Category Archives: Chef

Colorado Proud Dinner Coming in Centennial

South suburban ViewHouse hosts feast of in-state products.

ColoradoProud-logoIf I posted news of every wine-pairing dinner and fundraising feast in Colorado, I’d write about nothing else and (I probably wouldn’t have much time to sleep either), but fresh from the Governor’s Cup wine event, I have things grown, raised and in Colorado on my mind. August is Colorado Proud Month, highlighted by a Colorado Proud dinner party on August 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Centennial ViewHouse’s fabulous open-air dining room.

Executive chef Jose Guerrero has crafted a ‘Colorado Proud’ four-course dinner made with local meats and produce, craft cocktails and wine, plus live acoustic music (which I hope won’t be so loud that guests won’t be able to talk about the food made from  agricultural products that are grown, raised or processed in Colorado.

THE MENU*

  •  First Course. Braised Tender Belly Pork Belly with Pueblo Peppers, CO Popcorn Grits, Grilled Tricolor Corn, Pork Belly Jus and Micro Bulls Blood.
  • Second Course. Mixed Beet Confit served with Baby Arugula, Colorado Nut Brittle, Colorado Honey-Goat Emulsion and Micro Chives.
  • Third Course. Peppercorn Glazed Colorado Striped Bass and Lamb Chop with Disanti Bean Succotash, Roasted Fingerlings, Tender Belly Lardons, Lamb Jus and Micro Lolo Roassa.
  • Fourth Course. Dessert Trio with Cantaloupe Mouse, Peach Tart and Honey Dew Sorbet in a Sugar Cookie Sandwich.

*The menu above came from the organizer. I am not familiar with some of the products, so if you have questions or an issue, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

Purveyors from around the state include Denver’s Tender Belly, Parker’s Mountain Man Nut & Fruit, Longmont’s Haystack Goat Cheese and Rocky Mountain Eggs. Spirit and wine pairings come from Loveland’s Spring 44 and Denver’s Infinite Monkey Theorem.
Tickets for the dinner and beverage pairings are $55 per person (plus tax or gratuity), and guests must be 21 or older to attend. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the restaurant at 303-848-3366. It is located at 7101 South Clinton Street, Centennial.

Governor’s Cup Awarded to Top Wineries

Governor Hickenlooper presents “his” wine honors.

ColoradoWineGovCup-logoColorado’s robust wine industry celebrated its best wineries, cideries and meaderies (and I just made up those last two) at the Governor’s Cup do at the History Colorado Center. Governors do not always appear at this annual event, but Governor Hickenlooper was there, wineglass in hand, to announce winners of the wine competition for wines, ciders, meads and fruit wines produced in 2015.

In addition to a Hickenlooper handshake and a plaque, a dozen winning wines from grapes are part of the year’s Governor’s Cup Case, used for VIP occasions to promote the state’s wines and related beverages.  Colorado Wine Industry Development Boardnotes that there are currently 140 wineries in the state, The award event included small plates from some of the Front Range’s leading chefs. Here are some pix:

Chefs Samir Mohammed of the History Center's Café Rendezvous and function space and Daniel Asher of Boulder's soon-to-open River and Woods.
Chefs Samir Mohammed of the History Center’s Café Rendezvous and function space and Daniel Asher of Boulder’s soon-to-open River and Woods.
Getting ready to set out small plates wiith big flavors.
Getting ready to set out small plates with big flavors.
Menus at each tasting station were wine-forward with food secondary.
Menus at each tasting station were wine-forward with food secondary.
Summer beets, Morbier cheese and black garlic and mint vinaigrette from Mark Mark Reggiannini of Denver's Café Marmotte.
Summer beets, Morbier cheese and black garlic and mint vinaigrette from Mark Mark Reggiannini of Denver’s Café Marmotte.
“Not bad for a software engineer,” commented my husband, who once worked with Nancy James shown here with Governor John Hickenlooper. Nancy and her husband’s Whitewater Hill Vineyards captured three awards for its remarkable reds.

Food Film Fundraiser Fun

Flatirons Food Film Festival benefit a delicious evening.

FlatironsFoodFilmFest-logoBoulder are area foodniks (and a few filmniks) gathered yesterday evening in the spacious new lobby of the Dairy Art Center “Film, Chefs, Glorious Song,” to benefit the Flatirons Food Film Festival, coming up October 20 – 23. I’ll be out of the country then, but I’m glad I was here for the fundraiser. Kudos to organizer Julia Joun and to the chefs, sponsors, purveyors and volunteers who made this happen. Here are some images. And yes, there were wine and beer offerings too.

Kelly Whitaker of Basta in Boulder and when it opens, the restaurant in the new Source Hotel in Denver.
Kelly Whitaker of Basta in Boulder and when it opens, the stilol-unnanmed restaurant in the new Source Hotel in Denver’s RiNo district.
Chef Whitaker brought huge trays of rustic pizza in two flavors.
Chef Whitaker brought huge trays of rustic pizza with braised  goat, shisito peppera and garlic on farro crust.
Daniel Asher of the soon-to-open River and Woods in the treasured space once occupied by John's Restaurant.
Daniel Asher of the soon-to-open River and Woods in the treasured space once occupied by John’s Restaurant.
Lovely and delicious but atypical panzanella salad composed of greens, tomatoes, stone fruits and an edible flower -- all locally sourced -- with honey/poppyseed dressing.
Lovely and delicious but atypical panzanella salad composed of greens, tomatoes, stone fruits and an edible flower — all locally sourced — with honey/poppyseed dressing.

