Food & Drink

Monday, May 16, 2016

ACF's Culinary Passport quite a tour

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 11:47 AM

Saturday night's 2016 Culinary Passport event put on by the American Culinary Federation Pikes Peak Chapter displayed great taste all around, co-benefitting Colorado Springs Food Rescue

Area chefs each represented one of a dozen featured countries this year, with three dessert outfits capturing wider Europe. Overall-outstanding dishes ranged from steak tartar and house-made buratta to smoked rabbit sausage with pork belly and Moroccan meatballs. Bristol Brewing beers and a wide array of fine wines paired perfectly. 

Beyond all the boozing and gorging oneself, the Culinary Passport does raise funds for good causes. In this case, continuing the ACF's educational mission, which helps fill our kitchens with trained hands, and informing the public about the huge problem the world continues to have with wasted food. Click the above links to learn more, and see pics from the evening below:
Odyssey Gastropub's co-owner Jenny Schnakenberg and chef  Matthew Wilcoxson. They served a fantastic tamari "baconed" smoked shrimp with pickled plums, representing Japan. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Odyssey Gastropub's co-owner Jenny Schnakenberg and chef Matthew Wilcoxson. They served a fantastic tamari "baconed" smoked shrimp with pickled plums, representing Japan.
Beautiful carved ice as part of the evening's elegant atmosphere. Plus a display of ACF chef skills. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Beautiful carved ice as part of the evening's elegant atmosphere. Plus a display of ACF chef skills.
The Warehouse's representatives, including the Indy's Chef Life illustrator Shaggy Warren (left), and Josh Mckellip, dish a Dutch apple pie with salted caramel ice cream, representing the U.S. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Warehouse's representatives, including the Indy's Chef Life illustrator Shaggy Warren (left), and Josh Mckellip, dish a Dutch apple pie with salted caramel ice cream, representing the U.S.
Pikes Peak Chapter of the ACF president Nathan Dirnberger gives a toast with Colorado Springs Food Rescue's Zac Chapman. CSFR was a beneficiary of proceeds along with the ACF. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Pikes Peak Chapter of the ACF president Nathan Dirnberger gives a toast with Colorado Springs Food Rescue's Zac Chapman. CSFR was a beneficiary of proceeds along with the ACF.
A killer arepa with pork-pineapple sofrito from Pig Latin Food Truck, cooking Columbian for the evening. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A killer arepa with pork-pineapple sofrito from Pig Latin Food Truck, cooking Columbian for the evening.
AspenPointe Café's Brent Beavers (right) with Pizzeria Rustica/TAPAteria's Jay Gust, respectively representing Spain and Italy. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • AspenPointe Café's Brent Beavers (right) with Pizzeria Rustica/TAPAteria's Jay Gust, respectively representing Spain and Italy.
2South Wine Bar's Supansa Banker, nailing a Jamaican goat curry. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • 2South Wine Bar's Supansa Banker, nailing a Jamaican goat curry.
Arroz con gandules y pollo guisado y amarillo (Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas, pork, and chicken stew) courtesy Cheyenne Mountain Resort. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Arroz con gandules y pollo guisado y amarillo (Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas, pork, and chicken stew) courtesy Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Nara Sushi opens on the west side

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 3:48 PM

A decade ago, the space at  3117 W. Colorado Ave., in the Red Rock Canyon shopping center, was Sakura Sushi. Just a couple weeks ago, the fish came back, this time in the form of Nara Sushi & Grill

I spoke with manager Kim Chung earlier today, whose husband Jay is the chef and co-owner, who formerly ran Samurai Japanese on North Academy Boulevard. Kim says that between Jay and two other Nara sushi chefs, there's nearly a half-century of sushi experience at work here. 

Look for the typical spread of sushi rolls and Japanese plates plus some Asian fusion, as well as a little more info in Side Dish soon. 

A halibut sashimi plate. - COURTESY NARA SUSHI
  • Courtesy Nara Sushi
  • A halibut sashimi plate.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Blue Fish Distillery nears opening

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Last July in Side Dish, we told you about the coming of Blue Fish Distillery

Owner John Fisher reached out with an update yesterday to say that his buildout has "finally almost come to an end, so I'm ready to commit to some firm dates." 

