Food & Drink

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Willamette Market & Deli soft-opens, grand opening to be announced

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 4:02 PM

The former Little Market & Deli will soon reopen as the Willamette Market & Deli.
  • The former Little Market & Deli will soon reopen as the Willamette Market & Deli.
The beloved Little Market & Deli lives again! Now operating under the moniker Willamette Market & Deli, the century-old Shooks Run standby, located at 749 E. Willamette Ave., soft-opened Sept. 27 to enthusiastic crowds. Co-owner Amy Emerson tells us that customers emptied the deli, though they've restocked and are ready to go again.

As noted in Side Dish, Emerson and business/life partner Natalie Peck have built a market dedicated to selling organic, regional and sustainable products. In Emerson's words, it's “the best food we can find, as close as we can find it."

The deli counter features hot dogs — all-beef dogs, house-marinated carrot dogs or vegan frankfurters — with gluten-free buns available, as well as gluten-free pasta salads, soups and pour-overs from Loyal Coffee. 

Emerson says they're still planning a grand opening for sometime in October, but the market will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until then.
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Brother falls to Castro

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Earlier this week, Till hosted a friendly Knife Fight between chef Brother Luck of Brother Luck Street Eats and Till's Gerry Castro. Simultaneously, Sean Fitzgerald of the Wobbly Olive battled Till's Alejandro Sanchez in a bartender's battle. 

I judged, and I dove wholeheartedly into dining and drinking rather than note taking, so check out Dionne Roberts' work over at the Rocky Mountain Food Report for more of a play-by-play, with lots of pics. Till's Facebook page also shows some of the action. 

Having been privy to more food competitions than I can count in the past decade, I can say this was one of the closest battles I've seen on the food side, ever. Bear in mind that Brother Luck beat Bobby Flay in competition and Castro came out of Napa and formerly managed the Culinary Institute of America's teaching kitchen there. Both chefs and their teams performed brilliantly, but ultimately, Castro clinched the win. 

On the bartender side, Fitzgerald knocked out Sanchez, formerly of Cowboy Star, bringing Wobbly's might to bear as a creative cocktail house on the cutting edge of the scene. 

Here's a batch of my own pics from the night, conspicuously missing any cocktail photos. What can I say? I was thirsty. 
From the left: Luck, Castro, and crew members. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • From the left: Luck, Castro, and crew members.
The coursing. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The coursing.
Luck and Castro in action between courses. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Luck and Castro in action between courses.
Gorgeous flavors via sea urchin and Barclay Bay oysters. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Gorgeous flavors via sea urchin and Barclay Bay oysters.
Alejandro Sanchez at work behind the bar. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Alejandro Sanchez at work behind the bar.
Sean Fitzgerald rocking tunes while mixing. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Sean Fitzgerald rocking tunes while mixing.
Awaiting the judges verdict. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Awaiting the judges verdict.
Still smiling after the verdict. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Still smiling after the verdict.
A great show of camaraderie despite only one victor emerging. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A great show of camaraderie despite only one victor emerging.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Brass Tap, Loyal Coffee and Cerberus Brewing — all ready for you

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Some folks believe in the law of threes — something to the effect of either good or bad things happening in a sequence of threes, or humor being most potent in a trio (e.g. a standup comedy refrain). 

Whether the law of threes has any bearing here, I know not, but Colorado Springs is enjoying the rare occurrence of three new outfits officially opening today: Loyal Coffee, Cerberus Brewing Co. and The Brass Tap

Between a few Indy staffers, we attended soft openings of Cerberus and Brass Tap over the weekend, and dropped into Loyal this morning for some fantastic vanilla and chocolate lattes. 

The report from our publisher and beer aficionado Carrie Simison is that Cerberus was off to a beautiful start all round, with on-point brews and excellent eats (at a great price point considering the quality). They will be open Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. until midnight.

Loyal will serve from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and will host grand opening celebrations at month's end — details to follow. 

And Brass Tap — somewhat of a sports bar with giant TV's galore and 60 taps — is open from 11 am. to 1 a.m., daily, and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Catch daily happy hours to include military appreciation nights, which earns 50 percent off select drafts.  

Here's a batch of photos that gives a little taste of each establishment, staring with Cerberus:
Bone marrow. - CARRIE SIMISON
  • Carrie Simison
  • Bone marrow.

A fine flight. - CARRIE SIMISON
  • Carrie Simison
  • A fine flight.
Gnocchi Mac n cheese. - CARRIE SIMISON
  • Carrie Simison
  • Gnocchi Mac n cheese.

