Category Archives: Event

Taste of Vail This Weekend

Delicious almost-end to epic ski season food and wine event.

The early-April timing of the annual Taste of Vail couldn’t be better. Spring  conditions are great — whether on late season corn or after a spring snowstorm.  I’ve written about the Taste of Vail before. This year’s dates are April 5 to 9. Be there if you can.

For locals, a trip up to the mountains for a day or a weekend of wine, bites and more. is restorative and delicious. The 27th Annual Taste of Vail Festival features more than 30 guest chefs, restaurants and sommeliers as well as more than 55 top wineries from around the world—it is one of the nation’s top food and wine festivals named by Forbes.com and the Travel Channel. The five-day festival includes such in-town and on-the-mountain signature events such as The Mountain Top Tasting, Debut of Rosé, and of course, The Grand Tasting. Click here for tickets.

Statewide Barrel Tastings of Colorado Wines

More than 30 wineries across Colorado are participating in Wine Around Colorado, a statewide barrel tasting event, for two weekends this spring (April 22-23 and May 6-7).  Tickets to each weekend are $25 and include barrel tastings at any participating wineries. Simply register for the weekend of your choice or both — though only the most dedicated oenophile with the most tireless designated driver could come close to managing.

Click here to register. A wristband, and an event map with each winery’s tasting room hours and location are emailed prior to the event. The wristband accesses the wineries offering tasting experiences. Participants may are welcome to visit any and all participating wineries over the weekend. The wineries typically offer discounts on their products, small bites and more.

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.

Cochon 555 Returns to Denver

Reprise of chef competition featuring heritage breed pork.

The ninth annual Cochon 555 is back on Sunday, March 19, this year at The Curtis Hotel.  Pork lovers flock to this event, Denver’s tribute to “the other white meat” and what leading local chefs do with it. In addition to chefs, winemakers, distillers, farmers, brewers and bartenders bring their best products and creations.

At last year’s event, chef/restaurateur Troy Guard won the Prince of Porc title. Next, the five following chefs compete for the same title for 2017:
Bill Miner, il Porcellino Salumi, Denver
Will Nolan, Eight K, Viceroy Snowmass
Darrel Truett, Barolo Grill, Denver
Hosea Rosenberg, Blackbelly Market, Boulder
Burton Koelliker, Osteria Marco, Denver

Each chef is given one whole heritage breed pig of 200 pounds and one week to prepare the whole animal. Each chef must present a “Judge’s Plate” of six dishes that a panel of 20 “notable” judges score on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques and overall flavor.  The winner is crowned the “BBQ Prince/Princess” of Denver — even though not all dishes are barbecue items.

For the price of admission, attendees sample 30 chef/competitor- created dishes,  plus beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; baked goods from a La Brea pop-up bakery; bites from a salami snack bar from Creminelli and Divina; ramen noodle soups paired with wines from Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars wines; organic pâté from Les Trois Petit Cochons; Sabatino truffle butter and more; and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.
For beverages, Buffalo Trace and DRY Sparkling, Smoked Old Fashioneds with Breckenridge Bourbon, a Tiki Bar featuring Angostura Rum; a Courvoisier Cognac ‘neat’ tasting with hand-crafted caramels and a Heritage Rum Cart.

Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200. A portion of all proceeds goes to Cochon555’s sister charity, Piggy Bank. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.cochon555.com/2017-tour/Denver and scroll down.

 

Local Author’s Book on African-American White House Chefs

Adrian Miller’s book launches at History Colorado museum.

Just in time for Presidents’ Day, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our Presidents from the Washingtons to the Obamas by award-winning Denver chef, author and soul food scholar Adrian Miller is now out.

It officially launches in the Mile High City on Saturday, February 18. The celebration starts with a pricy VIP party early, but from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the event is free and open to the public. In the course of the afternoon and evening, it includes former presidential chefs, presidential reenactors, presidential food and drink (from real White House recipes) and music (with the occasional campaign song thrown in) — some, of course, just for the VIP part. History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, Denver.

Restaurant Weeks in the Rockies

One in Denver, three in  northern New Mexico.

All of us who love to eat treasure restaurant weeks. The format is similar: a limited menu of several prix fixe courses (usually three) at very affordable prices. These promotional weeks have become low-season staples in some of the most interesting food cities in the land.

Denver

Denver’s 13th annual Restaurant Week from February 24 through March 5. That’s 10 days of great dining options. Visit Denver is now organizing the promotion The DRW format has evolved over the years. This year, instead of one price point, restaurants have the option of three: $25, $35 and $45 per person. That also gives diners the option of how much to splurge — or not. The bottom line is that some 150 restaurants are participating. The website enables diners to find restaurants by cuisine or neighborhood with just the click of a mouse.

New Mexico

Northern New Mexico’s three main dining destinations have their individual restaurant weeks: Santa Fe Restaurant Week, February 19 – 26; Taos Restaurant Week;  February 26 – March 5, and Albuquerque Restaurant Week,  March 5 – 12. Restaurants offer prix fixe dinners for $15, $25, $35 or $45 per person. Many offer value-priced lunches as well.