Category Archives: Festival

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.

Pinot & Proseco Featured at Keystone Wine School

Wine and jazz at mid-July festival.

KeystoneWine&Jazz-logo.jpgThe Ps have it at the wine school featured at the Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival returning to River Run Village on July 16-17.  Pinot and Prosecco (the first two Ps) and are featured with “professor” is Joel Peterson, the engaging founder of California’s Ravenswood Winery (and the third P). Peterson is also known as “the Godfather of Zin” (think Zinfindel).

Offers what organizers call  “an enhanced lineup of wine seminars.” But the biggie, as always, is, as well as the two-day Village Grand Tasting with over 300 varieties of wines, preceded by a Reserve Wine Tasting on Friday evening that kick off the festivities.  Saturday’s festivities start at noon with free jazz music and the wine will be poured Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Wine tasting tickets range from $60 for a one-day wine tasting pass with food tickets to $100 for a two-day pass with food tickets.  At the door, a one-day wine tasting pass is $65 and a two-day tasting pass is $120.

Keystone Hosts Bacon Tour

The Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour returns to River Run Village.

Run BlueRibbonBaconTour-logoto Keystone Resort’s River Run Village this weekend, June 25-26, for the return of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour for the sixth time . When vegetarians fall off the wagon, it’s usually for bacon — the back and sides of the hog, salted and either dried or smoked, and usually sliced thin and fried — and then enjoyed mightily.

The event features thousands of pounds of bacon and bacon-inspired cuisine, plus the usual resort trappings such as free live music (this weekend from Banditos, Dirty Bourbon River Show, King Cardinal, Rhythmic Statues and Hell’s Belles, a festival favorite which has appeared every year since the festival started.  Hint: Don’t miss the Bacon Bloody Marys, always a hit, and if you’re a Bourbon drinker, try the Jim Beam Smash. Click here to purchase tickets for single tastes or packages.

Food And Wine’s Best New Chefs 2016

Food and Wine Classic in Aspen showcases new culinary luminaries.

Foos&Wube-Summer2016.-coverBeautiful and well-heeled foodies, celeb chefs, leading winemakers and other VIPs in the culinary world are gathering in Aspen for this weekend’s 2016 Food and Wine Classic in Aspen — without any doubt the most prestigious such event in the US.  The festival, among other things, serves as the national coming-out party for the annual crop of the 10 best new chefs of the year. No Colorado chefs made the cut in 2016, but here are the gifted young titans, several of whom already run more than one restaurant, selected by the magazine:

  • David Barzelay. Lazy Bear, San Francisco
  • Kevin Fink. Emmer & Rye, Austin
  • Michael Gulotta. MoPho and Tana, New Orleans
  • Edouardo Jordan. Salare, Seattle
  • Ravi Kapur, Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
  • Brad Kilgore. Alter, Miami
  • Iliana Regan. Elizabeth and Bunny, the micro bakery, Chicago
  • Aaron Silverman. Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls, Washington, D.C.
  • Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hausk., Contra and Wildair, New York City
    Kris Yenbamroong. Night + Market and Night + Market Song, Los Angeles

Denver Winefest Moving to DIA Westin

New location for 12th annual festival.

DenverIntlWineFest206-logoThe Denver International Wine Festival has moved around metro Denver locations from the University of Denver to the Omni Interlocken, but this year, it will be at yet another venue, the recently opened Westin Hotel at Denver International Airport. The 12th Annual Denver International Wine Festival is a three-day wine and food festival showcasing the largest selection of international and domestic wines of any Grand Tasting in the Rocky Mountain region. Mark your calendar now.

  • Wednesday, November 2. Grand Vintners Dinner, a multi-course winemaker’s dinner. Featured winery TBA.
  • Thursday November 3. Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition, with 10 celebrated chefs (TBA) will each have been assigned two of the gold-medal-winning wines from the 2016 Denver International Wine Competition. They must create a food pairing for each wine, giving attendees a chance to same 20 food and wine pairings. It’s my favorite part of the festival. A new VIP ticket allows one-hour early access, a raw seafood bar, premium cocktails and a meet-and-greet with the chefs.
  • Friday November 4. The Grand Tasting of International Wines and Food from 4 to 9 p.m. (VIP) or 6 to 9 p.m.  (general admission). This is the region’s largest wine tasting event for consumers, media and trade, with more than 80 wineries and distilleries, plus delectable food and wine tastings, food products, wine accessories, a silent auction and fine art.

Cost: $95 to $175 depending on event and ticket type. Other details to come.



National Pie Day is Today

This “holiday” started in Boulder.

NatlPieDayThere’s probably a “holiday” celebrating every food from abalone to zucchini, but there’s just one whose Boulder origin is undisputed — and that’s today, January 23 — National Pie Day. Local food/restaurant writer John Lehndorff’s peripatetic column called “Nibbles” started in the Daily Camera and is now at the Boulder Weekly. It is in that paper that he recently wrote “How Boulder became the birthplace of National Pie Day.” He should know, since he founded it along with Charlie Parpazian, who was instrumental in launching both National Pie Day, the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.

In advance of National Pie Day, selected “The Best Pie in Every State,” Colorado’s would be Rocky Road Pie, if it actually existed. Here’s what the site whimsically posted:

“Rocky Road is a beloved ice cream flavor across America, but Colorado’s Rocky Mountains mean it truly belongs to this state. This pie, inspired by the ice cream flavor, is made with delicious ingredients like whipped topping, miniature marshmallows, chocolate pudding, and walnuts. Count us in.”

National Pie Day, BTW, is not to be confused with National Pi Day, which is March 14.


Three Chefs Honored at Winefest Pairing Competition

Denver International Wine Festival’s Pairsine showcases culinary talent.

Pairsine-logo2Eleven chefs from Colorado and beyond each prepared two dishes to pair with award-winning wines at last night’s Pairsine competition, for me a highlight event of the 11th annual Denver International Wine Festival. Competing chefs often seem to be on the same wavelength. Last night, six of the 11 prepared beef — mostly braised — and two served octopus. But there was not a single dessert. Not one.

Competitors in the 2015 Parisine competition.
Competitors in the 2015 Parisine after the competition was over .
Judges chef Michael Long, chef Jean-Luc Vogele of the Westin Downtown Denver and yours truly. Both of the chefs had won top honors earlier Pairsines.
Judges chef Michael Long, chef Jean-Luc Vogele of the Westin Downtown Denver and yours truly. Both of the chefs had won top honors earlier Pairsines.

This year’s honorees were Best Chef, Laurent Mechin of Jill’s Restaurant in the St. Julien Hotel, Boulder; People’s Choice Chef Franco Ruiz, executive chef,  Fruition Restaurant, Denver, and Jay Spickelmeir, chef de cuisine, The Vail Cascade Resort and Atwater on Gore Creek, Vail.

Click “More” below for more Parisine pix. Continue reading Three Chefs Honored at Winefest Pairing Competition