And moving to Brass Tap:
The Brass Tap is a beer-centric chain, launched in 2008. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Brass Tap is a beer-centric chain, launched in 2008.
TV's occupy almost every inch of Brass Tap's walls near the ceilings. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • TV's occupy almost every inch of Brass Tap's walls near the ceilings.
Look for an impressively long line of rotating taps, including many Colorado beers. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Look for an impressively long line of rotating taps, including many Colorado beers.
The Quinoa Power Bowl with chicken and poblano sauce. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Quinoa Power Bowl with chicken and poblano sauce.
And finally Loyal Coffee:
Stylish schwag. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Stylish schwag.
Co-owner/barista Bevan Cammell. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Co-owner/barista Bevan Cammell.
Two excellent lattes, exhibited on stump seats which slide under a concrete counter. Tile flooring helps lend a cool European vibe. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Two excellent lattes, exhibited on stump seats which slide under a concrete counter. Tile flooring helps lend a cool European vibe.
Co-owner/barista Seth Fuller. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Co-owner/barista Seth Fuller.
Brass and rope accents play off Loyal's line-focused logos and branding. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Brass and rope accents play off Loyal's line-focused logos and branding.
Co-owner and today's toastmaster Christopher Mueller. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Co-owner and today's toastmaster Christopher Mueller.
Co-owner/GM/barista/goofball Tyler Hill. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Co-owner/GM/barista/goofball Tyler Hill.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A sip of Maker's Mark at the Broadmoor

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Feel free to file this posting in the "a lot of good this does me to know now, A-hole" category, but also don't say I didn't give you fair warning wherein you could have attended. 

But this past weekend, legendary spirits figure Bill Samuels Jr. visited the Broadmoor as part of a special Maker's Mark weekend of seminars and meals. I attended just one of the sessions, a meal in La Taverne hosted by several Broadmoor chefs and appropriately themed around Southern food and Maker's Mark cocktails, including a Maker's Mule and fabulous Old Fashioned and Manhattans made with both the regular label and Maker's 46 — which one local spirits expert has called the best deal in bourbon considering its price point and high quality. 

Samuels is quite the spirited character, full of historic stories that make him out to be a Forrest Gump of sorts, seemingly having done everything back in the day, including rocket science. With regards to his own whiskey legacy, he made it a point to playfully show me his name etched in the glass of the Maker's 46 bottle, as a direct counter to the label on the regular Maker's Mark, which can be reprinted with his successors' names, like his son Rob

Anyway, we had a blast talking with Samuels and enjoying a fine meal, so keep an eye out for future food events at the hotel as part of its seasonal Moveable Feast and other food- and drink-centric programming. 

Here's some pics of the night:
Bill Samuels Jr. and his Maker's 46 label. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Bill Samuels Jr. and his Maker's 46 label.
The main attraction. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The main attraction.
Broadbent's Kentucky country ham and preserves on a biscuit, as an appetizer. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Broadbent's Kentucky country ham and preserves on a biscuit, as an appetizer.
A loaded menu of Southern staples and spirits. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A loaded menu of Southern staples and spirits.
White bean confit with baby Tabasco bottle. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • White bean confit with baby Tabasco bottle.
Samuels and Broadmoor chef David Patterson. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Samuels and Broadmoor chef David Patterson.

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UPDATE: Brewery-anchored concept to occupy Carter Payne — Public Market back to drawing board

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 11:59 AM

In relation to the question of whether anyone will feel Cottonwood is now over-represented on the Public Market's board, Edie Crawford wrote this morning to clarify that though she is the community development liaison for Cottonwood, she serves on the board of the Public Market representing Rocky Mountain Food Report, not Cottonwood.

—- ORIGINAL POST: MONDAY, AUG 29, 5:39 P.M. —-

After years of holdups and perceived mishaps, Colorado Springs Public Market representatives are once again having to pull back from plans to launch soon. 

Last we heard in mid-July from incoming board chair Jon Khoury, also the executive director of Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Labor Day was to be the day the doors would finally swing open. 

But that's no longer the case, and Carter Payne will no longer be the birthplace. 

An early rendering of CSPM's hopeful habitation of Carter Payne. - COURTESY CSPM
  • Courtesy CSPM
  • An early rendering of CSPM's hopeful habitation of Carter Payne.
Instead, the owners behind Common Cause Catering and Local Relic brewery are under contract to purchase the building, with plans for a 2017 opening. Co-owners Jeff Zearfoss and Melissa Lofton  won't divulge too much more info presently, as many plans remain tentative, but looking toward collaborative spots like The Source and Avanti Food and Beverage in Denver gives some clue as to their thought process for what's ahead. 

To be clear, much as Crooked Stave brewery is a part of The Source, Local Relic will be a part of the new Carter Payne concept, as its anchor tenant. But the couple will form a separate LLC to run the larger development. 

