Homemade Pineapple-Infused Rum


                                                                     Normally I would not be bitten by the ‘Summer Cocktail Bug’ until mid June when the weather warms and everything begins to ease into the lazy smolder of the summer season.  It is only mid April I realize however summer seems upon us in Boulder.  We’ve broken temperature records by hitting almost 90 degrees in the past week.  Trees are in full leaf as we’d expect by the end of June and my cocktail fever has started to spike. Making Homemade Pineapple-Infused Rum popped to mind and in less than an hour I was prowling the liquor store for Colorado distilled rums, not an area of my expertise.  Whenever embarking on a new infusion I try to take the opportunity to familiarize myself with another one of Colorado’s 22 … {continue reading}

Great New Asian ‘Eats’ at Denver Zoo’s ‘Kamala Café’ and the new Toyota Elephant Passage Exhibit Opening


Let’s be frank.  When one thinks of a zoo, the food is subordinate to all the other images that pop to mind.   It usually even falls behind reflections of parking.  I think it’s a stereotyped given that the food resides in the ‘Carnival’ family of cuisine, offering a substantial dip into the saturated fat pond with lots of sugary options to chase it.   Despite all of this my curiosity got the best of me as the state-of-the-art new exhibit Toyota Elephant Passage readies for opening at the Denver Zoo after a several years of  planning and construction.  With such an upscale, attention-grabbing exhibit I was sure there must be a food story in there somewhere.  What I would discover was humbling and left me departing a visit in awe to say the least.Last week I ventured to the zoo to meet the … {continue reading}

A New Era in Dining for the Historic Stanley Hotel, Estes Park CO


For those unfamiliar with the picturesque hamlet that is Estes Park, it is the guardian town to Rocky Mountain National park, snuggled into the first pitching peaks of the majestic mountain range.  A mere 50 minutes from Boulder, when ending  the easy winding drive one is greeted by a ‘the-hills-are-alive’ vista of a sprawling lake and the white, red-roofed Stanley Hotel poised elegantly on the mountainside.  It sits as a timeless sentinel; a nod to a bygone era of stately lodging with an East Coast essence while continuing to reinvent itself to mesh with current day expectations.The Stanley has a colorful past having been started by F. O. Stanley, famous steam engine inventor when moving to Colorado for health reasons.  Not finding suitable lodging he built the hotel estate in 1909.  … {continue reading}

Denver Zoo’s ‘School Garden to Zoo’ Program: Garden-to-Table for Animals (and kids too!)


I have been a gardener all my life.  Regular readers will have heard my tale of sneaking out of bed as an elementary school child to steal legumes from the pantry to grow in pots in my room.  I’ve always had a need to grow things which has only been amplified as an adult with growing food.   ‘Garden-to-Table’ has become part of our current culinary lexicon.  Restaurants are developing their own farms or gardens to serve the freshest produce possible and have turned to let the garden drive their menus.  Garden-to-Table Programs are popping up at schools all over the country.  I myself am a Parent Co-Lead in such a program and have noted remarkable results relating to children’s awareness of food as well as willingness to try food they’ve had a hand in growing.I really did not think it could … {continue reading}

Dark Honey Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream

Dark Honey Cake BoulderLocavore.com

For anyone tethered to the school year calendar you will have experienced the time acceleration phenomenon between Spring Break and the school year end, as well as the missile fire of events targeting one’s calendar.  December holds similar properties but this spans a bit over 2 months leaving a frenetic tone in every day. After returning from my spontaneous road trip through the Panhandle-Plains region of West Texas and New Mexico, I hit the ground running facing tax preparation and participation in a third grade Science Fair project about the duration of gum holding its flavor.  When I agreed to be a ‘Chewer’, it did not cross my mind as a non gum chewer that I’d be pitted against 16 of the most vile flavored gums I’d ever hope NOT to experience with the job of chewing till no flavor … {continue reading}

Studio F Brings Pop Up Restaurants to Denver: Inaugural Dinner with Chef Charles Dale and Sutcliffe Vineyards wine


Chef James Mazzio, Winemaker John Sutcliffe and Chef Charles DalePhoto of John Sutcliffe courtesy Sutcliffe Vineyards websiteAny self-respecting watcher of ‘Top Chef’ will certainly know of the Pop Up Restaurant concept from the angst-producing ‘Restaurant Wars’ segment of the series.  What might not be as well known is that outside of reality TV, pop up restaurants are currently the rage in cutting edge culinary trends.  Specifically a pop up restaurant is a temporary dining experience where a restaurant is set up in a vacant building (or in this case Studio F) for a limited time.  It affords the opportunity for exceptional chefs to swoop in, dazzle a culinary audience for a few nights and whisk back to their city of origin. Starter Duet of Tuna Tartare on a Blue Corn Blini with Crispy … {continue reading}