Category Archives: Festival

Morel Fest in Michigan

Fabulous fungus celebrated in May.

I have no plans to visit northern Michigan later this month, but a little corner of me wishes I could go. The 57th Annual National Morel Mushroom Festival taking place May 18-21 in Boyne City, on beautiful Lake Charlevoix is enough reason. Petoskey is the city you might have heard of. I know the area in winter for its Boyne Country ski areas. I’ve eaten morels, but not in situ, and I do know they are a potent lure for foodies.

Organizers invite people to come forage the woods in search of the rare morel mushrooms. They even schedule a guided practice hunt on Friday the 19th for newbies. There’s a Wine & Dine dinner that evening, and  a morel breakfast on Saturday the 20th, followed by the National Morel Mushroom Hunting Championship. Yes, there is such a thing, with prizes in a variety of categories.

There’s a carnival with rides and games for the kids, mushroom seminars and the “Taste of Morels” where visitors can sample the best mushroom recipes from area restaurants. Click here for a full schedule.

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.

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

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.

 

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.

Cornucopia Coming Up at Whistler

Canadian resort’s dazzling November food and wine festival.

cornupcopiaCanadian Thanksgiving occurs in October, leaving room for other eating and drinking “opportunities” in November. Cornucopia runs from the 10th through the 20th. Now 20 years old, this dazzling 11-day display of gourmet food and drink, attracts over 15,000 visitors. Respected industry professionals, judges and presenters to headline each event, seminar and tasting.

In addition to the Culinary Stage and dinners, a series of seminars starting on November 12 cover what could be argued by some as four important “food” groups: wine, beer, cocktails and spirits.Topics include pairing food and cocktails, spirited chocolate, bubbly cocktails, tequila, the history of IPA, pairing wine and chocolate, or wine and pizza, happy hour @ home and more The festival’s hallmark event, Crush Grand Gala Tasting,  Saturday, November 12 , with a vibrant atmosphere where attendees are invited to sip, savor and sample their way through a feast of wines from BC and beyond.

Click here for a full schedule and here to purchase tickets.

Fourth Flatirons Food Film Festival

Celluloid celebration of all things food plus great speakers.

flatironsfoodfilmfest-squareThe fourth annual Flatirons Food Film Festival is coming right up (Thursday, October 20 through Sunday, October 24), but since I’m flying off to China on the 16th, I will miss it all this year —  both literally and figuratively.

In addition to films, local and visiting speakers and samples, Saturday is geared to young foodies with kid-friendly food films and pettable goats from a local dairy. Tickets to individual events and the economical and convenient, and  all-film passes are available through eventBrite.

Festival schedule

Thursday, Oct. 20
DOUGH screening, 7:30 p.m., Boulder Public Library
Speaker: Josh Pollack of Rosenberg’s Bagels, just reopened after a devastating fire

Friday, Oct. 21
Chefs Night at eTown Hall: A Celebration of Munchies Films,
6 to 7:30 p.m., VIP party
7:30 p.m., short films screening
Speakers: Chef Theo Adley, Hosea Rosenberg, chef and co-owner of Blackbelly market, Bryan Dayton of OAK at fourteenth, Chad Pettrone of Northeast Seafood Products
Munchies After Party. Dakota Soifer of Cafe Aion, Theo Adley, and Michael DeBoer of the French Twist food truck are cooking dishes that were created by some of the chefs in a film about a pop-up in honor of the Mission Chinese cookbook (Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese, Andy Ricker of the Pok Pok restaurants, and Jessica Koslow of Sqirl).

Saturday, Oct. 22 (all film screenings at the Boulder Public Library)
Children’s Tour of the Boulder Farmers Market. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Food Films for Children, screening with presentations from Tim Brod of Highland Honey Bees, Dan Hayward of Savory Spice Shop – Boulder and Taber Ward and her Mountain Flower Goat Dairy goats, 10:45 a.m.

FEAR NO FRUIT screening, 1:30pm
Speaker: Hass Hassan, co-founder of the original Alfalfa’s Market
SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE screening, 4 p.m. (followed by a wine sampling at 6 p.m. for SOMM and CITY OF GOLD ticket holders)
Speaker: Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food and Wine. He is a master sommelier and therefore has gone through the arduous process.
CITY OF GOLD screening, 7:15p.m.
Speakers: Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times, Amanda Faison of 5280 Magazine
After party, 10 p.m., Bramble and Hare restaurant

Sunday, Oct.23  (both screenings at International Film Series, Muenzinger Auditorium, CU-Boulder campus; free shuttle available from downtown)
JUST EAT IT screening, 12 p.m.
Speaker: Philip Taylor of Mad Agriculture
THEATER OF LIFE screening, 2 p.m.
Speaker: Peter Svatek, director

Monday, October 24
Taste the Wild: Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Dinner, 6 p.m., Basta (co-sponsored by Chefs Collaborative and the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association)
Salmon dish chefs: Josh Pollack, Kelly Whitaker of Basta, Kyle Mendenhall of Arcana