Category Archives: Event

‘Gourmet on the Gore’ Fest on Labor Day

10th annual food and wine festival in Vail.

GourmetOnTheGore-logoA Taste of Colorado, the long-running Labor Day Weekend tradition of food, entertainment, carnival attractions and vendors galore, packs ’em in to Denver’s Civic Center Park. But an option in the mountains holds more epicurean appeal –.away from the Front Range’s late summer heat. The commonality, in addition to being in Colorado, is that entry to both events is free. You pay for what you eat.

The 10th annual Gourmet on Gore, a comparatively new classic culinary festival, takes place in the heart of Vail on Labor Day Weekend (September 2-5) and features gastronomic creations from some of Vail’s most renowned chefs, sips from world-class vintners, exceptional beers and events that highlight the natural beauty of Vail. In short, you won’t fine BBQ turkey legs or funnel cake.

In addition to the open-air tasting with wine, beer and spirits selections and  food from the Vail Valley’s top restaurants, Gourmet on Gore offers also offers a variety of additional pairing events and outdoor activities throughout the weekend. The Tasting Tour kicks things off on Friday, September 4, and Open-Air Tastings take place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5 and 6, from 11 a.m.  to  6 p.m. Brunch on Bridge Street closes the weekend on Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Find a full schedule of events, lodging packages and other details or purchase Tasting Tour tickets online, FoMoInfo: 970.476.6797 x712.

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.

Flatirons Food Film Festival Fundraiser

Food, wine and music make for a wonderful evening.

FlatironsFoodFilmFest-logoLast year’s benefit for the annual Flatirons Food Film Festival was a tailor-made event for me. There were samples of food prepared by some of Boulder’s best chefs and nice adult beverages to sip. Beautiful voices sang lovely songs. But the tailor-made part was the location at The Riverside, a short walk from my house. The downside was that this lovely but modest space became crowded quickly. Click here for more on the 2015 fundraiser.

This year’s fundraiser (called Film, Chefs, Glorious Song: The Flatirons Food Film Festival Benefit) is scheduled for August 3 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in the more spacious precincts of the remodeled and expanded Dairy Arts Center, and even though it isn’t such close walking distance, I’m looking forward to it.

Participating chefs include Daniel Asher of Denver’s Root Down and Boulder’s soon-to-open River and Woods, Dave Query of the Big Red F Group, Kelly Whitaker of Basta in Boulderand Cart-Driver in Denver, Nate Singer of Blackbelly Butcher Shop. I’m glad for the return of interactive multi-sensory pairings of live opera from Opera on Tap Colorado with a short film and featured dishes. Proceeds from a  live auction benefit the Flatirons Food Film Festival that will take place October 20-23. Click here for tickets ($85) to the fundraiser.

The Dairy Center is at 2590 Walnut Street (26th & Walnut), Boulder.

Crested Butte Wine & Food Fest Extends Reach

“Think” added to “Food” and “Drink.”

CrestedButteWineFood-logoThe theme of the 2016 edition of the Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival is “Eat. Drink” Think,” due to the addition of panels and TED-style talks about food sustainability, something . Participants in the include James Beard award-winning author Adam Danforth doing a butchery demonstration and tasting.  Michel Nischan,  also a Beard winner, founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, is a pioneering thinker about food system and its challenges.

Amanda M. Faison of 5280 magazine explained how the expansion came about. “The pilot program grew out of local chefs Alex Seidel (Fruition Restaurant, Mercantile Dining & Provision,  Fruition Farms) and Kelly Whitaker (Basta, Cart-Driver) wanting more out festivals. .. [They] will sit on the panels and contribute to discussions…. The program hinges on the premise that restaurant-goers are increasingly becoming conscious consumers.”

The festival takes place from Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31. Click here for a full schedule and links to ticket purchase pages. While most of the events from hikes to the Tour de Forks to the exemplary Grand Tasting carry a cost, the topics of sustainability are seen to be so important that the panels are free and open to the public, as well as ticket-buying festival goers. The panels  are scheduled for Friday (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.).

The festival benefits  Center for the Arts Crested Butte, 606 Sixth St., Crested Butte; 970-349-7487.