Look for the tasting room to open on June 22, he says, as he'll begin production next week ahead of that. 

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From that Side Dish interview, Fisher told us he will launch with a barley-and-sugar-based vodka. Photos on his Facebook page also show a Pikes Peak Clear spirit distilled from corn and cane sugar. 

He'd said that future plans call for specialties such as single-barrel batches and a Westlake Rice Vodka inspired by time that he spent in Hangzhou, China.

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ACF Culinary Passport is this weekend

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 8:43 AM

This Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Julie Penrose Hall (adjacent to St. Paul Catholic Church, 9 El Pomar Road), the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) will hosts the 2016 Culinary Passport fundraiser. 

All the necessary info, including price, beneficiaries and what to expect, is included in the following press release:

The expertly prepared foods will include cuisine from the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and South America. Attendees will also enjoy beer and wine, fabulous desserts, and a silent auction for a host of items such as weekend stays at local hotels, golf outings, restaurant dining certificates, gift cards, fine wines, etc. Tickets are $45 with reservations limited to 250. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.pikespeakchefs.com.

This year’s Culinary Passport is being presented as a dual fundraiser for the Pikes Peak ACF chapter and Colorado Springs Food Rescue (CSFR). The American Culinary Federation is the primary professional organization for culinarians, offering educational resources and training. CSFR is a two-and-a-half year-old local nonprofit that rescues fresh foods from area grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, specialty food retailers, caterers, and other entities and delivers them immediately to charitable service facilities that have agreed to receive and use the food. Recipients range from homeless shelters to soup kitchens to low-income housing units to senior care centers and youth homes.

Chef Jay Gust of TAPAteria/Pizzeria Rustica serving at last year's Culinary Passport. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Chef Jay Gust of TAPAteria/Pizzeria Rustica serving at last year's Culinary Passport.
Nathan Dirnberger, president of the local ACF chapter, said CSFR was chosen as the partner beneficiary “because of the core values we share, the mission and vision of their organization and the need for our society to use food as a catalyst for social change.”

“Our goal is to raise funds for the Pikes Peak ACF student scholarship fund and operating expenses, and build relationships within the culinary community,” Dirnberger said. “We also want to benefit an amazing nonprofit and have a lot of fun in the process. Food is the one thing every human being has in common throughout the world, and if we can set an example locally on how we can use food to connect with each other and find ways to better sustain our food system, we can help change the world to make it a better place for our children.”

About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), established in 1929, is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With nearly 20,000 members spanning 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef®, Certified Sous Chef®, Certified Executive Pastry Chef® and Certified Culinary Educator® designations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.pikespeakchefs.com. Find ACF Pikes Peak on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ACFpeak and on Twitter @ACFpeak.

About Colorado Springs Food Rescue
CSFR has established partnerships with numerous food donor and food recipient entities. The 20+ donors include Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Natural Grocers, Asian Pacific Market, La Baguette, Old School Bakery, several local schools, seasonal farm/garden donors, and others. Recipient agencies, numbering 15+, include Marian House, Springs Rescue Mission, Urban Peak, Seeds Community Café, Ecumenical Social Ministries, Greccio Housing, and a number of others. In 2015 alone, CSFR saved and redistributed nearly 240,000 pounds of food and offset over $400,000 in food costs for the recipient agencies it serves. More recently CSFR has begun community-managed grocery programs to increase access to fresh foods in underserved neighborhoods, with student interns receiving high school credit for their managerial experience and increased learning about food systems and food justice. Learn more at www.coloradospringsfoodrescue.org.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Red Leg and Manitou Brewing victorious at World Beer Cup

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 2:15 PM

The Brewers Association held its bi-annual World Beer Cup Competition last week, and two area breweries emerged with coveted awards. 

Manitou Brewing Company pulled down two silver medals: one for its Cerise Mousseux Nouveau (soured with wild lactobacillus plus fermented with wine yeast) in the highly competitive Experimental Beer category, and the other for its High Ground IPA in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category. 
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Red Leg Brewing Company
earned a bronze win in the Brown Porter category for its Blue Nose Brown. 