Khoury had communicated last week with Lofton to say that CSPM would not move forward as tenants at Carter Payne, and she replied with a correspondence that frees CSPM of its current lease upon Local Relic/Common Cause Catering's closing (as it otherwise would have survived a transfer in ownership, she says). She also invites Khoury to reach out should at any point in the future should CSPM wish to pursue some sort of partnership, as LR/CCC supports its mission. 

Khoury was unable to take a call Monday but sent the following response via email to confirm details:
1. We are not going into a partnership with Local Relic as they have offered to buy Carter Payne and we will not go into that relationship as tenants. Additionally, we feel we could potentially hold Local Relic back as the CSPM has not raised the funds to be a good partner.
2. We will not be opening by Labor Day, nor will we be at Carter Payne.
3. As our board evolves, the opportunity for significant funding may increase, giving us the opportunity to do a real estate deal where the market has ownership and will possibly have a permanent location.
4. No timeline as of now for any movement until we secure funding, but feeling hopeful that we will have a breakthrough. 
Regarding that board evolution, Khoury also confirmed that Edie Crawford (former arts editor for the Indy, now community development liaison for Cottonwood) has joined up as the board secretary. That leaves Scott Harvey, Mike Callicrate, Kady Hommel and Khoury comprising the remainder of the board, with original members Sally Davis and Dave Anderson now having stepped away. (It's worth noting that some folks felt Ranch Foods Direct and pals were over-represented on the former board; will anyone feel Cottonwood now is?)

For his part, Callicrate, ever the outspoken food activist and the early voice for the market, laments a lack of support for the market from the city. "A few people do, like Susan Edmondson [Downtown Partnership] and Jill Gaebler [City Council]," he says, "but to expect a few individuals to build something this significant with this much impact on the community — it can't happen.

"We've built strong support among the citizens, but not among leadership, which appears controlled by people who see a different vision for Colorado Springs, more based on Wall Street and collecting rent from chain types. I know the community is frustrated, but the city needs to get behind it. We can't get them to wake up."

Common Cause Catering owners Jeff Zearfoss and Melissa Lofton. - COURTESY JEFF ZEARFOSS
  • Courtesy Jeff Zearfoss
  • Common Cause Catering owners Jeff Zearfoss and Melissa Lofton.
Considering around a year's wasted rent for Carter Payne — reported to be upwards of $45,000 according to a former board member — with nothing to show presently, that community frustration likely extends to those who donated money via Indy Give! and other initiatives, who might feel their dollars haven't been well spent.  

Without more to report on CSPM's plans presently, let's get back to Local Relic, who was formerly slated to join the Lincoln Center before Goat Patch Brewing announced its move-in. 

Lofton says Local Relic pulled out because "as a small business, we needed a little more security" in terms of investing money into a space they actually own. With Carter Payne, she says "we found a location we love that we feel like is our home."

Plus, she says, "It's got a lot of great history. It was the first African American church in town, gifted during the Palmer land grants. We want to honor the history and intent of what we believe a church to be. In terms of a community spot, a place of remembrance, celebration. We want to restore it to that glory as a community hub." 

A side note: Local Relic beer dinners will return soon, they say, in partnership and as a fundraiser for Marian House Soup Kitchen, where Zearfoss has volunteered weekly for more than a decade.  

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Food Rescue fundraises in fashion

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 3:51 PM

In many ways, Colorado Springs Food Rescue's Harvest Celebration this past weekend at Venetucci Farm was reminiscent of Seeds Community Cafe's Sustainability Summit fundraiser in mid June. 

Sunlight poured into the farm's barn, Seeds once again dished healthy and delicious food and the day's dialogue centered around creating a healthy food system, in part by stopping our excessive food waste as a global society. 

CSFR executive director Zac Chapman says the event helped raise more than $6,000 for the nonprofit, which in part will go toward new school program initiatives. Watch this newly released promotional video to hear more about that and other CSFR efforts. 



