Having never seen any of his cooking shows, most of what I know about TV personality Alton Brown is that he hates molecular gastronomy, and is somewhat bizarrely worried about its effect on cooking at large.
Here he is in 2011: "Yes, there's xantham gum in my kitchen. Why? Because I'm tired of shaking up a salad dressing. You know, it's practical things," he told a crowd at the American Culinary Federation's national convention. "Is it really cool to be able to make corn flakes out of peanut butter? Sure, it's a great trick. But it's a novelty, by and large."
"My worry about molecular gastronomy, especially with young cooks, is that they will try [to] use it [to] replace knowing how to cook. ..."
Of course, this seems similar to the worry that because Twitter exists people will stop reading (and writing) books. Many things can exist at the same time, yo.
Either way, he's coming to the Pikes Peak Center in February, and that's probably exciting to somebody, so here are the details via press release:
Alton Brown, Iron Chef host and renowned television personality is taking his brand of quirky humor and culinary science on the road with the “Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour.” Brown will appear at Pikes Peak Center on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 7, 2013 and are available at www.ticketswest.com, the Pikes Peak Center Box Office or by phone at 719-520-SHOW.
Recently named Best Food TV Personality at The Munchies, Brown’s tour promises to be an eventful evening of stand-up comedy, talks show antics, multimedia lecture, live music and food experimentation. Be prepared. Ponchos will be involved. The show will offer an interactive component in which audience members will have the opportunity to serve as Brown’s trusted assistants on stage. For those hoping to sip at the pure source of Brownian wit and wisdom, this is a must-see extravaganza for the whole family.
Brown said, "I've been cultivating material for this show for about a decade so it'll feel pretty darned good to finally get it out of my head and onto a stage. I feel we've come up with some pretty amazing food demos, and the multi-media segments are solid ... but I do have to say I'm a bit nervous about the singing parts."
Writer Kristen Browning-Blas has done a good job summing up the hype, so there's not much for me to elaborate on here. Come fall time, I trust that you will go forth in the name of a Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops-topped doughnut. Or the Cock-N-Balls, Old Dirty Bastard, Maple Blazer Blunt, Gay Bar, or Triple Chocolate Penetration.
Yeah, it's that kind of place. Fun!
The folks at Baskin Robbins want you to know that they released some new sherbet flavored freezer bars. I know this because they sent us a box of them, plus this information from a three-page press release:
Here's the box:
But more importantly, here's the ingredient list:
Take the Yellow 5 alone and I'd advise against feeding this to your kid.
This company has obviously not learned a thing from the man who actually does the Robbins name right: health activist John Robbins, the son of Baskin-Robbins' founder, who turned down the family empire to blow the whistle on junk food as well as inhumane treatment of animals.
I would not willingly eat one of these bars, so I have no critical take on their flavor to offer you here.
Call me a self-righteous food reviewer or general A-hole for posting this, but at some point, more folks, particularly in the media, need to start calling this crap for what it is.
I've got no beef with folks grabbing a treat here and there — we all do in some form, be it ice cream or a beer — but the least we can do is buy products that use real ingredients and preferably source them in as sustainable a manner as possible.
No thanks, Baskin Robbins.
Now that chef Brother Luck is back in town, having run the kitchen at the Craftwood Inn for the last seven months, or so, he's breaking out into one-off dinners through a new company called crEATe719 Kitchen.
"We will be hosting a series of *underground pop up dinners*," Luck writes in an e-mail to the Indy. "My goal is to continue building the local food scene with a theatrical way of dining. I've enjoyed working with various pop up restaurants throughout the country over the last few years and wanted to introduce our hometown foodies to this experience."
The first one kicks-off at an expanded Triple Nickel Tavern on June 23. The $45 Street Eats dinner features eight courses paired with beer cocktails. Entrées include bad-ass options like bone-marrow tater tots, bison corn dogs and curry cotton candy.
"It will be a fun night full of surprises and a chance for me to show off another side of my chef personality," writes Luck. "We only have 30 seats available so our goal is to sell out and build a demand for the next one. I'm already talking with VBar about our 2nd dinner which could be a possible food/martini pairing."
