Category Archives: Festival

Everything’s Coming Up Rosé

Celebrating a favorite wine for the warm months.

RoseWinesWhen my husband and I visited Greece last year, I started drinking the country’s rosé wines. It started a summer of drinking these light and lovely wines almost every evening. Therefore, I’m cheered that the first-ever Drink Pink Vino International Rosé Wine Festival is coming to the Omni Interlocken Resort’s Outdoor Pavilion in Broomfield on Thursday, June 11.

Chris and Darcy Davies, the fine folks who run the Denver International Wine Festival and other events celebrating adult beverages and interesting food, are presenting Drink Pink Vino. Davies clears up a common misconception of what rosés are: “Far from being a diluted red, rosés are produced from the same grapes as more full-bodied reds, but the juice is only allowed to ferment with the grape skins for a few days, giving rosés their delicate pink color.  Rosé wine consumption in the U.S. is growing by double digits. More and more producers are releasing their versions of incredibly food-friendly Rosés. The Drink Pink Vino International Rosé Wine Festival offers wine enthusiasts the chance to sample over sixty new releases right before the summer Rosé drinking season.”

Rosé brands committed to pour at the event include Ponzi Vineyards, Chêne Bleu, Presuqu’ile, Buglioni, Schramsberg, Scharffenberger and Henri Gaillard Rosé Côtes, Barton & Guestier, Saved, Rosatella , Mouton Cadet, Simi, Wild Horse and Creekside Cellars.

Celebrity hosts will include Top Chef Season 5 Winner Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly Market and Restaurant and Madeleine de Jean (aka, “Madame Champagne”). Participating restaurants include Blackbelly, Oceanaire Seafood Room and Big Mac & Little Lu’s Seafood Room.

Click here to purchase general admission or VIP tickets.

Green Chile Cheeseburger: Denver or Santa Fe?

The capitals of Colorado and New Mexico lay claim the best of this Southwestern fave.

SantaFe-logoAsk a Coloradan which city makes the best green chile cheeseburger, and the instant answer is Denver, The Mile High City. Ask a New Mexican, and the reply is Santa Fe, The City Different. There are plenty of reasons to visit beautiful, artistic San Fe, and its Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail is one of them.

Here’s what Santa Fe claims: Santa Fe, NM is a burger lover’s paradise, and ‘The City Different’ spends 365 days celebrating the Green Chile Cheeseburger. Santa Fe’s indigenous cuisine dates back to the area’s Native American roots and their staples of beans, corn and squash. With the introduction of foods brought by the Spanish like onions, tomatoes and of course, chile, the table was set for what became the distinctive New Mexican fare with its enduring emphasis on the use of chile in and on almost everything.  The green chile cheeseburger has been a staple on menus around the state of New Mexico since at least the middle of the 1900s.

Continue reading Green Chile Cheeseburger: Denver or Santa Fe?

2015 Wine & Food Festivals in the Colorado Rockies

ColoradoFlagDurango, Telluride & Steamboat put on really good wine and food fests.

Most of us don’t have the budget for the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (June 19-21 this year), an annual see-and-be-seen extravaganza in Aspen, but smaller events are both more affordable and more manageable. Here are a few of Colorado’s upcoming festivals in the high country. Expect to find such components as a grand tasting of hundreds of wines and perhaps other adult beverages, wine-pairing dinners in local restaurants, tastings guided by top sommeliers, cooking demonstrations by local or visiting chefs and other food/wine options. Click on the links for price and ticketing info. When it comes to events in mountain towns, consider that lodging is always at low-season prices in spring and still affordable in summer.

April 23-25 and May 19

DurangoWineExperience-logoComing right up is the ninth annual Durango Wine Experience in Historic Downtown Durango that starts with a special VIP welcome reception on the evening of April 23 that is followed by public tastings, more than seven educational wine, craft beer and spirit seminars and multiple wine dinners. The multi-location “Walk-About” on Friday, April 24 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. features tastings in downtown galleries, shops and such delightful outdoor venues as the Rochester Hotel Courtyard and Steamworks Brewing Company’s Patio. It benefits the United Way of Southwest Colorado.

A few short weeks later, on May 19, Main Street is shut down for the Taste of Durango, a one-day event to benefit the Manna Soup Kitchen. Featuring local craft breweries, artisan cocktails and countless samples of the interesting and high-quality cuisine that Durango’s top restaurants offer. In addition to food and drink, guests enjoy a fantastic selection of music, dancing, fun and friends, old and new.

June 25-28

The Telluride Wine Festival benefits from timing, coming on the heels of the Food and Wine Classic. A number of vendors/exhibitors/chefs customarily stick around and do both. At this writing (late April), the schedule of classes and small-batch tastings, list of exhibitors and roster of guest chefs and sommeliers was not yet available. But traditionally, more than 1,000 guests attend the large tastings, which include wine, spirits and unique foods.

August 5-9

The Steamboat Wine Festival is noteworthy for its mix of wine, food and outdoor activities on the mountain, in restaurants, classrooms, and around town. Seminars and tastings increase knowledge, and enjoyment of food and wine, and other activities including hikes, bike rides and standup paddling. To stay informed on all the happenings, check out the website. And FWIW, the Farm to Barn dinner on August 8 is already sold out.

Iceland Eats on Show at Culinary Fest

Jaw-dropping scenery, Viking culture and centuries-old history of Iceland plus fresh fare.