And here's a batch of pics that highlight a lot of youthful enthusiasm and community care:
CSFR volunteer Landis Hackett manning the greeting table. - RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
  • CSFR volunteer Landis Hackett manning the greeting table.
CSFR executive director Zac Chapman discusses the history of local farms in the Springs. Arcadia Gardens now becomes part of modern history, just as Venetucci Farm has produce unable to be harvested due to water contamination. - RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
  • CSFR executive director Zac Chapman discusses the history of local farms in the Springs. Arcadia Gardens now becomes part of modern history, just as Venetucci Farm has produce unable to be harvested due to water contamination.
The Seeds Community Cafe crew, lending fine foods. - RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
  • The Seeds Community Cafe crew, lending fine foods.
Representatives for CSFR's community grocery programs and school programs  speak about the importance of health equality and the impact that CSFR has on low-income communities, among others. - RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
  • Representatives for CSFR's community grocery programs and school programs speak about the importance of health equality and the impact that CSFR has on low-income communities, among others.
If hosting a busy fundraiser, bring backup. And you can backup CSFR too with donations or volunteer time. - RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
  • If hosting a busy fundraiser, bring backup. And you can backup CSFR too with donations or volunteer time.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Garlic breadth

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Pikes Peak Urban Gardens has hosted its annual Garlic Fest fundraiser for many years now, but this year that's morphing into an all-day symposium with Galileo School of Math & Science. 

The new, expanded event will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the registration deadline is this Wednesday, Aug. 31. 
Previous years' Garlic Fests included chef cook-offs, utilizing garlic as a key ingredient, of course. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Previous years' Garlic Fests included chef cook-offs, utilizing garlic as a key ingredient, of course.
Here's the schedule breakdown:
Morning Session: 10:00am - 11:30am : Cost: $10
Afternoon Session: 11:30am - 3:30pm: Cost $25 includes lunch
BOTH Sessions: 10:00am - 3:30pm: Cost: $35 includes lunch
Doors open at 9:00 am for the morning session, and 11:30 am for the afternoon session.
And much more info via a press release:
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Galileo School of Math & Science are happy to present the 2016 Garlic & Harvest Symposium at Galileo School, 1600 N. Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO.

This symposium is an all-day, educational event celebrating this year's bountiful garden harvest and all things garlic. Attend the morning session, afternoon session or both! A wealth of information will be provided by knowledgeable and experienced garden and homestead enthusiasts.

All tickets must be purchased online prior to the event. Seating is very limited and early registration is strongly encouraged. Refunds are not available.

Vendors will be in attendance offering gardening and homesteading supplies, along with locally-grown garlic available for purchase. The Galileo Garden Project welcomes you to tour the garden, geodesic growing dome and the farm stand which will be offering fresh veggies for sale.

Chef Lyn from Seeds Community Cafe will recreate his famous garlic ice cream! This is a sweet treat for everyone in attendance, and should not to be missed! The purchase of an afternoon session ticket includes lunch, graciously provided by Whole Foods and Papa John's.

A great selection of Larry's gourmet garlic will be auctioned to the highest bidder at the conclusion of the morning session class so bring your checkbooks. Proceeds will benefit Pikes Peak Urban Gardens' 2017 programs.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Cook kills at the Goat Cheese Lady's farm

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 3:11 PM

A couple weeks ago, we advised you to "Get utterly excited for chef David Cook's farm dinner" at the Goat Cheese Lady's farm. 

While her campaign to raise funds to erect a creamery continues, we made our first trip south to Penrose to visit the goats and partake in the fundraising and festivities. You can make a trip too with two more dinners before this season's out, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Find more info soon here

But first, take a photo tour through chef Cook's menu, which served to play with several of the Goat Cheese Lady's fine cheeses. The chef graciously volunteered his time and efforts to cater the event.

Cook, as I said when he first got to town in mid 2014, sets a high standard for excellence and stands among the top chefs in town for creativity, diversity (or eclectic range), flavor fusions, and, certainly, plate presentations. Lavish garnishes lead and pop with color (you don't want to know what he spent on the edible floral components alone), just as they do at the Wobbly Olive, where Cook still consults, and has a new menu rolling out on Sept. 1. 