As properly prognosticated in my Side Dish column in late April, Curbside Cuisine arrived on the scene today. My colleague posted this pic of curry chicken lunch from the High Grade Catering and Food Truck.
And this past weekend, while volunteer-powered renovations were underway, I nabbed a sample from The Local food truck. I'll be writing about that bite in our Dine & Dash column next week (not to mention The Local's purchase of Raven's Nest Coffee in my Side Dish column), but until then, here's some photos I took as the project finally came together.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed the bill known as "Breakfast After the Bell" into law.
The law means that schools with higher levels of impoverished children will be required — with some exceptions — to serve a free breakfast to all students after the start of the school day. Such programs have been shown to radically increase participation, and lawmakers note that children perform better after eating something in the morning.
Still the bill hasn't seen support from all corners.
Some school districts, including Colorado Springs School District 11, have complained that the bill does not provide additional funding for implementing the program. They say federal reimbursements won't cover the costs of Breakfast After the Bell, meaning it could hurt other nutrition programs. Read more here.
Hick Signs ‘Breakfast After the Bell’
(May 15) — A bill to help make sure more Colorado schoolkids get a decent breakfast was signed into law today by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The governor went to Rose Hill Elementary School in Commerce City today to sign HB13-1006, sponsored by Reps. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Tony Exum Sr. (D-Colorado Springs). The bill will phase in a requirement that schools where at least 80 percent of the students qualify for federal free or reduced-cost lunch will serve breakfast to all students after the official start of school.
Hungry children don’t learn as well as their better-fed peers, but many students who qualify for existing before-school breakfast programs don’t get to school in time to eat, some of them because of the stigma of acknowledging that their families are too poor to feed them. When the Adams 14 School District went from school breakfast before the bell to an after-the-bell meal, the participation rate went from 30 percent to 98 percent.
“Breakfast after the bell gives students from low-income families an equal chance to learn and succeed,” said Rep. Moreno, who qualified for free in-school meals on his way to becoming valedictorian of his high school class.
By serving breakfast during attendance-taking and announcements, schools that have already initiated Breakfast After the Bell have been able to do it with no reduction in instruction time.
“This is a significant part of making sure our students get a good education,” Rep. Exum said.
The vast majority of the cost of Breakfast After the Bell is covered by an existing federal program.
Colorado Springs School District 11's extensive summer feeding program will continue this year.
Anyone ages 1 to 18 is invited to eat free at one of many locations — both in neighborhoods and schools. All locations will serve lunch, but only some will serve breakfast.
For a list of locations and hours, check out their press release here: News_Release-FNS-Summer_Program-5-13-13-1.pdf
——- ORIGINAL POST, MAY 7, 5:24 P.M. ——-
Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? This summer, the meal's free to kids all season long in Harrison School District 2.
Such programs are vital in poorer areas, where children often rely on free school breakfasts and lunches for their nutrition. Expert organizations like Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado have long called summer the hungriest time of the year, because kids can no longer rely on school meal programs.
Read on for more information on Harrison's program:
Any child under the age of 18 currently living in Harrison School District 2 will have access to free meals twice a day this summer.
The Harrison School District Nutrition Services announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food
Service Program. Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and younger.
Otero Elementary School
1650 Charmwood, Colorado Springs CO
Centennial Elementary School
1860 S Chelton, Colorado Springs CO
Session One: June 4- June 28, 2013
Session Two: July 9- August 2, 2013
Breakfast: 8:15 - 9:00am
Lunch: 12:15 - 12:45pm
Breakfast and Lunch will be served daily, Monday through Friday. Adult meals are available for
To begin a brief recap with the highlight, check out the group's slick new promotional video:
The main thrust of the evening, aside from the steering committee providing more info on next steps and the overall vision, was to call for community support in the form of networking (first by signing up for the market's newsletter), helping develop the right vendors —"we're sure you won't be able to buy a Taco Bell product," joked Ranch Foods Direct head Mike Callicrate — and of course, donating.
