Category Archives: Locavore and farm-to-table

Boulder Farmers’ Market Voted No. 1 in the Nation

Local market tops USA Today list.

FarmersMarket-logoThe Boulder Farmers Market, our wonderful seasonal marketplace for locally grown produce, locally produced food products and local artisans, tops USA Today’s 10Best Farmers Markets list  or 2015. Twenty contenders were selected by a panel of food and travel experts — Bernadine Prince, president of the Farmers Market Coalition; food writer Eric Grossman; travel writer Megy Karydes; M. Linda Lee, former editor for Michelin Travel Publications, Akila McConnell travel and food blogger, The Road Forks; Larry Olmsted, USA Today food writer, and food writer Kim Sunee. The panel’s selections were presented to the public for four weeksof daily votes.

Boulder Farmers Market is the brainchild of a group of local farmers, who came together with their vision of a local market in 1987 at the Boulder Courthouse. What started with a few tables of produce loaded off the backs of pickup trucks has evolved into a robust destination market on 13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue more than 100 vendors who set up for the longest market season in Colorado. There’s also an outdoor food court with wine beer and sangria available too at the Wednesday night market that runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. from early May through early October, and the original Saturday market runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. from early April through late November. During the peak summer season, the Boulder Farmers Market attracts over 5,000 customers per day.  My husband and I are often two of them.

Chautauqua Dining Hall A Summer Fave

Broad and shady porch is one of my happy places in Boulder.

DiningHallThe historic Chautauqua Dining Hall is one of my favorite places to be. The food is good but it’s the ambience that elevates it to great. In winter, the bar and restaurant are cozy retreats. In summer, the broad porch is shady and catches whatever breeze might be around. I especially like to take out-of-towners to this charming building in the Chautauqua National Historic Landmark.

When cousins arrived early on Friday, hungry from their drive all the way from Maryland, Chautauqua was our choice to introduce them to Boulder. A table on the porch, a bit of a mountain view and the Dining Hall’s generous portions was a fine perker-upper.

Enormous flatbreads are really large, thin-crust pizzas.
Enormous flatbreads are really large, thin-crust pizzas.
Sandwich of buttermilk-fried chicken topped with American cheese, aioli and cole slaw and a mixed salad on the side.
Sandwich of buttermilk-fried chicken topped with American cheese, Ole Bay aioli and cole slaw and a mixed salad on the side.
Summer salad of kale, Fontina cheese, honey-roasted almonds, red grapes and Mandarin orange slides. The kale is from Three Leaf Farm, owned by the folks who operate thr Dining Hall.
Summer salad of kale, Fontina cheese, honey-roasted almonds, red grapes and Mandarin orange slices and an add-on of tofu. The kale is from Three Leaf Farm, owned by the folks who operate the Dining Hall.

Price check:  At lunch,”Shared,” $6-$14; soups, $4-$6; salads, $5-$12 (plus optional add-ons, $2-$4, sandwiches and wraps (including salad, fries or soup); flatbreads, $10-$12; entrées, $13-$14.

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Potager’s Splendid Table

Farm-to-table pioneer impresses and pleases.

022Potager has been around for 18 of the 27 years I’ve lived in Colorado, and despite being on my to-visit list for years, it took till friends from Vail were in town to get there. Now I wonder why I let it be so long. Potager was way ahead of its time with farm-to-table fare, well-selected wine list and a menu that changes monthly to take advantage of the freshest from leading local farms. What’s almost routine now was ground-breaking nearly two decades ago.

It is the brainchild of Terry Ripetto and her dad, Tom. Their philosophy that has carried Potager through the years is one I buy into. As the restaurant’s website explains, “We follow no style or school of cooking. We are not a French restaurant, although we serve dishes from this cuisine.  I think, basically, the unifying theme is that of being immensely satisfying, locally sourced and seasonally driven.  We serve really satisfying food and do whatever it takes to make it.  We draw upon the season and what is grown locally.”

 Flatware follows the triangle shape of the crisp, folded napkin on the crisp tablecloth. White on white with white plates.
Flatware follows the triangle shape of the crisp, folded napkin on the crisp tablecloth. White on white linen with white plates.

The restaurant is a charming country-ish place in the city just elegant enough to match the food but not really formal. In addition to a lively dining room and semi-open kitchen and outdoor dining in back. No luck getting seated there, but we were not unhappy to be  in the high-ceilinged room with one charmingly distressed-plaster all, high wine racks and a shelf full of impressive cookbooks on a room divider on one side of the kitchen.

We wanted to sample a number of dishes, so we created a tapas-style experience of sharing.

Apricot-forward fruit soup with a smiley face in crème fraiche made us smile.
Super-seasonal apricot and peach soup with a smiley face in mint crème fraiche made us smile.
A special of thinly sliced and artistically stacked zucchini with a sorel emulsion and bread crumbs.
A special of thinly sliced and artistically stacked zucchini with a sorrel emulsion and bread crumbs.