Hay bales for seats and goats on the pasture for scenery. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Hay bales for seats and goats on the pasture for scenery.
A group of food producers who contributed to the evening's meal. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A group of food producers who contributed to the evening's meal.
The Goat Cheese Lady continues to offer $100 boxes, great for gift giving or stockpiling for the end of days. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Goat Cheese Lady continues to offer $100 boxes, great for gift giving or stockpiling for the end of days.
The menu. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The menu.
Launching with a breakfast-inspired item. Honey wheat bread, spicy country sausage, egg, bacon with red eye gravy and Formaggio di Capra. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Launching with a breakfast-inspired item. Honey wheat bread, spicy country sausage, egg, bacon with red eye gravy and Formaggio di Capra.
Four-year-old-brine blue feta and fresh feta with pickled beef tongue, smoked beef liver and pork heart pâté, garnished with lingonberry syrup gastrique and a buzz button flower (which briefly numbs and stings the tongue, shifting flavor perception). - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Four-year-old-brine blue feta and fresh feta with pickled beef tongue, smoked beef liver and pork heart pâté, garnished with lingonberry syrup gastrique and a buzz button flower (which briefly numbs and stings the tongue, shifting flavor perception).
Prosciutto-wrapped rustic chicken terrine with pork green chile rattlesnake beans, goat ricotta and a duck fat pizzelle, garnished with chili threads and lemongrass infused Florence honey. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Prosciutto-wrapped rustic chicken terrine with pork green chile rattlesnake beans, goat ricotta and a duck fat pizzelle, garnished with chili threads and lemongrass infused Florence honey.
Blue Moon-braised pork spare rib with Cuban-style goat cheese, Indian mustard oil, ras el hanout maque choux and chili-almond dukkah. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Blue Moon-braised pork spare rib with Cuban-style goat cheese, Indian mustard oil, ras el hanout maque choux and chili-almond dukkah.
A goat milk panna cotta due of Madagascar vanilla with lemon vinegar, and matcha with Palisade peach aigre-doux. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A goat milk panna cotta due of Madagascar vanilla with lemon vinegar, and matcha with Palisade peach aigre-doux.
The sun sets, the guests feast. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The sun sets, the guests feast.
Chef Cook and the Goat Cheese Lady, Lindsey Aparicio. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Chef Cook and the Goat Cheese Lady, Lindsey Aparicio.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

'Follow Your Fruits & Veggies'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 12:02 PM

Representatives from the state's Colorado Proud campaign will visit town next Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 3-7 p.m. as part of the Colorado Farm and Art Market at the Pioneer's Museum downtown. 
COURTESY COLORADO PROUD
  • Courtesy Colorado Proud
Colorado Springs will be among 19 statewide stops on CP's Follow Your Fruits & Veggies Journey: 
... a month-long, historical and interactive trek among Colorado’s agricultural landscape. A Colorado Proud booth will feature costumed “fruits and veggies;” educational information and produce facts; recipe cards featuring locally-grown ingredients; representatives of Colorado Proud; Colorado seed packets; and other agri-fun experiences. ...
More than ever, consumers want to make informed decisions about what they choose to eat and the impact those choices have on Colorado’s economy, environment and heritage. The Follow Your Fruits & Veggies Journey was created to educate Coloradans about how and where their food is grown; integrate agricultural communities; and celebrate farmers. The Follow Your Fruits & Veggies Journey provides an understanding of the path – or journey – fruits and vegetables travel, from Colorado farms and fields to our tables. With more than 36,000 farms encompassing nearly 32 million acres, agriculture is a vital part of Colorado – providing more than 173,000 jobs; contributing more than $40 billion to the state’s economy annually; and feeding the world with nearly $2 billion in exported products. 
See more ecological and financial stats about our state's agriculture system here:
Follow_Your_Fruits__Veggies_Journey_--_fact_sheet.docx.pdf
And see stats about El Paso County in particular here:
El_Paso_County.pdf
COURTESY COLORADO PROUD
  • Courtesy Colorado Proud

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cooking for a Cause: curry at the food bank

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 1:21 PM

As part of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado's Cooking for a Cause series — which continues Sept. 8 (with Picnic Basket's Jenna Hines), Oct. 13 (with The Warehouse's James Africano), and Nov. 10 (with Jake and Telly's rep Jake Topakas) — personal chef Corey Wilson presented a fine four-course Indian meal ($40 per person; we were comped) last week in Care and Share's kitchen and warehouse area just off Powers Boulevard. 

From left to right: volunteers Olwen, Forrest and Michael Carsten, purveyor George Spencer from Il Castagno, chef (and captain) Corey Wilson, and Donna Ross and Stacey Poore from Care and Share. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • From left to right: volunteers Olwen, Forrest and Michael Carsten, purveyor George Spencer from Il Castagno, chef (and captain) Corey Wilson, and Donna Ross and Stacey Poore from Care and Share.

Wilson, who counts several years at the Blue Star among his experience, says he was partly inspired to showcase Indian food based off a visit to Vij's in Vancouver, which pretty much blew his mind. He walked guests through some history and cultural context of Indian cuisine — why do curry sauces arrive with so much extra sauce in the bowl, often requiring a request for more rice? — noting how it's the most diverse culinary style in the world based on how many ingredients (particularly spices) are utilized.

His on-the-whole beautifully executed plates reflected that diversity, with an abundance of color and flavor profiles, complemented by side sauces (which guests were encouraged to test with each course) to represent spicy, sour, sweet and creamy combos. Area purveyor George Spencer from Il Castagno provided some great wine pairings, following a cocktail greeting of Bayswater Gin and tonic. 