As for the pressing question of when this will all come together, 2015 is looking like the realistic time.
And downtown is still the target spot for it all to come together, as part of a feasibility study presented showed a map of nearest grocery stores and markets, which aside from 7-Eleven, are all outside our epicenter. Click on the image below to view the map in a larger format.
Another sentiment struck upon by the presenters — an all-volunteer force that includes former congressional hopeful Dave Anderson, architect Bobby Hill and Melissa Marts of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado — was how the true focus isn't just on the market itself, the brick and mortar, but the people it would serve on all fronts: from growers who'd have a place to sell, to the community who'd gain one more access point to healthy food. And the town as a whole would benefit with the expected infusion of tourist dollars and a focal point of culture and activity.
An important question the market task force had to address prior to last night's meeting was how to lure members of the public to attend. Hence drinks provided by Bristol Brewing Company and Downtown Fine Spirits & Wines and small plates prepared by Pizzeria Rustica, the Old German Bakery and Full Circle Cuisine.
View more photos of that spread and the event as a whole (a handful shared by me) on the market's Facebook page; which, of course, is another great place to stay apprised of updates as the bold endeavor moves forward.
A news release sent to the Indy yesterday afternoon by the The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that the organization has cited Colorado Springs-based Sinton Dairy Foods Co. for "14 violations of workplace standards," with proposed penalties totaling $74,610.
For your scrutiny, here's the main body of the release:
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Sinton Dairy Foods Co. Inc. in Colorado Springs with 10 serious, two repeat and two other-than-serious violations. OSHA began an inspection in November 2012 under its Site Specific Targeting Program that directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces, where high injury and illness rates occur, and the National Emphasis Program on facilities, covered under the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals. Proposed penalties total $74,610.
The serious violations of the process safety management standard include a lack of accurate process information; lack of documentation demonstrating that process equipment complies with recognized and accepted engineering practices; inadequate process hazard analysis revalidation; lack of adequate procedures for managing changes in process equipment; and deficiencies in mechanical integrity of equipment, which could lead to the release of ammonia. Other serious violations include fall hazards from elevated work areas, unguarded machinery and failing to provide properly designed electrical equipment for wet locations. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The two repeat violations were cited for failing to establish written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of the process equipment and exposing workers to live electrical parts. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, or rule at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at this same work site in 2009. The other-than-serious violations include an ineffective evaluation for contractors working on chemical processes and for storing materials in front of electrical equipment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
“Abating OSHA violations is a sign that an employer wants to keep its workers safe, but in this case, the employer allowed these hazards to reoccur and continued to expose workers to possible fire and electrical hazards, among other dangers,” said David Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Greenwood Village. “OSHA will not tolerate such disregard for worker safety.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Englewood area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or call the agency’s area office in Englewood at 303-843-4500.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
And we have two winners.
The James Beard Foundation handed out its awards last night in New York City's Lincoln Center.
View the full list of winners here: 2013-jbf-winners-site.pdf
——— FIRST UPDATE, MONDAY, MARCH 18, 10:59 A.M. ———
The James Beard Foundation finalists were announced today, and two Colorado eateries remain in the running.
In the Best Chef Southwest category, Rioja's Jennifer Jasinsky still stands. And in the Outstanding Wine Program category, Frasca Food and Wine remains in contention.
Here's a look at the full list of finalists in all the categories:
The winners will be announced May 6.
——- ORIGINAL POST, TUESDAY, FEB. 19, 4:28 P.M. ——-
Specific to our area, metro Denver boasts seven semifinalists, as noted in the Denver Business Journal.
From that list, we've greatly enjoyed visits to three of those seven as part of our weekly dining reviews.
If you missed them, here are looks into:
For a look at semifinalists elsewhere in the country, click on this document from the foundation:
The next round of cuts will be announced Monday, March 18 — stay tuned.
