Category Archives: Book

Top BBQ in Colorado

Smokin’  Dave’s and GQ Championship BBQ on national list.

Adrian Miller, Denver-based lapsed lawyer, author of the James Beard Award-winning Soul Food: The Surprising Story of American Cuisine and The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our Fed Our First Families from the Washingtons to the Obamas, is also a certified barbecue judge. He just posted news that two Colorado restaurants (four locations total) have been named on the list of “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America” by National Barbecue News. Just 29 restaurants nationwide made the list.

In winter, when it’s not crowded, we have sometimes managed to score a table at Smokin’ Dave’s in Estes Park but usually end up stopping in Lyons on the way home. The meats, the chicken, the sauces, the even the sides (especially the sweet potato fries, slaw and the beans) are great. The funky automotive décor is run too. I don’t post every time we stop there, but occasional do, particularly the Lyons location après la deluge of 2013. We’ve never been to GQ Championship BBQ in Westminster, but it’s now on our to-try list.

Interestingly, neither of these restaurants appear on his Soul Food Scholar blog’s selection of his own favorite spots in the state and elsewhere. However, Durango-born Serious Texas Bar-B-Q (two in Durango and one each in Fort Collins and Loveland) meets his standards.

Local Author’s Book on African-American White House Chefs

Adrian Miller’s book launches at History Colorado museum.

Just in time for Presidents’ Day, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our Presidents from the Washingtons to the Obamas by award-winning Denver chef, author and soul food scholar Adrian Miller is now out.

It officially launches in the Mile High City on Saturday, February 18. The celebration starts with a pricy VIP party early, but from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the event is free and open to the public. In the course of the afternoon and evening, it includes former presidential chefs, presidential reenactors, presidential food and drink (from real White House recipes) and music (with the occasional campaign song thrown in) — some, of course, just for the VIP part. History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, Denver.

Lonely Planet’s New Food Series

With food a major part of travel, publisher adds titles.

lonelyplanet-logoLonely Planet, now the world’s largest travel guidebook publisher (and my favorite line of titles), is launching the Lonely Planet Food imprint. Food is a key way in which we experience a place when traveling. Out on October 18 is Food Trails: Plan 52 Perfect Weekends in the World’s Tastiest Destinations ($24.99), promising “a gastronomic tour of the greatest, most memorable food experiences worth planning a trip around – from barbeque in Texas to patisserie in Paris, fine dining to cooking classes.”  Also coming this fall are Food Trails (October), From the Source: Spain, and From the Source: Japan (both September). Coming in May 2017 is Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour.

The new imprint is launched with impressive ambitions. Associate publisher Robin Barton says, “We will be publishing a wide range of titles, including recipe books that feature food in its place of origin, and travel companions to food and drink trails around the world. We show chefs cooking, customers eating and ingredients being bought in markets, giving readers a true sense of place. A huge part of the food experience is the surroundings, atmosphere and people – our aim is to bring the complete package to people at home who are keen to experience world food at its most authentic.”

In Lonely Planet fashion, the publisher says that its “experts scoured the globe to create a comprehensive guide to a year’s worth of weekends in food heaven. Both practical and inspirational, Food Trails features culinary experts, reviews of restaurants, cafes and markets, and maps and information on where to go when and how to get there.” And did I mention that the food and ambiance photography promises to whet travelers’ appetites?

Cross-posted to Travel Babel.

‘Real Food, Fake Food’ on NYT Bestseller List

Author examines food counterfeiting. Buyer beware.

ReadFoodFakeFood-coverI hadn’t even gotten around to posting news of Larry Olmstead’s new book, Real Food, Fake Food before it hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. I’ve known Larry as an outdoor and travel writer, but he is also a foodie who has immersed himself in the food product scene. The book asks (and answers) the very big question: “What are you really eating?”

“The world is full of delicious, lovingly crafted foods that embody the terrain, weather, and culture of their origins. Unfortunately, it’s also full of brazen impostors that are hard to identify. In this entertaining and important book, Larry Olmsted helps us fall in love with the real stuff and steer clear of the fraudsters. I’ll never look at a menu the same way again,” Kirk Kardashian (no, not one of those Kardashians),  author of Milk Money: Cash, Cows and the Death of the American Dairy Farm, wrote in praise of Larry’s book. Continue reading ‘Real Food, Fake Food’ on NYT Bestseller List

2016 Beard Awards to Grandin, Chimayo & Miller

Temple Grandin Colorado’s sole honoree; Chimayo also cited..

BeardAwardNo Colorado chefs or restaurants were James Beard Award winners at a glittering ceremony in Chicago last night, but the remarkable Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal rights expert and advocate at  Colorado State University, was named to 2016 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America,  an honor roll of major influencers. Click here for the entire list of 2016 honorees.