We'll go course-by-course with the photos below, but first I want to share some updates about current initiatives and efforts from Care and Share's chief development officer Stacy Poore: 
A dinner table set among rows and rows of food items destined for those struggling with hunger. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A dinner table set among rows and rows of food items destined for those struggling with hunger.

Construction of a clean room will begin soon to allow for bulk packing of certain items, which will be just one more way in which Care and Share serves the hungry. The pantry also just worked out a new alliance with Starbucks to collect its unsold ready-to-eat meals from 28 Colorado locations and distribute them to partnering agencies who serve the homeless community. Care and Share is among the first six food banks in the country to work with Starbucks. 

In late September, expect the long-anticipated launch of a new social enterprise program through Care and Share called GoalZero Recycling. "We have been perfecting our zero waste efforts for more than six years at Care and Share, and planning our social enterprise for the past three," says Poore. 

How it'll work: "We will be offering cardboard and shrink wrap recycling services to businesses, many with large amounts of these commodities, and there seem to be lots of them," she says. "These two materials are what we have been recycling/have in largest supply. Last year we raised about $16K recycling/selling our own cardboard, shrink wrap, and pallets."

To be clear: "We are not a single stream recycler, our city has plenty of those. We seek customers who have large amounts of the two commodities mentioned, and who want to make a difference by not only diverting these materials from land fill, but working with an organization who seeks to feed people through the gathering and sale of these precious commodities."

For food waste, for anyone wondering, Care and Share already partners with Eads, Colorado's A1 Organics and delivers its organic waste to them (for a fee). Explains Poore: "A1 turns the material into mulch, compost, etc. What is super amazing is that they can take our material in cans, boxes, etc. We don’t have to break it down. Their machines de-package it, spitting the packaging waste one way/turning it into a pulp, and then the organic material into all sorts of lovely sludge like substances that will make plants grow." 

That may be an unappetizing transition into talking about dinner, but try to clear your thoughts and appreciate the prettiness:

Condiments for play. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Condiments for play.

Yogurt marinated prawns in coconut cream curry with pistachio-apricot basmati. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Yogurt marinated prawns in coconut cream curry with pistachio-apricot basmati.
 
Vij's lamb meatballs with pappadam and stuffed potato. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Vij's lamb meatballs with pappadam and stuffed potato.
Dal with naan croutons. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Dal with naan croutons.
Lamb with spicy tomato onion gravy and cumin-fried potatoes. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Lamb with spicy tomato onion gravy and cumin-fried potatoes.
Making new friends in the community, joined for a common cause. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Making new friends in the community, joined for a common cause.
Apricot almond and cardamom mix with cream and cookie crumble. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Apricot almond and cardamom mix with cream and cookie crumble.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Special dinners abound — be at one

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 5:17 PM

The upcoming weeks are crammed with cool food and drink events, many with timely RSVPs. Here's a bullet point list so you can't say we didn't tell you: 

Venetucci Farm will hold two upcoming Starlight Dinners, on Monday, Aug. 15, and Monday, Sept. 19, the first featuring chef James Africano from The Warehouse and the second hosting chef Jay Gust from TAPAteria/Pizzeria Rustica. There's already a waitlist on the second meal, but you can still buy tickets for the first here. All the info is on this flyer:  Venetucci_Starlight_Dinner_Flyer_2.3.pdf
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• The Margarita at PineCreek's annual Clam Jam takes place Sunday, Aug. 21 at 3:30 p.m. The house chefs will present nine different regional seafood dishes alongside live music and much more. Entry costs $60. Call 598-8667 for resos. 

Lee Spirits will release a new, very limited barrel-aged gin in Brooklyn's on Boulder at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 25. Axe and the Oak barrels were used to make the product, which will cost $45 per bottle. The spirit makers describe it as "a creamy and citrusy spirit with a touch of vanilla smoke."

The Broadmoor will hold a special Maker's Mark Weekend from Aug. 26 to 28, hosting chairman emeritus Bill Samuels, Jr. from the legacy whiskey company. The whole affair includes a meet-and-greet reception, tastings and presentations with Samuels, and a whiskey dinner in La Taverne. Visit the above link for full details. 