Continue reading Food Film Fundraiser Fun

Governor’s Cup Honors Colorado Wines

Denver event to honor winning wines, plus top chefs’ food sampling.

ColoradoWineGovCup-logoGovernor John Hickenlooper was famously a beer guy, opening the Wynkoop Brewery with three colleagues back in 1988, the year that I moved to Colorado. He now presides over a state with a robust wine industry too, and on August 4, the winning wines from the annual Governor’s Cup are revealed in a public tasting event at the Colorado History Center.

The Colorado Wine Governor’s Cup is the only statewide wine- making competition exclusively for the Centennial State’s wines, including 236 wines from 33 local wineries.  The panel of such experts as sommeliers, chefs, writers and wine experts annually evaluate the submitted wines to select the 18 (12 grape wines and 6 cider/mead/fruit wines). They are assembled into the “Wine Case” used to promote Colorado’s best.

The Governor’s Cup celebration on August 4 provides the opportunity to taste all the medalists  paired with small bites prepared by some of the area’s best chefs. These include Elise Wiggins (formerly Panzano and soon opening Cattivella) , Mark Reggiannini (Cafe Marmotte), Ben Davis (Tony’s Market Dry Creek) and Ashlea Tobeck (Escoffier School of Culinary Arts).

VIP entry ($90) is at 6:30 p.m. and includes a chance to sample 2015 winners paired with an extended menu by Chef Samir Mohammad of the History Colorado Center’s Café Rendezvous. General admission ($45) begins at 7:30 p.m.  The event ends at 9:30 p.m. Governor Hickenlooper presents the awards to the wineries. FoMoInfo or tickets, call 303-869-9177 or click here.

Don’t expect to see Canyon Wind Cellars, which is closing on July 31, having planted its first grape vines in 1991, early in the current Colorado wine era.  The owners and wine-makers, Jay and Jennifer Christianson, are retiring. I wish them well.

‘Julie & Julia’ at Bistro Vendome

French restaurant + film about French cooking.

Marc Piscotty/News Staff Photographer SHOT 5/26/2003 - Bistro Vendome food and scenics
From Bing Images

There’s a new French connection in Denver in a few days as Bistro Vendome debuts its Movie Night series with one of my favorite food movies, “Julie & Julia,” made from one of my favorite food books of the same name. The story involves a young woman in New York who embarked on an ambitious project to take her mine off her dreadful job. The project: Julie Powell cooking her way through the Julia Child opus, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Along the way, she started a blog, which caught the right attention that resulted in a book contract and then a movie.

Bistro Vendome’s state-of-the-art audiovisual system in the main dining room is showing the delightful movie on a 103-inch screen. Guests are served the classic culinary comedy paired with a three-course prix fixe menu by chef Adam Branz.

  • Heirloom tomato bruschetta
  • Choice of Fillet of Sole with brown butter, lemon, parsley or Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Apple Tarte Tatin

Show time is 8 p.m. on Monday, July 11. Please make reservations at 303-825-3232. The restaurant promises future movie nights. It is at 1420 Larimer Square, with an entrance via the Sussex Breezeway.

The Bees Have the Union Station Roof

Honeybee,jpgDenver’s newest apiary atop historic train terminal.

Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel installed four honeybee hives on its roof in 2008. The honey is used for the fabulous high tea in the soaring lobby and also for some spa treatments. Two years ago, Denver’s Warwick Hotel added four beehives to its roof. Executive chef Jesper Jonsson of Randolph’s Restaurant was looking forward to honey harvested from the roof as soon as the hives were installed.

Union Station and its restaurants are now part of the buzz, with its own four hives. The station and the restaurants it houses invested $12,000 to start and maintain the hives. In addition to supplying restaurants under its roof with honey, it joins the Brown, the Warwick and other properties in helping combat the colony collapse that has plagued the pollinator population in recent years. As the saying goes, it’s a win-win situation.

Chef Joly Buys Mirabelle Land from Vail Resorts

MirabelleVail Resorts is better known for buying  than selling, but the giant resort company has sold the Mirabelle Restaurant site to Chef Daniel Joly and his wife Nathalie, who have operated it since 1992.

The charming restaurant located in an original farmhouse at the entrance to Beaver Creek is now the newest chef-owned, four-star restaurant at the upmarket ski resort.  The three dining rooms are exquisite — and the food and wine match the décor.

“We have worked successfully with Vail Resorts as our landlord for many years,” said Daniel Joly. “Many times we have tried to buy the property as we see ownership in Mirabelle giving us reason to continue to invest in and enhance Mirabelle for generations to come, much as restaurateurs do in Europe.”

Daniel Joly operated the restaurant, which was owned by Vail restaurateur Luc Meyer, who also owned the Left Bank in Vail Village. The Joly family bought the restaurant business (absent the building or the land) in 1999 and has operated it with much acclaim.

“My passion for food and good life are legendary in our community,” Joly said. “Owning Mirabelle, we can carry that passion beyond the valley and farther. The incredible location and spirit of the place is magical and will remain here to for our patrons under the lead of the Joly family.”

Since 2008, Joly and Mirabelle have consistently received four-star/four-diamond  ratings from the Mobil Travel Guide and AAA. Joly and Mirabelle have received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for each of the 15 years he has been chef of the restaurant. I have met him at the Denver International Wine Festival. He recently returned from cooking for the legendary Naples Food and Wine Festival and from Napa Valley where he was chosen to cook for the Antinori Vintners from Italy, the country’s largest Chianti.

Mirabelle will begin serving lunch this summer outside on the deck. FoMoInfo, call 970-949-7728.