Noted ag author coming to Aspen to give free lecture.
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.
The Daily Meal, a popular food site, loves “10 best lists.” The most recent is “America’s 10 Best Restaurants in Parks” — city parks, state parks and national parks. Listed as No. 4 is the Metate Room in Mesa Verde National Park. Though neglecting to mention the critical fact that the restaurant is open only seasonally (mid-April through late October), here’s write-up on the site:
Perched high in southwest Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park is Far View Lodge. From its 8,250-foot elevation, visitors can overlook four states while enjoying a contemporary menu at the Metate Room. Inspired by regional foodsand flavors, the Metate Room does a stellar job of incorporating history into their menu. Specialty items to order: pork and chili stew, pueblo portobello stack or roasted vegetable salad.
The BigEat, a festival of some of Denver’s top independent restaurants, takes place in the covered arcade at the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Thursday, July 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring bits and bites from more than 40 restaurants, plus cocktails from Denver’s top mixologists and craft beer from local breweries.
The Big Eat promises “surprises and countless fun,” all to benefit Eat Denver, which believes that food is fuel for community. The organization says, “Through our food-focused passion, we increase the richness of dining experiences in our community and add to Denver’s unique flavor and cultural flair. Independence as path to engagement. The art of the original meal creates the pathway to one-of-a-kind experiences.”
Tickets are $55, with proceeds benefiting Work Options for Women, Denver Urban Gardens, Colorado Cooking Matters and Eat Denver. Click here for tickets.
Culinary competition featured nine chef, 37 beers & 18 dishes.
The 2015 Pairsine/Taste of Elegance beer-pairing competition is in the can, so to speak. Nine Front Range chefs each prepared two dishes to pair with beers that were winners in an earlier phase of the competition. A panel of judges (including yours truly) selected the Best Chef overall Billy Chartres of Stuft A Burger Bar, Fort Collins, and Most Creative Chef, an honor that went to Steven Chandler of the Omni Interlocken, the Broomfield resort hotel where the event was held. People’s Choice honors went to Darrell Jensen of Samples World Bistro in Longmont.
There always seem to a few dishes prepared by more than one chef but executed differently. This year, Chandler and Tim Berry of Boulder’s Fate Brewing Company both made spring rolls. Chandler’s were soft and spicy; Berry’s held together and were crisp. William Merwin of The Blue Star in Colorado Springs and Kirk Spare of the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, not far from the Omni in Broomfield both made fried chicken. Merwin’s was cut into small tasting pieces that were skinless and crustless; Spare’s was hot and crisp. Merwin and Jensen both prepared versions of arancini. Merwin’s had a hint of coconut and accompanied cocoa-braised short ribs; Jensen’s rice balls encased chili con carne with cheddar in the middle.
The next event will be the 11th annual Denver International Wine Festival, October 28-30, and I’m looking forward to it already, since wine is more up my alley than beer.
The Brown Palace, Denver’s most iconic hotel, hosted a media event to show off its beautifully redone guests rooms, and hosted a little cocktail/wine/beer reception. Chefs prepared savories on the spot, while sweets came from the bakery on tiered stands along with some finger sandwiches, just as they would for the traditional tea served every afternoon in the soaring lobby. BLT sliders, crabcakes, seared scallops and selections of sweets and savories were presented, and Brown Palace Pale Ale brewed in Parker was introduced.
The bright yellow Veuve Clicquot en Route truck makes three promotional stops through Colorado next week. Each one is a special mid-summer celebratory treat. Contact each venue for details and reservations.
The first is at the Four Seasons Denver on Thursday, July 16, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. where Veuve Clicquot hosts a rooftop summer pool party featuring music from DJD, a Clicquot Photo booth, fun giveaways, and of course, Clicquot specials. Cool off with Veuve Clicquot N.V Yellow Label for $25 by the glass or $100 by-the-bottle.
On Friday, July 17, there’s bubbles and barbecue with Veuve Clicquot at Acorn. The restaurant in The Source in RiNo offers its Wood Fire BBQ Dinner for two with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot costs $100 and a BBQ Dinner for one with glass of champagne is $40. There’s music from 6 Million Dollar Band.
On July 19, Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell in Aspen hosts Sunday Funday with Sarah Simmons, celeb chef and owner of New York’s Birds and Bubbles. From 3 to 8 p.m., she puts out a custom dinner package including her signature fried chicken, traditional fixings and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label for $100, presumably for two.
Turn from Aspen’s Hyman Avenue Mall into a small alley. Go down a flight of stairs into a corner of Mexico. Atmospheric lighting recalls Mexico after dark rather than blinding sunshine. Sit back and contemplate the interesting and unusual menu. While waiting for the food to arrive, look around at the bright folk art.
The food, which is flavorful and beautifully presented, echoes Oaxaca, the southern Mexico city known for culture and cuisine. It is the city where mole was born. What better Mexican food cred?
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.