• On Saturday, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m., the El Pueblo History Museum will host a four-course farm-to-table dinner with chef Ernie Duncan, with proceeds benefiting the museum's educational programming. From a release: "The evening will pay homage to the history of agriculture in Pueblo and support Colorado farms including Pueblo County farm and Larga Vista Ranch. Complementing each course, Shannon Speaks from Synergy Fine Wines has perfectly paired each meal with a glass of wine." Get more info and tickets, $65 non-members, here

• Also on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m., The Coffee Exchange will host a Cuban Night of dinner and dancing, $22 per person or $40 for a couple. Here's a look at the menu: 
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• From 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28, Colorado Springs Food Rescue will hold its Harvest Celebration at Venetucci Farm, featuring live music, plus food and drink samples from CSFR's community partners. RSVP required and the event is free, though organizers will ask for a meaningful donation to become a part of their Friends of Colorado Springs Food Rescue campaign.
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• An early heads up on this one: Pizzeria Rustica will host CEO Edward Mottini Jacorossi and manager Alessandra Santinelli from Fattoria della Talosa in Montepulciano, Italy, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, for a five-course dinner. George Spencer from Il Castagno will present the wines. Tickets, $59, will benefit the Friends of Colorado Springs Jazz. Make reservations with Coaltrain at 475-9700. 

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Get utterly excited for chef David Cook's farm dinner

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Just a couple weeks ago, we mentioned former Indy blogger The Goat Cheese Lady's push to build her dream creamery: She's seeking to raise $13,000, in part by selling $100 boxes of farm-made goodies
A group of your food producers for a special meal. - RANDY POE
  • Randy Poe
  • A group of your food producers for a special meal.
Back in June, she hosted chef Kevin Campbell for a farm-to-table meal, and now, on Saturday, Aug. 20, she's inviting Wobbly Olive consulting chef David Cook (yeah, that's his real name ... joke never gets old) for another five-course meal featuring items from the farm (The Goat Cheese Lady Farm-raised pork and chicken, and Cripple Creek grass fed and finished beef) plus other area produce.  

A farm tour begins shortly at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30. Seats are $100 and reservations are required. Dinners for the same price (guest chefs yet to be named) are also scheduled for Sept. 17 and Oct. 15.  

Here's a look at chef Cook's menu: 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Goat Patch Brewing launches at Lincoln

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 3:50 PM

The Ivywild School-esque Lincoln Center development at 2727 N. Cascade Ave. has come to life with the openings of the Lincoln St. Barbers, Building3 Coffee Roasters, CrossFit SoCo and Omtastic Yoga. ReVibe Pilates will soon join the party, as well as baker David McInnis’s yet-to-be-named venture. You may also recall that Local Relic brewing had signed on to be the beer presence, later pulling out.

A look at what's to come, around spring 2017. - COURTESY GOAT PATCH BREWING
  • Courtesy Goat Patch Brewing
  • A look at what's to come, around spring 2017.

Which left an opening for another beer entity, which has thus-far only put up a teaser image of a goat’s face on the doors of suites 117 and 123. Turns out that’s part of the logo for Goat Patch Brewing Co., which anticipates an early spring 2017 opening.

Though the goat’s the logo, the name actually refers to a style of beard, which GPB brewer Darren Baze has worn for years — banded into a long thin braid that reaches to his belt. Anyone who knows him from his five years at Bristol Brewing, three at Trinity or the past four at Colorado Mountain Brewery’s west location, knows that beard. And more importantly, his beer potential.
The teaser logo on the door of the future tasting room at the Lincoln Center. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The teaser logo on the door of the future tasting room at the Lincoln Center.

Baze — joined here by his wife Cate and co-owners Justin and Jen Grant — originally played around on Bristol’s experimental sour Skull and Bones series, and has recently headed up CMB’s seasonal selections on a 3.5-barrel system, occasionally brewing up north with Andy Bradley on his 10-barrel setup. GPB aims to launch bigger, with a 15-barrel outfit that’ll provide room to grow. Expect 12 brews, half flagships and half rotating, in the taproom (occupying the aforementioned suites, plus a patio).

A teaser of a couple labels to expect: Baze makes an American lager he's proud of, which will most appeal to the typical Bud drinker, he says, as a very approachable brew. He's also fond of the first recipe he ever wrote, a red ale. And he'll produced limited sours for that crowd. 

The brewing facility, not open to the public, will be located in suite 120 across the hall, in Lincoln’s old auditorium. Baze says he’ll likely add a canning line later, but do keg distribution fairly early on. GPB won’t offer any food as they’ll support their neighbors and food trucks. 
Justin and Jen Grant (left) and Darren and Cate Baze. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Justin and Jen Grant (left) and Darren and Cate Baze.

A little more info on the partners: Chicago native Cate Baze does home healthcare work with Justin Grant, an ex Army Ranger originally from Maine. Through that work, the couples became good friends a few years ago, and all four hope to be around the brewery in some capacity, though Jen Grant is a stay-at-home-mom with three children, so she's most limited on hours. Really, Darren will be the only day-to-day face as the full-time brewer, but expect to meet the others at some point in the tasting room. 

