Category Archives: Festival

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

Don’t-Miss Food & Wine Events

Denver, Broomfield & Boulder host three very different events.

Denver Harvest Week, October 5-9

Harvest-Week-logoGrowHaus, a multi-pronged attack on north Denver’s food desert,  an educational enterprise and a supplier of sustainable foods, again hosts Harvest Week. Each night, a group chefs from independent restaurants come together to create pop-up parties (four dinners, one brunch at the GrowHaus, the city’s ultimate urban garden. Every day includes a full bar, copious amounts of food, and endless amounts of fun. All the festivities of the week go to support EatDenver and the Growhaus. Click here for details and tickets.

Flatirons Food Film Festival, October 19-24

FlatironsFoodFilmFest-logoSix days of films (six features plus shorts), special events, talks, a sushi walk and more taking place in several Boulder venues. The Films page contains descriptions and trailers for all of feature-length films, plus information about short films and events. The new Tickets page contains information about individual films and events, plus different types of passes. The big name is James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker of the Pok Pok restaurant empire in Portland, Oregon, who appears Friday, October 23. He is supporting of “Farang,” a documentary chronicling his search for authentic flavor. He has appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s television series, No Reservations and Parts Unknown, and introduces the film and participates in a Q&A session after the screening.

Denver International Wine Festival, October 28-30

Pairsine-logo3The Denver International Wine Festival drops anchor at the Omni Interlocken in Broomfield with a packed schedule of tastings and seminars. Highlights are the Grand Vinters Dinner at the Omni’s Meritrage Restaurant on Wednesday, the Pairsine wine-pairing competition where top regional chefs prepare dishes to pair with gold medal award-winning wines from an earlier wine competition and the Grand Tasting on Friday. This year’s honorary host is Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible. Click here to purchase tickets.

A Taste of Colorado by the Numbers

Revelers consumed thousands of pounds of food at Labor Day fest in Denver.

This is the 2013 logo; I can't fine a 2015 version.
This is the 2013 logo; I can’t fine a 2015 version.

I’m in New York, stopping over from Paris to Denver, and I was nowhere near the Mile High City when the annual end-of-summer city tradition, A Taste of Colorado, took place at Civic Center Park. But the organizers have released some numbers of the amount of food consumed at this popular event, which — despite its name — is not all about eating. Ostensibly celebrating Western heritage, it has all the aspects of a summer state or country fare — in the heart of Denver.

Continue reading A Taste of Colorado by the Numbers

Palisade Peach Fests on Both Sides of the Divide

Fort Collins Peach Fest Makes Three

FortCollinsPeachfest-logoWhen I posted news of the 2015 Palisade and Lafayette peach festivals (reposted below and coming up this weekend), I wasn’t aware of the Fort Collins Peach Festival on Saturday, August 22. It features peaches from Palisade (of course), plus a 5K run/walk, children’s activities, entertainment, peach pies, food and beverage sales, local business booths and peach-themed events all day long. Admission is free, and the $5 parking fee supports local causes. It takes place at CSU’s Hughes Stadium, 1800 South Overlook Trail.

Repost of Palisade and Lafayette celebrate Colorado’s fabulous fruit.

PeachPeaches grown in and around the Western Slope (make that far Western Slope) town of Palisade rank as some of the country’s best. Palisade itself celebrates them with a three-day festival that has been going on for nearly half a century. Front Rangers don’t have to travel quite so far, since Lafayette’s one-day festival is a big deal closer to home for greater metro Denver area residents.
Continue reading Palisade Peach Fests on Both Sides of the Divide

Fab Fundraiser for Flatirons Food Film Fest

Wine, foodies & song in Boulder.

FlatironsFoodFilmFest-logoThree art forms were showcased at yesterday evening’s Flatirons Food Film Festival fundraiser: cinematic arts, musical arts and, of course, culinary arts. The event opened with food samples from some of the city’s finest chefs and adult beverages. Then there was a fast-moving live auction (some guests scored great deals). Then came short films on food subjects curated by James Beard Award-winner The Perennial Plate, which documents what it calls “adventures in sustainable eating.” Each chef viewed one of the films that inspired the dishes he presented, and in addition to the resulting food/film pairings, four fine singers from Opera on Tap Colorado performed operatic pairings.

Alex Krill & David Query, Jax Fish House

Query, who founded and operates the entire Big Red F Restaurant Group, of which Jax is just one concept, said that “10 Things We love About Italy” inspired him to offer fresh, simple food, preparted with “not a lot of over-thought, just thought.”

David Qurey and the shoulder of Alex Krill (sorry, Chef).
David Qurey and the right shoulder of Alex Krill (sorry, Chef).
“Crispy, creamy and cheezy” (their spelling) polenta with cured tuna, pickled mushrooms and a sauce of sweet corn, basil and olive oil.

Continue reading Fab Fundraiser for Flatirons Food Film Fest