Media awards are presented separately, and one Coloradan is coming home with one. Toni Tipton-Martin of Centennial was honored in the reference and scholarship category for The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African-American Cookbooks. The history of American-American food books appears to be a mini-niche in Denver. Historian Adrian Miller for his book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time.

P1090352Also recognized was Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante and owner Florence Jaramillo as being one of the 2016 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics honoree as a long-running heritage. As it happens, I ate at this sprawling half-century-old restaurant just last week as part of a day tour from Santa Fe.

Chimayo is famous for its chile-centric dishes, and this restaurant uses almost the entire annual crop. It accommodates groups in a large garden extension in the back and small individual parties in the front, which is the original ranch house. Note the similarities between the settings and the chairs.

A table set for group meals.
A table set for group meals.
Restaurant in the old ranch house.
Restaurant in the old ranch house.
Classic NM combo of a protein, beans and greens.
Classic NM combo of a protein, beans and greens.
Chile relleno with customary New Mexican accompaniments.
Chile relleno with customary New Mexican accompaniments  calabacitas (squash), rice beans and greens. The chile is either a poblano or an Anaheim. Chimayo chiles are too small to be stuffed with cheese.
Silky vanilla pudding with whipped cream and a crisp cookie.
Silky vanilla pudding with whipped cream and a crisp cookie.

300 Juan Medina Rd. (Santa Fe County Road 98), Chimayo, New Mexico 87522; 505 351-4444 or 505-984-2100.

Rancho de Chimayó Restauranté Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sustainable, Local Farming Focus of Aspen Lecture

Noted ag author coming to Aspen to give free lecture.

Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin

I am a great admirer of author Michael Pollan, who brilliantly deciphers what is wrong and what is right on the American food scene. Joel Salatin and his Polyface,  Farm (Swoope, Virginia) were featured in Pollan’s New York Times bestseller and in the award-winning documentary, “Food, Inc.” The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the City of Aspen Parks and Recreation, and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails are bringing Salatin to Aspen to give a talk, “Local Food to the Rescue.”

Joel himself has authored nine books on the topic of farming and sustainability where he passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm.  As ACES distills this critical issue, “For local food to be a credible part of the global food system it must develop six integrated components: production, processing, marketing, accounting, distribution and patrons. In this lecture Joel will educate our community on how to build a functional local food system, including economies of scale, collaborative food shed distribution, and meaningful volume.V

The talk takes place on Friday, August 7 at 7 p.m. in the  Paepcke Auditorium (1000 North 3rd Street). Click here to RSVP.

Anthony Bourdain to Release New Cookbook

Anthony Bourdain -- in a suit.
Anthony Bourdain — in a suit.

Chef, restaurateur, author and world- traveling television personality putting all that together.

I really enjoyed Anthony Bourdain’s memoirs, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and A Cook’s Tour, and have followed him around the globe on his television shows (Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, The Layover and now Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown) that focus on culture, food, booze and his bad-boy image. He has written bestsellers and won an Emmy or two. Now comes an announcement of a new book, due out in 2016, that seems to wrap much of his life and many of his interests between the covers.

Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is excited to announce that we have acquired APPETITES, the first cookbook in ten years from celebrity chef and culinary adventurer Anthony Bourdain. The book is currently scheduled to be released in fall 2016. Daniel Halpern, President and Publisher of Ecco, negotiated the deal with Kim Witherspoon of Inkwell Management. Bourdain is co-authoring APPETITES with Laurie Woolever.

Anthony Bourdain is man of many appetites. And for many years, first as a chef, later as a world traveling chronicler of food and culture, he has made a profession of understanding the appetites of others. These days, however, if he’s cooking, it’s for family and friends. APPETITES boils down 40 plus years of professional cooking and world traveling to a tight repertoire of personal favorites–dishes that everyone should (at least in Mr. Bourdain’s opinion) know how to cook. Once the supposed “bad boy” of cooking, Mr. Bourdain has, in recent years, become the father of a little girl–a role he has come to embrace with enthusiasm.

After years of traveling over 200 days a year, he has come to enjoy entertaining at home. Years of prep lists and the hyper-organization necessary for a restaurant kitchen however, have caused him, in his words, to have “morphed into a psychotic, anally retentive, bad-tempered Ina Garten. ” The result is a home cooking, home entertaining cookbook like no other. Personal favorites from home and from his travels, translated into an effective battle plan that will help you terrify your guests with your breathtaking efficiency. It is only fitting that the cover of this family friendly classic is by Ralph Steadman. Which should give you an idea of what’s inside. Lavishly and provocatively photographed by Bobby Fisher, APPETITES looks to take the cookbook to the edge of the cliff–and over.

A bonus pull out poster depicts and deconstructs the tectonic and structural aspects of the perfect hamburger with text by Nathan Myhrvold. An instant collectible, it is intended to hang on every kitchen wall, a rebuke and reminder to those who would attempt anything less than excellence in burgerdom.”