One of four cities to host the first American version.
I can still remember my first taste of gelato. It was in Rome a long lifetime ago at a gelataria across the street from and just to the right of the Pantheon. Thanks to the Internet, I am pretty sure it must have been Cremaria Monteforte (via della Rotonda 22), and that small flavor bomb on a hot summer day was the first of many that I have savored over the decades. It is still there — and still widely praised for its flavors and authenticity. And I do remember it even though I’ve consumed many little cups and cones of gelato since then.
The Gelato Festival launched in Europe 2010 and has taken root there, and Boulder is the first stop of the first Gelato Festival America from September 29 through October 1 at the Twenty-Ninth Street shopping area. The unique creations of seven gelato makers from Italy, the U.S. and Canada compete for the honors of being the best in show as voted on by a panel of judges and by the public. There are also sessions to learn about the long history of gelato and how it’s made.
Click here for tickets and here for a GroupOn offer that saves 20 percent. In addition to the Boulder event, Gelato Festival America then goes to Santa Barbara (October 20-22), Scottsdale (October 27-29) and Tucson (November 3- 5).
Sixth annual festival features a smorgasbord of films plus culinary stars.
The Flatirons Food Film Festival continues to attract foodies, film lovers and the intersection of both as it has since 2012. Taking place in several Boulder venues from September 27 through October 1, it comprises nine film programs, an entire short documentary series focused on Colorado and culinary superstar chef Jeremiah Tower as guest speaker.
He is a hugely influential and controversial figure in American gastronomy. He began his career at Chez Panisse, then opened Stars, an iconic San Francisco restaurant, before disappearing from the culinary scene at the height of his success. He re-emerged decades later at New York City’s struggling Tavern on the Green. He was already middle-aged and left after less than a year after failing to revive the famous restaurant and have serious disagreements with the owners. Perhaps he will even tell tales that only he can know. ‘Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent’ is an award-winning film about his life. It will be screened on Sunday, September 30 at 7:15 p.m., followed by an after-party at License No. 1 in the Hotel Boulderado.
Speaking of hugely influential figures, few outshine the legendary James Beard. Beth Federici, the filmmaker and director of “James Beard: America’s First Fooodie,” is also a speaker. Other local and visiting speakers include journalist Corie Brown; chef Frank Bonanno of Denver’s Bonanno Concepts; Dr. Allen Lim of Skratch Labs, and Jorge de la Torre, director of culinary education at Denver’s Johnson and Wales University. Food documentaries, short films and food-oriented classics fill the program. There’s also a kids’ farmers’ market walk. And yes, some feature actual food to eat and beverages to drink. Click here for a complete schedule and admission prices.
The 13th annual Denver Food + Wine Festival starts with Barbecue, a food film, at the Sie Film Center on September 5 and concludes on the 10th with the Rise + Dine brunch. The glamour event, of course, is Saturday’s Grand Tasting on the Pepsi Center grounds, featuring 700 international wines and some 40 Denver restaurants. Lead sponsors at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Colorado and the Colorado Restaurant Association. In between are The Shakedown (a bartender competition), a six-course dinner under the stars at Coohill’s Restaurant and the always informative Riedel Wine Glass seminar. Click here for the schedule and here to purchase tickets.
I don’t usually do follow-up picture posts, but I was so tickled that two Colorado chefs were invited to cook at a culinary festival in Barranquilla, Colombia, that I wrote a post. Diane Coohill sent me this picture from opening day of the festival. After this, she and Chef Tom are going on a trek to Everest base camp in Nepal. Classic Coloradans!
USA Today’s selections puts upcoming festival in the spotlight.
Just as a prelude to the upcoming Colorado Mountain Wine Festival (September 14-17) comes word that it was voted the best wine festival in the U.S. by USA Today’s 10Best website. That’s right: THE BEST in the whole country, even beating out New York and Chicago.
A panel of wine and travel experts nominated 20 of the best festivals celebrating wine, wine culture and wine tourism across the country’s top wine-making regions. The panel included Jill Barth, an internationally published wine writer and journalist; Jil Child, partner and co-owner of Wine Tours of the World; and Karen MacNeil, one of the foremost wine experts in the U.S. Readers pared the nominee list by half to come up with the 10 winners.
The Top 10
(In addition to being thrilled that a Colorado festival took the top spot, I’m happy that Charlottesville, Virginia, was voted #3 — good news for a city recently in the headlines for terrible reasons.)
Colorado Mountain Winefest – Palisade, Colo.
Vintage Ohio – Kirtland, Ohio
Virginia Wine Summit – Charlottesville, Va.
Finger Lakes Wine Festival – Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Chicago Gourmet – Chicago
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival – Honolulu
BottleRock Napa Valley – Napa, Calif.
Taste of Sonoma – Sonoma, Calif.
New York City Wine & Food Festival – New York
Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest – Rhinebeck, N.Y. Click here for a list of participating wineries and here for a schedule of events, which include wine country tours, tastings, pairings and the big “Festival in the Park” on the 16th. It is the state’s largest and oldest wine festival featuring more than 55 Colorado wineries, live music, a grape stomp, live demonstrations and seminars.
Tom Coohill, chef and co-owner of the Denver restaurant that bears his name, and Daniel Asher of Boulder’s River & Woods recently made their second trip this year to Washington, D.C., to work with Plate of the Union, a food advocacy organization that is working to address hunger issues through the 2018 Farm Bill.
Soon they are heading to South America for the 10th annual El Sabor Barranquilla Gastronomic Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia, August 25-27. They will demonstrate cooking techniques and participate in culinary forums using his recipes and the Colombian region’s ingredients.
El Sabor Barranquilla is a three-day event focusing on the foods of the Caribbean, with cooking demonstrations and contests, forums exploring biodiversity, sustainability, culinary techniques and advances, and a variety of dishes cooked by chefs from around the world.
“A crew came out from SaborUSA TV last year to film at the restaurant, and things went so well that they reached out for this event,” says Chef Tom, who will be accompanied by his wife and Coohills co-owner Diane Coohill. “They’re flying me and Daniel down there, and as we proved in D.C. recently, Daniel and I work well together. So, I think this is a great opportunity to have a really cool cultural exchange through food.”
Major food event adds to Denver’s culinary luster.
The international Slow Food movement was founded in Italy in 1989 as an antidote to the corporatized fast food that was engulfing the world. The concept of Slow Food is a growing movement that has gained increasing momentum over the years, spawning the farm-to-table restaurants, home gardens and sustainable agriculture. Denver hosts Slow Food Nations, a weekend celebration of sustainable foods raised with respect for animals, the environment and farmers.
It comes to Denver this weekend with informative, inspiring and mouth-watering events. Some are only for Slow Food delegates, others have paid entry but many of them are free. Organizers expect some 10,000 chefs, policymakers, farmers and food lovers from all over the world to participate in this confab whose theme is “street food-festival-meets-sustainability and policy discussion.”
I missed out on the media application (was I away, or was it just my brain that was on hiatus?), but I am volunteering on Sunday the 16th. I probably won’t be able to rub elbows with the likes of Alice Waters or Rick Bayless, but I will be a small cog in the wheel of this wonderful event that includes free demos on the Larimer Square culinary stage. Click here for a full schedule of paid and free events.
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.