Continue reading Potager’s Splendid Table

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

Sustainable, Local Farming Focus of Aspen Lecture

Noted ag author coming to Aspen to give free lecture.

Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin

I am a great admirer of author Michael Pollan, who brilliantly deciphers what is wrong and what is right on the American food scene. Joel Salatin and his Polyface,  Farm (Swoope, Virginia) were featured in Pollan’s New York Times bestseller and in the award-winning documentary, “Food, Inc.” The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the City of Aspen Parks and Recreation, and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails are bringing Salatin to Aspen to give a talk, “Local Food to the Rescue.”

Joel himself has authored nine books on the topic of farming and sustainability where he passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm.  As ACES distills this critical issue, “For local food to be a credible part of the global food system it must develop six integrated components: production, processing, marketing, accounting, distribution and patrons. In this lecture Joel will educate our community on how to build a functional local food system, including economies of scale, collaborative food shed distribution, and meaningful volume.V

The talk takes place on Friday, August 7 at 7 p.m. in the  Paepcke Auditorium (1000 North 3rd Street). Click here to RSVP.

Organic, Seasonal, Local & Tasty Sandwiches in Boulder

The new Organic Sandwich Company lives up to its name.

008I’ve ordered from the Organic Sandwich Company’s stand at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market, but until this evening, I’d never eaten in the store that opened in the challenging month of January. The invitation-only tasting of many of the sandwiches provided a sequential comparison of flavor combos.

Trays of small sandwich samples were passed around.
Trays of small sandwich samples were passed around, allowing each guest to select what s/he wished to try.
Owner Marcy Miller demonstrated how to make bacon jam. The Organic Sandwich Company currently is using it with sliced turkey.
Owner Marcy Miller demonstrated how to make bacon jam. The Organic Sandwich Company currently is using it with sliced turkey.

There were caprese sandwiches — delicious, but hardly exotic. There were Beetniks, a cleverly named and unusual combo of roasted beets, almond feta and pea shoots. Then there’s the glory of any sandwich made with the house-made bacon jam, the preparation of which owner Marcy Miller demonstrated. What better way to cap an intro to a sandwich joint than with a dessert of gelato sandwiches?

Gelato between cookies makes for a terrific dessert sandwich.
Gelato between cookies makes for a terrific dessert sandwich.

Right now, Turkey and Bacon Jam, Turkey and Brie and Spicy Veggie are the top sellers on the menu that changes according to what’s fresh at the market This is Boulder, so of course, there are gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo and dairy-free options, as well as offerings for easy-to-please omnivores.  But mercifully, nothing is taste-free at the Organic Sandwich Company. And because Marcy herself is the mother of two young children, there are kid-friendly items too.

The Organic Sandwich Company is on the southwest corner of 16th and Pearl, Boulder. Phone: 720-639-3986.

Broth Bar at Boulder’s Fresh Thymes

Natural foods restaurant quick to hook onto hot trend.

FreshThymes-logoRich, hearty broths are suddenly a current food trend, and Boulder’s Fresh Thymes Eatery has jumped on the “brothwagon” and is making the “good stuff our body craves – collagen, gelatin, bio-available minerals and amino acids,” according to a press release. The restaurant’s house-made broth is served from a new Broth Bar, with herb- and spiced-up flavor “in our nutrient dense broths, added a condiment bar and are calling it righteous”

New York’s Rotisserie Georgette, known for its slow-cooked poultry, had an excess of chicken bones and parts from the daily operations and started making broth early last year. The head chef, Chad Brauze, formerly at Daniel Boulud’s Michelin-starred Daniel, liked bone broth’s sustainable aspect. “We are basically getting a second delicious, valuable dish from otherwise discarded items: necks, feet, roasted chicken carcasses—all things our Upper West Side audience wouldn’t care to order,” wrote alternate.org in a piece called “Why Drinking Bone Broth is the Next Hot Thing in Cuisine.”

Brodo, a take-out broth window appeared in downtown Manhattan in December 2014, serving three types of bone broth: organic Pennsylvania Amish chicken broth, grass-fed beef bone broth and a signature broth with chicken, beef and turkey bones, according to alternate.org.  It usually takes far longer for a trend to make it this far from one of the creative coasts, foodwise, so kudos to this Boulder purveyor of natural, organic, local, nutritious and tasty fare for its Broth Bar.

Broth seems especially suited for winter enjoyment. The present both list comprises just three items: Ginger Garlic Beef, Roasted Turmeric Chicken, and Sundried Tomato and Caramelized Mushroom. The latter sounds vegetarian, which means it’s not bone broth but simply broth. They sell it by the cup and pint Mason jar, and customers who bring in their own mug, cup or jar get 20% off their broth purchases.

Fresh Thymes is located at 2500 30th Street, #101, Boulder; 303-955-7988. It is open Monday through Saturday.

Note: Turns out that two more Boulder purveyors are introducing bone broth. According to a piece in Denver Eater (or is it Eater Denver?; I’m never sure), Hosea Rosenberg’s Blackbelly and Will and Coral Frischkorn at Cured are about to introduce bone broth too.