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Congrats to both outfits. View the full list of winners here:
WBC-winners-2016.pdf



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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Donate to ONWT's food drive

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 11:05 AM

One Nation Walking Together has extended its current food drive through May 31. Read from their newsletter below, penned by associate director Kathy Dunson, to find out donation drop-spots and how to help, as well as who the effort will benefit:

I once visited a family’s home in the small community of Allen on the Pine Ridge Reservation. As I sat at the table with my cup of coffee, the youngest member of the family awoke and joined us in the kitchen. The reality of the food shortage hit me that day as I watched with disbelief what Emily, 11 months old, was given for breakfast. On the kitchen table was a recycled bread bag that had a leftover biscuit in it. The cat had chewed a hole through the bag. The biscuit was hard as a rock. But that is all they had to feed Emily. To think about how this little girl would grow and develop without proper food and nutrition for her growing body broke my heart.

No one should feel the pangs of hunger.

Stories such as this are far too common on the reservations we serve, and for that reason One Nation has extended its annual food drive to continue throughout the month of May. From now until May 31, help ONWT collect 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food to help ensure that Native People do not go to bed hungry.

Some of our most needed food items include: canned meats, canned/dried fruits and vegetables, soups, sauces, juices, nuts, cereals, canned and powdered milk, rice, pasta, beans, canned meals, infant formula, and baby food.

Cash and check donations also accepted. Ninety-five cents of every dollar you donate directly supports the People we serve. You can also click here to donate by credit card. Email office@onenationwt.org or call (719) 329-0251 for more information.

Your donation, whether big or small, will greatly improve the lives of these people not only physically, but also mentally by giving them a sense of hope and the knowledge that someone cares about them. Please join us in bringing food to those in need by dropping-off your non-perishable food at any of our five drop-off locations in Colorado Springs:
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Food truck fancy

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 5:35 PM

As part of the Pikes Peak Region Small Business Week, the Small Business Development Center and Better Business Bureau hosted a Food Truck Cook-Off yesterday afternoon at the Norris Penrose Event Center. I co-judged the event along with Broadmoor chefs Adam Thomas, David Patterson and Mark Musial — but attendees also got to vote for a People's Choice Award. 

For our part, out of the 10 trucks competing, we awarded the following as our top three:
1) Mira Sol
2) Lucy I'm Home 
3) The Fiesta Grill

Here's what the public thought: 
1) Lucy I'm Home
2) Lil' Tin Can 
3) High Grade Catering 

And below is pictures of each dish made by each competitor, who you'll find around town, often at breweries. Definitely make time to go around and sample them all when you can; there's a lot of kitchen talent on wheels in C. Springs and a commendable mobile market. 

Mira Sol's killer carne adovada. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Mira Sol's killer carne adovada.
Lucy I'm Home's Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice) with mojo pork and picadillo. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Lucy I'm Home's Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice) with mojo pork and picadillo.
Carne asada from The Fiesta Grill. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Carne asada from The Fiesta Grill.
Homemade spinach pasta from Lil' Tin Can. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Homemade spinach pasta from Lil' Tin Can.
High Grade Catering's jicama slaw jerk chicken taco with fried bacon-macaroni bites. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • High Grade Catering's jicama slaw jerk chicken taco with fried bacon-macaroni bites.
A chipotle burger from newbie food truck Patty’s Gourmet Hamburger. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A chipotle burger from newbie food truck Patty’s Gourmet Hamburger.
The Heavenly Dessert Company's pulled pork whiskey bacon jam sandwich. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Heavenly Dessert Company's pulled pork whiskey bacon jam sandwich.
Bite Me Sausage's bacon-stuffed, caramelized onion Jackalope sausage from Continental Sausage. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Bite Me Sausage's bacon-stuffed, caramelized onion Jackalope sausage from Continental Sausage.
Ribs and fixings from Ernie's Smokin' BBQ. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Ribs and fixings from Ernie's Smokin' BBQ.
Carne asada from The Fiesta Grill. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Carne asada from The Fiesta Grill.
Johnny G's Delicioso's Mexican pizza with chorizo. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Johnny G's Delicioso's Mexican pizza with chorizo.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Craft Spirits Festival approaches at UCCS