IcelandFoodFest-logoI wouldn’t even mention this if I weren’t so taken with Iceland, but I am, so I am — if you get my drift. The 14th annual Food ‘n Fun Festival in Reykjavik from February 25 to March 1 brings together chefs who ply outstanding culinary skills, fresh natural ingredients, Icelandic outdoor adventure and the island nation’s famed nightlife to create the ultimate recipe for fun.  Renowned chefs  from America, Europe and specifically Scandinavia join forces with Reykjavik’s best restaurants to vie for the title of “Food & Fun Chef of the Year.” Think it’s trivial? This honor gained respect in the culinary world since Rene Redzepi, owner of Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, won the award in 2004.

Competitors include Hussein Mustapha, chef de cuisine at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, a conceptual gourmet restaurant also in Copenhagen; Adam Dahlberg from Adam & Albin Matstudio, a gastronomic hotspot in Stockholm; London’s Robin Gill of The Dairy and The Manor, and James Beard Award winner Douglas Rodriguez from the U.S. Each chef is assigned to one of the participating restaurants to prepare a special menu consisting only of Icelandic ingredients. The menu is then presented by the chefs to the public during the festival week.

Among the restaurants hosting festival events this year are Dill, Apotek, Kjallarinn, Lava at the Blue Lagoo, and Smurstodin. There’s a lot of serious cooking going on, so I’m not sure where the “fun”  comes in. On the last day of the festival, the chefs compete head-to-head with three courses, again all made solely with Iceland ingredients such as Arctic char, grass-fed lamb, fresh caught cod and haddock, local plum tomatoes from a geothermal greenhouse and an Icelandic yogurt called skyr. 

Film + Food in Boulder

CineCHEF culinary event added to Boulder film fest.

ChefClipArtThe Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) adds a new culinary event to showcase Boulder’s nationally recognized chefs.  CineCHEF, as the signature event had been dubbed, challenges the town’s favorite chefs to choose a movie theme and create film-inspired dish for a fun and friendly competition on Friday, March 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Rembrandt Yard in downtown Boulder.

Participating chefs are David Query of Centro Latin Kitchen and other restaurants in the Big Red F REestaurant Group, Kyle Mendenhall of The Kitchen, Bradford Heap of Salt and Colterra, Kelly Kingsford of Brasserie TenTen and The Med, John Platt of RIFF’s Urban Fare, Radek Cerny of L’Atelier and Alec Schuler from Arugula. These chefs will set movie-themed tasting stations serving small plates based on their chosen themes. Guests will enjoy wines from Francis Ford Coppola Winery, craft beers and desserts by celebrated pastry chef Jennifer Bush of Lucky’s Bakehouse. Music by Maxwell Hughes, formerly of the Lumineers. Guests vote on their favorite offerings, with the winning chef awarded with a sculpture by the late Bill Vielehr and the title “Best CineCHEF, BIFF 2015.

Tickets ($95) are available online and benefit BIFF. If  your tastes run more to fine food than to film, know that festival attendance is not required for CineCHEF.

Denver International Wine Festival This Week

DenverWinefest2014The 10th annual Denver International Wine Festival takes place this week. Three highlight events are a four-course winemaker’s, the Taste of Elegance/Pairsine competition and the Grand Tasting. The chef dinner featuring Stellenbosch wines from South Africa takes place on Wednesday, November 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Meritage Restaurant in the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, conveniently located between Denver and Boulder, where all local Wine Country Network events now take place. Click here for the menu. The cost is $69 plus tax and gratuities.

Maybe I’m partial because I’ve been a judge several times, but my favorite part of the festival is Pairsine, a competition in which 10 Denver area chefs prepare two dishes each to pair with gold meal winning wines from the earlier Denver International Wine Competition.  Officially known as The Taste of Elegance, this event takes place on Thursday November 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. also at the Omni Interlocken Resort. It is Wine Country Network’s signature event and this year, celebrity TV chef and author Sara Moulton, is honorary host and will also conduct cooking demonstrations. Tickets ($100) are still available online.

Nine of the 10 chefs have been announced:

  • Chef Jeff Bolton, Kachina Southwestern Grill
  • Chef Geoffrey Groditski, The University Club
  • Chef Joshua Hasho, The Meritage, Omni Interlocken
  • Chef Chris Teigland, Balistreri Vineyards
  • Chef Bill Miner, Relish Catering & Events
  • Chef Sean McGee, Rio Bistro
  • Chef Timothy Richardson, Custom Culinary Concepts
  • Chef Laurent Mechin, Jill’s at The St. Julien Hotel
  • Chef Cristino Greigo, The Bistro at Stapleton

The festival’s finale is the Grand Tasting on Friday November 21 from 6 to 9 p.m., with three hours of wine tasting and wine-themed exhibits. This popular ticket is $65, which can also be purchased online, organizers say is new lower price. I can’t recall what it was in the past. Because drinking and driving are a bad idea, the Omni is offering $99 rooms to festival-goers. Click here for reservations.

There are also trade and consumer seminars — the latter accessible with a now-sold-out VIP admission ticket. Click here FoMoInfo.

Today is ‘Food Day’

National initiative to promote healthy and sustainable food.

FoodTank-logoHaving recently attended both the Chefs Collaborative Summit and the Flatirons Food Film Festival (films + panels), it seems as if every day is Food Day in Colorado — at least in Boulder. But beyond the bubble, today is officially Food Day founded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The goal is to help inspire Americans to change their food choices and convince businesses, schools, farms, and policy makers to implement healthier, more sustainable food policies.  There are said to be “thousands of around the country [that] will bring eaters together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for action to make food safe, healthy, affordable and accessible.”

The major Food Day event in Denver appears to be a screening of “Food Patriots,” a documentary that features the diversity of people working to change the way Americans eat, buy and are educated about food, at the Colorado Health Foundation or the SIE FilmCenter