Our semi-co-workers at the Colorado Springs Business Journal have the good word on a great spot: Tony's Bar is moving across the street and expanding its space. And worry not, dear friends: The brick, wood and Midwestern charm will be moving too. Cheese curds and pints of Leinie's for all.
Teams of workers have already started demolition and construction in the new building, which will nearly double the bar’s footprint with about 4,300 square feet, not including future plans for front and back patios.
There will be room for three pool tables, a bigger bar and a stage for bands and entertainment, where [owner Eel] Anderson said he can reserve space for private parties.
“We’ve already had interest from high school reunions, Colorado College reunions and we can host fantasy football drafts,” Anderson said. “We were too small for that before.”
And now for some Side Dish extras relative to the weeks upcoming:
• Catch a free, cultural Songkran Celebration at Thai Lily Cuisine and Yakitori 8 at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 4. We're pretty sure you won't find the fusion of Buddhist Monks, a dunk tank and a water fight at any other event locally. Just dig the poster (by clicking on the image to the left).
• Join the Slow Food Colorado Springs chapter at the Margarita at PineCreek at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9 for a special vegetarian wine dinner. (RSVP requested by May 5.) Seats are $55 plus tax/tip ($50 members; $40 sans wine.) And here's a look at the menu: Vegetarian_Menu.pdf
• Following in the philanthropic footsteps of Bristol Brewing Company and its Tuesday Night Karma Hour, Trinity Brewing Company just announced The Giving Beer every Wednesday night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., starting May 8. During that time, $1 from each Trinity beer sold will go to a nonprofit of the week. The brewery is seeking suggestions for which nonprofits to support (including contact info) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• TAPAteria will host its next Paella on the Patio dinner along with Classic Wines on Tuesday, May 14 at 6 p.m. Seats for the three courses are $29.95 plus tax/tip. Reserve seats by calling Coaltrain Wine & Spirits at 475-9700. Here's a look at that menu: menu.pdf
• And for you procrastinators: Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday, May 12, and I can tell you my inbox is stuffed with info on special dinners across town, at eateries both pricey and modest. There are too many to list here, so I offer my annual advice: Call you favorite spot soon to inquire about their menu, or hail someplace new-to-you that might be a special treat for you and the lovely lady both for that newness (to you) factor.
Steven Raichlen's got a ton going on these days — the release of a new book, not to mention the developing of a third show (in addition to the public-television staples Barbecue University and Primal Grill) — but he's going to set that all down for his annual trip to the Broadmoor, where his aforementioned scholastic enterprise becomes a series of live cooking classes for the paying few.
And I put it that way because the event — running June 5 to 8, and again June 9 to 12 — is not cheap. Created as a package deal, you do get three nights and days at the hotel, a reception, daily breakfast and barbecue, photos and even a diploma, but it's going to cost you $1,996.50 per person. But, hey, if you can swing it, here's what you can expect.
"The live-fire adventure begins with a welcome cocktail party hosted by Steven Raichlen," reads the press release. "Each of the following three days begins with breakfast at the majestic Cheyenne Lodge, the mountainside classroom for BBQ University. Breakfast is followed by an overview of the day’s menus and recipes, along with history and culture of grilling drawn from Raichlen’s own international culinary experiences.
"Class then moves to the 'burn area' — the Lodge’s stone patio with views of the mountains and Colorado Springs, prepped with a variety of grills, from high-tech stainless steel gas super-grills and kamado cookers to wood-burning grills and competition size smokers. Working in teams under Raichlen’s direction, guests grill and smoke with the morning’s creations resulting in an over-the-top lunch."
And whether you can attend or not, look for an interview with Raichlen in our upcoming Summer Guide, on May 15, where we try to get some of what you might learn at the Broadmoor onto the (free) page.
Are we seeing proof of the hive mind? Or just two entrepreneur types who have the same idea about how best to approach growing produce during drought times?
And today I received info on a Fountain Valley area farmer, Charles Hendrix, from Abundant Harvest, who is hoping to generate $17,500 for a 30-by-100-foot aquaponic hoop-house to house two 1,000-gallon fish tanks.
