Category Archives: Chef

Potato Day & Potato Fest

Celebrating the spud nationally and in Colorado.

Today, August 19, is National Potato Day — right between National Fajita Day (yesterday) and World Humanitarian Day (tomorrow).  Potato promoters offer up statistics and recipes galore, but for Coloradans, the real celebration is Saturday, September 9 when the annual Colorado Potato Festival takes place in the San Luis Valley.

Monte Vista in the southern part of the valley hosts the festival in Chapman Park (4 Chico Camino, Monte Vista), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day is filled with mostly FREE fun activities and events like the Tater Trot 5K Race, music, crafts, guided tours, kids’ games, chef demos using freshly harvested Colorado potatoes, the infamous Mashed Potato Dunk Tank and more.

There’s a free four-hour bus tour of the valley’s potato farms  and shipping centers and two one-hour train tours, also free  courtesy of the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.  Contact the Colorado Potato Assn. (719-852-3322) to reserve spots on the bus. but you can just show up for the train. It departs from Fullenwider Park, so there’s a free tractor-pulled shuttle between the two parks.

At 5 p.m., a concert by country star Brooke Eden takes place at the Ski Hi Park Arena, 2331 Sherman Ave., Monte Vista. Tickets are just 15. Purchase on-line before August 25 and be automatically entered into a drawing for four tickets to Coors Field for the Rockies versus the Diamondbacks and parking.

Kudos for Denver’s Señor Bear

Pan-Latin food and dynamite drinks earn LoHi eatery honors.

Whenever Zagat lists the best restaurants in select cities, Denver is always one of them. Here’s the shout-out in the site’s “Hottest Restaurants in 15 American Cities” post about Señor Bear, the site’s choice for the Mile High City. The “powerhouse team” referred to is headlined by Max McKissock, Blake Edmunds and Juan Padro and Katie O’Shea Padro. For McKissock, it’s a bit like old home week, since he was the chef at The Squeaky Bean, when it occupied the LoHi space.

Denver: Señor Bear
Built by the powerhouse team behind Bar Dough, this bright, breezy, instant destination in LoHi showcases the flavors of Latin America — from Peru to Puerto Rico — in both food and drink.

Must-order: Start with a pisco cocktail and any of the elegantly executed dishes comprising the mariscos section of the menu, including mofongo with shrimp and crab (pictured).

Insider tip: If you’re noise-sensitive, ask to sit on the patio — the small dining room can get extra-festive.

3307 Tejon St.; 720-572-5997

Leading Chefs at ‘State’ of the Union Summit

Mr. Coohill and Mr. Asher go to Washington.

Don’t expect Tom Coohill to be at his namesake Denver restaurant or Daniel Asher to be at Boulder’s River & Woods over the next few days. They join such star chefs as Tom Colicchio, José Andrés and Andrew Zimmern at the second meeting of the 2017 Plate of the Union Farm Bill Summit today and tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

 Chefs and food industry leaders from around the country are there to review and discuss food policies surrounding the 2018 Farm Bill. This is a follow-up to the first session in April, when the group, led by the agricultural advocacy organization Plate of the Union, reported its findings and recommendations to the House and Senate.

 Every five years, Congress is tasked with passing the farm bill, which affects things such as how food is grown, what it costs the consumer, the safety of drinking water and whether all Americans have access to healthy, affordable food.

 “One of the main goals of this program that we’re working hard on is addressing hunger,” Chef Tom says. “We’re looking to revamp the labeling system in this country which, if it were done accurately with a standardized approach on the sell-by date, we could be feeding way, way more people with the food that just gets thrown away at the grocery store every day. If we were to get this through, it would basically cure hunger in the United States, because 40 percent of food just goes to waste right now.”

 Plate of the Union is a food advocacy organization with a stated mission of encouraging U.S. agriculture to focus on organic and sustainable practices with positive impacts on land and water, resulting in everyone being able to access “healthy, affordable food – regardless of their zip code – that is fair to workers, keeps farmers on the land and protects our environment.”

Good luck, Chefs. 

Annette at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace

Engaging, inventive restaurant in repurposed factory.

The Annette referenced by the name of Caroline Glover’s restaurant called  Annette Scratch-to-Table is her grandmother, The gastronomic pedigree includes New York’s Spotted Pig gastropub under star chef April Bloomfield and Denver’s Acorn, where she was sous-chef. Acorn is located in The Source, a repurposed foundry in RiNo. so it’s no stretch that she felt comfortable committing to Stanley Marketplace, a repurposed aviation equipment factory next to the old Stapleton Airport.

Glover calls her cuisine “scratch to  table” with an emphasis on small plates and shareable dishes. That was just right when we were taking my bother-in-law and sister-in-law to Denver International Airport and wanted something to do and someplace to eat en route. Stanley Marketplace fit the bill — an aviation theme, interesting shops, many places to eat and a short run to DIA.

We decided that Annette looked interesting for a late afternoon/early evening stop. The restaurant is attractive and welcoming, but we opted for a patio table. Salads and sandwiches both for adventurous eaters (beef tongue, octopus sandwich) and for those who aren’t (grilled cheese, potato soup — but each with a twist). The wine list is small, but as with the food, there’s something for all tastes.

