denver. He also is with Oak on Fourteenth in Boulder.
Alex Seidel. Mercantile, Denver. Also, Denver’s Fruition, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Eric Skokan. Black Cat. Also, Bramble & Hare, just next door in Boulder.
Also, Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine was nominated as an Outstanding Restaurant. Not the first time, I believe.
Travel & Leisure’s latest “In Every State” roundup, “The Best Cheap Eats in Every State,” pegs Boulder’s Shamane’s Bake Shoppe for its chicken pot pie. The Ali Khan cited a noted food blogger and host of “Cheap Eats” on the Cooking Channel.
For an unforgettable comfort meal, head to Shamane’s Bake Shoppe in Boulder to try their chicken pot pie.
The hearty pie, at $8.25, is made with roasted chicken and a stock created from its bones to create an incredibly flavorful dish that Khan says is the best chicken pot pie he has had as of yet.
“What blew me away was the intensely rich and comforting roasted chicken flavors,” Khan said of the dish. “Chicken pot pie is one of those foods we crave often but seldom find done right, let alone done from scratch—not the case here.”
Justin Brunson, the chef behind Masterpiece Deli, also owns one of Denver’s most important restaurants (the acclaimed Old Major), and his culinary talents are equally showcased at this humble deli. One of the major feats of this Mile High shop is its versatility. The menu features a mouthwatering 12-hour-braised beef brisket smothered in a rich Taleggio fondue and served on a baguette. And damn it if Masterpiece’s bland-as-hell-sounding roasted vegetable sandwich isn’t one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat, too. The flavors of the fresh zucchini, wild mushrooms, and piquillo peppers mesh gloriously with the hummus, a zesty tomato tapenade, and aged provolone on a baguette. Though the Cubano — loaded with Black Forest ham and brined mojo pork and glued together with melted Swiss — might be enough to tempt even the president of PETA over to the dark side.
The original is in LoHi, where it was a pioneering good-food presence. There’s a second Masterpiece Deli in Uptown and a related eatery, Masterpiece Kitchen, in Lowry.
Food & Wine magazine selected its choices for the best farm-to-table restaurant in every state, where hey surveyed food writers and bloggers. Even though they didn’t contact me, I’m happy to note that Boulder-born The Kitchen was the Colorado choice. I concur, because The Kitchen really pioneered the concept in this neck of the culinary woods.
Here’s what Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore wrote (but the fact-checking or proofreading was flawed. It’s Kimbal Musk, not Kimbal Husk):
Colorado: The Kitchen
“Over the past five years in Boulder and Denver, I’ve noticed a big shift towards a vibrant restaurant scene with a palpable verve around sustainability,” said . “Restaurants like Black Cat, Potager, and Fruition have really stepped up to the plate to deliver inspired seasonal cuisine.” Paving the farm-to-table way in Colorado is The Kitchen, which has establishments in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins and applies its strong eco-friendly philosophy—that includes everything from the locally sourced ingredients to wind power to composting—in each location. Founders Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Husk have also created a nonprofit that’s built over 200 Learning Gardens in schools in Colorado, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Memphis for 120,000 students to discover the benefits of growing and eating fresh healthy food.
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.