Category Archives: Boulder

Morning Mocha with a Cacoa Shot

Liquid cacao from Cholaca is the real deal.

Not long ago, my friend Kuvy Ax and I met for coffee at OZO, a do-it-right café that in a very Boulder way adheres to the “ideals of community, coffee and a calling” in the way they source, roast and store their beans and other products. Kuvy ordered a mocha Cholaca, and so did I. It provided a power hit of well prepared coffee with the flavor boost of pure cacao.

My own bottle of Cholaca  liquid cacao now resides in my refrigerator, and I pour a shot into my morning coffee to try to replicate the OZO experience.  Even before this product,  I often put a spoonful of chocolate powder into my morning coffee (along with sweetener and soy creamer, because I’m a wimpy coffee drinker). No matter whether I started with coffee and stirred in the powder or vice versa, there was always some sludge left in the bottom of the mug because the  powder completely dissolved. Tasty sludge, but sludge nonetheless. Not so with liquid, which blends easily and totally with the coffee and my other add-ins.

I try to be a responsible consumer, so I like to see labels proclaiming “organic,” “single origin” and “fair trade,” which aims to give growers fair compensation for their products. My Cholaca is “lightly sweetened” with organic, fair trade coconut sugar. They also make unsweetened and more sweetened, as well as pure cacao wafers that must be a dream to bake with. (Next time I’m in cookie-making mode, I’ll use some.) I’m not a beer drinker, but the Boulder Beer Company’s St. Patrick’s Day release of Irish Blessing, a seasonal oak-aged coffee stout brewed with an abundance of black and chocolate malts for a bittersweet chocolate finish might have changed my thinking.

I get together with friends for coffee at The Laughing Goat every Friday morning. I it turns out that they also carry Cholaca, so I’ll order my weekly cappuccino with a shot. The cacao is grown in Peru and Ecuador, and the company is based in Boulder. That makes it appropriate for this Colorado-focused blog — that and the fact that I really like it.

‘Top Chef’ to be Filmed in Colorado

Denver, Boulder and Telluride to be featured.

Boulder chef Hosea Rosenberg was the winner of “Top Chef,” season 5, and a decade later, the highly rated Bravo show is going to be filming in Colorado. Details have not yet be revealed (after all, “reality” shows thrive on suspense), but Denver, Boulder and Telluride are slated as venues.

Entertainment Weekly broke the news host Padma Lakshmi and  judges Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot are to be featured. Colicchio, the head judge, is an admirable member of the culinary community for his anti-hunger work and advocacy for organic foods.

“We are always on the hunt for the next great culinary destination and Colorado is fast becoming a hot spot for young chefs and foodies, making it an ideal backdrop for our upcoming season,” executive vice president for current production at Bravo Media Shari Levine told Entertainment Weekly .

Flagstaff House Cited for Views

Dining rooms with views list includes Boulder’s finest dining aerie.

The Culture Trip’s “14  Most Stunning Restaurant Settings in the U.S.” includes Boulder’s Flagstaff House. No argument from me. Not just the view but the ambiance, service, wine list and of course, the food are also stratospheric.

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.  🙂

 

A Feast of Food Films in Boulder

These showings will make foodies hungry.

One Evening, One Feast, One Film

CineChef is a food-focused evening (Friday, March 3, 5 to 7 p.m.) during the acclaimed Boulder International Film Festival. Taking place at the Rembrandt Yard Event Center, it features fabulous eats by some of Boulder’s best known (and best) chefs: Steven Redzikowski (Oak at Fourteenth), Daniel Asher (River and Woods), Salvatore Prola (PMG), Kevin Kidd (24 Carrot Bistro, Erie), Lauren Mechin (Jill’s, St. Julien Hotel), Sam Perrett (Jax Restaurant), John Platt (Riffs Urban Fare) and Jen Bush (Lucky’s Bakehouse & Creamery). Mechin won the 2016 Best CineChef competition. Wine: Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Local beers: Boulder Beer, Post Brewing Company.

Continue reading A Feast of Food Films in Boulder

Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Event at Vail

Boulder chefs dominate Colorado stop of annual event.

The eight-stop James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Celebrity Chef Tour’s Colorado alights on Friday, April 7, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. in Vail. The foundation describes this event as featuring “Colorado’s most up & coming chefs, outstanding purveyors and wine makers for a night of food & wine.” I know it will be a superlative event. but I would take issue with the description of participating culinarians as “up and coming.” Every one of them is a local star.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Thomas Salumunovich’s Larkspur Events & Dining venue. The James Beard Foundation  and the Taste of Vail join to host this event that starts with a cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seven-course dinner with wine pairings.

Chefs

  • Thomas Salamunovich (host), Billy Fitzgerald and Christian McCallion. Larkspur Restaurant.
  • Chef Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson and Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey. Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder.
  • Brian Busker, Matsuhisa, Vail.
  • Cara Luff and Hunter Chamness. Boxcar Restaurant, Avon.
  • Eric Skokan. Black Cat Restaurant, Bramble & Hare and Black Cat Farm.
  • Daniel Asher. River and Woods, Boulder.

Entry is steep, but oh, what an event it promises to be. There is/was a limited early-bird price of $175 per person.  Entry for is $135 for U.S. Bank FlexPerks Rewards Cardholders and $195 for the general public. Click here for tickets. Larkspur is ast 458 Vail Valley Drive, Vail.

Three Local Chefs Named Beard Semi-Finalists

Redzikowski, Seidel & Skokan on 2017 list.

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.

Shamane’s Chicken Pot Pie Top Cheap Eat

Travel & Leisure pegged Boulder bakery.

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.”