Here's a look at what the pre-renovated space looks like today:

This former auditorium will convert to a full-scale brewing operation over the next several months. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • This former auditorium will convert to a full-scale brewing operation over the next several months.

Much like what happened at Ivywild School, chalkboards will give way to menu boards and desks chairs will yield to bar stools. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Much like what happened at Ivywild School, chalkboards will give way to menu boards and desks chairs will yield to bar stools.

Justin Grant points out the three spaces which Goat Patch Brewing will occupy inside the larger school complex. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Justin Grant points out the three spaces which Goat Patch Brewing will occupy inside the larger school complex.

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Today is Taco Tuesday at Urban Steam

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 1:01 PM

A lot of places in town do Taco Tuesday specials, including spots like Jose Muldoon's, T-Byrds Tacos & Tequila, and McCabe's Tavern. 

Last month, Urban Steam Coffee Bar and Cafe joined the gluttonous club, kicking out weekly salsa and taco creations, $3 house margaritas, $6 top-shelf specialty margs, $2 tacos and $8 to $14 big-ass nacho platters.

We stopped in last week to sample (on our own dime) and chat with owner Kelly Bubach, who's underway with another expansion into a neighboring storefront. When it's completed, he'll have gone from an initial 800 square feet when he first opened in 2012 to around 2,800 total square feet. 

Though coffee remains a focal point for the business, the bar and eatery sides have grown significantly and continue to undergo seasonal shifts to introduce new items, including cocktails, burgers and salads. 

Bubach remains a meticulous menu planner, properly obsessing over ingredients, from sourcing to treatment and plate presentation. Even simple dishes find a way to shine a little brighter with that attention. 

Taco Tuesday proves no exception. Take a look at a few items on display:
The pork, beef, jerk chicken and vegan black bean tacos all arrive with house pickled onions and/or carrots and lively garnishes like chipotle-lime sour cream and pineapple habanero salsa. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The pork, beef, jerk chicken and vegan black bean tacos all arrive with house pickled onions and/or carrots and lively garnishes like chipotle-lime sour cream and pineapple habanero salsa.

Last week's excellent Margarita Excelsio featured Espolón Tequila, melon, agave, lime and a potent chili powdered rim. It's $6, but even the cheaper $3 house margaritas drink beautifully, not cloying, with fresh lime, triple sec and simple syrup — no nasty sweet and sour mix. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Last week's excellent Margarita Excelsio featured Espolón Tequila, melon, agave, lime and a potent chili powdered rim. It's $6, but even the cheaper $3 house margaritas drink beautifully, not cloying, with fresh lime, triple sec and simple syrup — no nasty sweet and sour mix.

The Muchos Nachos get a topping of carnitas, cheese, pickled veggies and a sour cream squirting. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Muchos Nachos get a topping of carnitas, cheese, pickled veggies and a sour cream squirting.

Here's a look at last week's menu:
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Building3 hosts grand opening week

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 3:59 PM

We recently noted the soft opening of Building3 Coffee Roasters, and as of Monday, it's officially game on with a grand opening week of events planned, including a cupping with a visiting El Salvadoran coffee producer. 

I stopped into the Lincoln Center last week and met owner/roaster Sean Buckles, and took a small tour of his roastery and sharp cafe space. Here's what I saw:
The front entryway faces west across the main parking lot. Another entryway comes from the Lincoln Center's interior hallway. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The front entryway faces west across the main parking lot. Another entryway comes from the Lincoln Center's interior hallway.

The north wall hosts the ordering counter, with all necessary gadgets and some light sandwich and pastry offerings. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The north wall hosts the ordering counter, with all necessary gadgets and some light sandwich and pastry offerings.
The south wall features a comfy study corner. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The south wall features a comfy study corner.
Along with a nitro cold brew tap, Building3 also offers a local kombucha tap from CoS'Bucha. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Along with a nitro cold brew tap, Building3 also offers a local kombucha tap from CoS'Bucha.
Nitro cold brew, settling, and tasting outstanding. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Nitro cold brew, settling, and tasting outstanding.
Building3's Long Cap Espresso label, formerly on display at Peak Place. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Building3's Long Cap Espresso label, formerly on display at Peak Place.
Baristas with experience: Heather Nall hails from SwitchBack, Taylor Ashley (middle)  from the Wild Goose, and Mark Verhaus from Peak Place. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Baristas with experience: Heather Nall hails from SwitchBack, Taylor Ashley (middle) from the Wild Goose, and Mark Verhaus from Peak Place.

Roaster Sean Buckles fires coffee across the hall from the cafe area, in a room with a large window looking in, so the public can see him toil. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Roaster Sean Buckles fires coffee across the hall from the cafe area, in a room with a large window looking in, so the public can see him toil.

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