Check out his touching pitch video, in which he lays out his desire to help feed more of El Paso County's food-insecure population:
A side note to Hendrix's crowdfunding campaign: He has opted to use Fort Collins-based Community Funded as his platform, where online benefactors actually purchase a product — called a "giftback" — as part of their donation.
Examples of what you can get include a bag of coffee blended especially for Abundant Harvest for $25; an Abundant Harvest logo t-shirt, also for $25; art prints in the $50 range and Broncos jerseys in the $150 range.
From Abundant Harvest's page, here's the details on the project, including the breakout costs for materials, etc.
Abundant Harvest is currently raising funds to build an Aquaponics system, a sustainable food production technique that combines aquaculture, the raising of fish, with hydroponics. The vegetables and fish work together in a sustainable cycle. The fish waste provides fertilizer to the plants and the plants keep the water clean. The system also uses only a fraction of the water, energy and labor of other farming practices. Because Aquaponics is a closed-loop system, it offers communities the independence to grow their own food.
The new Aquaponics facility will provide a sustainable revenue stream for Abundant Harvest by selling both the produce grown and the fish raised to local restaurants that desire a consistent source of local produce. The food grown beyond the needs of the restaurants will be donated to those in need of wholesome food.
This new source of income will help fund expanded social programs, such as a Scholarship Program and Temporary Housing for needy families that are experiencing “Situational Crisis”. The Aquaponics Grow Center will allow Abundant Harvest to make major strides in our growth and productivity and the new improved more efficient growing methods we are implementing will enable us, to produce 50,000 — 75,000 lbs. of produce, which will allow us to feed an additional 30% that cannot afford healthy nutritious food and add 3 — 4 more Food Pantries to our distribution.
The funds will be used to purchase the following equipment for the Aquaponics System:
2 — 8’ diameter x 50” tall 1,200 gallon poly tanks — $1350.00 ea. =$2,700.00
2 — 275 Gallon Totes with 24 cu.ft Bio-Filter Ribbon with air stones — $1,300.00 ea. = $2,600.00
1 - 275 Gallon Tote for pump sump — $500.00
3 - 275 Gallon Tote for Digesters — $250.00 ea. = $750.00
1 — Burdette Industries-rotating drum filter with 24” drum. 55 micron stainless steel screen. — $5,400.00
2 — 8” high pressure treated wood stands for tanks. Pre-cut wood with hangers -$550.00 ea. = $1,100.00
1000 - Tilapia — $0.21 ea. = $210.00
Gift Fulfillment/Campaign cost = $4,240.00
A note of clarification up front here: Ivywild Farm is not part of the soon-to-open Ivywild School project. Though the urban farm is located just blocks away, and there's a good chance some items produced by Ivywild Farm — possibly eggs, honey or more likely herbs and produce — will be sold at a farm stand inside the school, it is still its own entity.
That said, yes, this post amounts to yet another local Kickstarter appeal. But hey — at least it isn't a film pitch related to zombies or stoners.
It's something a little more wholesome, literally, in that it intends to feed more of the community, possibly to include guests of the upcoming Seeds Community Cafe. Ivywild Farm owner Christine Faith is also the founder of the local Colorado Springs Urban Homesteading group.
Faith teaches free classes, donates 10 percent of the farm's bounty to the Southern Colorado AIDS Project and is basically an urban farmer and local blogger by trade, operating the super informative Right to Thrive site.
If you watch the four-minute pitch below, you'll see glimpses of her farm, where chickens, ducks, bees and koi contribute to the mini ecosystem. What's being asked for is $9,650 to get a second, much larger, greenhouse overhauled and turned into a productive 40-tower aquaponic system, to include catfish.
With the increased production, Faith says she could increase her contribution to SCAP, supply more to SEEDS and interested area restaurants (who are sustainability leaders) like Margarita at PineCreek , all while continuing to educate the community on urban farming's many benefits. (Think: water savings, fuel savings, resource efficiency, etc.)
So, if that tugs at your little green heart, you know what to do with your credit card.