Price check: At dinner, snacks, $3-$4; “plates,” $7 (fries) to $30 (whole roasted fish).

Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Suite 108,  Aurora;
720-710-9975. Astonishingly, Zomato has not yet found Annette.

Happy Hour on Blackbelly’s Back Patio

Need I mention that this restaurant, bar and artisanal butchery (plus a farm) is the brainchild of Hosea Rosenberg, Boulder’s celeb chef for winning “Top Chef,” season 5? I thought not.

Since the last time we visited Blackbelly in warm weather, the south patio has been improved with roll-down plastic curtains in case of inclement weather (and maybe even heaters so it is usable in the spring or fall). My husband and I were the first there for happy hour, so we had a long table all to ourselves.

Long rustic tables onm the secluded south patio.

 

We were almost finished when the next people — three guys — came in. I like everything about this walled-in patio except for the occasional truck or motorcycle noise from Arapahoe Avenue. Nothing to be done about that.

Great bread and flavorful butter with salt on the side.
Excellent early-summer salad with fresh greens, radishes, cucumbers and carrots.
From the regular menu, towering burger with a mess of hot fries.

Price check. At happy hour, oysters, $2 each (I neglected to take pictures); bites, $3; daily charcuterie, $5; also wine and beer specials.

2606 Conestoga Street, Boulder; 303-247-1000.

Blackbelly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Upcoming Food Fests in Denver

Two alliterative competitions to find the best tacos and burgers.

Attendees at the massive Top Taco coming on Thursday, June 22 may sample unlimited taco tastes from and signature tequila cocktails  from 45 popular Denver restaurants. They can also vote for favorite in Top Creative Taco, Top Traditional Taco, Top Vegetarian Taco and Top Cocktail categories. Add live music, creative tequila lounge areas, and Top Taco is a hard to beat summer event.  Hours are 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. with early entry for the two most expensive tickets. General admission is $69, 1st Tasting is $90 and a VIP ticket is $125. Click here to purchase.

Last minute tickets available:
$10 OFF USE DISCOUNT CODE “LASTCHANCETACO” WHEN BUYING TICKETS AT TOPTACODENVER.COM FOR $10 OFF. OFFER GOOD THROUGH MIDNIGHT, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21, 2017.

Four local burger-meisters compete in the annual Denver Burger Battle on Thursday, August 3. They have to impress a picky and knowledgeable panel of judges — all chefs and restaurateurs — with their creativity and skills. Each chef prepares four types of burgers. Contestant restaurants are The Cherry Cricket, Stoic & Genuine,  and Park Burger. Heavy-hitter judges are Josh Wolken (Steuben’s, Ace, Vesta), Elise Wiggins (Cattivella), Bryan Dayton (Oak on Fourteenth, Acorn, Brider) and Bradford Heap (Salt, Colterra, Wild Standard), and attendees get to vote on the People’s Choice too.

General admission ($69.95) gets unlimited burger tastes from all competitors, open bar with craft beer, wine and samples of premium spirits and desserts from Little Man, Glazed & Confused, Happy Bakeshop & Sweet Action. VIP admission ($124.99) buys all that plus early admission to the event at 5:30 p.m. and reduced lines, exclusive VIP area with covered lounges, extra seating and private bars and specialty VIP cocktails (High Noon Vodka, Rebel Yell hiskey, Cane Rum, Fireball, Exotico Tequila, Buffalo Trace Bourbon or Tuaca), plus  unlimited desserts from Little Man, Glazed & Confused, Happy Bakeshop, & Sweet Action. The event is rain or shine, 21+ only and takes place at Tivoli Quad Park, Denver.

Julia Child’s Cottage in Provence on AirBnB

Stay in a culinary legend’s equally legendary country home.

Anyone traveling France whose lodging budget is on the threshold of $700 a night can stay at Julia Child’s home in Provence via Airbnb — if it is available and not being used for cooking classes. This is where she herself mastered the art of French cooking. Child, a traditionalist in the kitchen, died in 2004 and could hardly imagine such a lodging set-up.

Julia Child’s French kitchen, as it appears today. The pegboards are a legacy of Paul Child, who customized kitchens for his wife, the beloved French Chef.

Here’s how the decorating magazine, Domino, described it:

Foodies rejoice: Julia Child’s picture-perfect cottage in the Provencal countryside—dubbed La Pitchoune (“The Little Thing”) by Child and her husband Paul—is now available to rent on Airbnb. For just under $700 a night, the legendary bungalow, designed and built by the Childs in the 1960s, could be all yours, including the kitchen that helped spark the French cooking movement of the 1970s.

Nestled on several acres of rural land just North of Cannes, the cozy cottage once owned by Child offers three bedrooms (that can sleep up to six) and three-and-a-half bathrooms, as well as multiple gardens, terraces, and a saltwater swimming pool. Variety reports that the current owners bought the house in 2015 from the family that originally leased the land to the Childs. It has been updated since Child’s time, but many original details remain.

Click here for the AirBnB listing, noting that few dates remain for 2018 and reservations are being taken for 2019.

Cross-posted to http://travel-babel.com.