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 2:25 PM

The second annual Colorado Craft Spirits Festival is set for 6 p.m., Saturday, May 21 in the UCCS Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, home to Theatreworks

Tickets are $50, with all proceeds headed back to local organizations, including the theater company. Here's all the other pertinent info you'll need to know to attend, including a list of featured distilleries:

We're combining the festival expertise of the All Colorado Beer Festival, the intimacy of the theater and the finest spirits distilled in Colorado to give you a truly extraordinary night out. This is more than just sampling whiskeys, rums, vodkas and bourbons. We'll have food - from your favorite local restaurants, music - from local jazz musicians, and even mini-classes from distillers and bartenders. One ticket gets you all access to everything above AND supports nonprofits in Colorado Springs. 100% of proceeds from ACBF events are granted back to local organizations (they've given away over $300,000 to non profits, including THEATREWORKS)! Join us. Reservations are required and we anticipate this will sell out very quickly, so please buy your tickets today. Must be 21 to enter, valid ID required.

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Distilleries:
3 Hundred Days of Shine, Altitude Spirits, Axe and the Oak Distillery, Boathouse Distillery, Breckenridge Distillery, Cockpit Craft Distillery, Distillery 291, Downslope Distillery, Laws Whiskey House, Lee Spirits, Leopold Brothers, Mile High Spirits Distillery, Rising Sun Distillery, Spirits of the Rockies, Vapor Distillery, and Wood’s High Mountain Distillery. Six of these distillers recently won medals at the Denver International Spirits Competition.
Also returning this year as a sponsor is Coaltrain Wine & Spirits who promises to fill in some gaps for distilleries not able to come. Music will be by the Ian Ferguson Jazz Trio. The education seminar lineup includes a session on Mixology by Luis, the bar manager from The Famous, How to Taste Spirits, Moonshine in Colorado, the Distilling Process, and Defining Spirits Types.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Fran Folsom dinner draws record dollars

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 4:46 PM

The fourth iteration of the Fran Folsom Scholarship Dinner Fundraiser was a rousing success. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The fourth iteration of the Fran Folsom Scholarship Dinner Fundraiser was a rousing success.

This year's Fran Folsom Scholarship Dinner Fundraiser, hosted by Nosh on Sunday, April 24, was a big, big success. For the first time in its four-year history, the event sold all 100 seats. Between admission and donations, the event netted a total of $15,000 — five scholarships, and more than double what they made last year. Each of these Fran Folsom Culinary Arts Scholarships will cover the final year's tuition for PPCC's Culinary Arts program for the students who receive them.

PPCC students designed and executed four appetizers, three dishes and a dessert, all delicious and cooked beautifully. Sovereignty Wines donated six wines to pair with the dishes. Check out the photos below for notes on the food and pairings. Of note, we do not have a photo of the entrée, the sous vide duck confit, though it was most lovely and delicious.
Figs and goat cheese on pastry puffs, with roasted anise and a honey lemon sauce. The appetizers were paired with a white — Liana Pinot Grigio — or a rosé — La Galope Rose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Figs and goat cheese on pastry puffs, with roasted anise and a honey lemon sauce. The appetizers were paired with a white — Liana Pinot Grigio — or a rosé — La Galope Rose.
Camembert crostini with jam and dill. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Camembert crostini with jam and dill.
Prosciutto-wrapped mushrooms stuffed with mascarpone, duck breast and spinach, presented by a PPCC student. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Prosciutto-wrapped mushrooms stuffed with mascarpone, duck breast and spinach, presented by a PPCC student.
The first course, a salad of greens with pickled red onion and heirloom baby tomatoes, served in mint vinaigrette with herbed goat cheese dusted in pine nuts. It was paired with Darting Riesling Kabinett, a fresh, slightly grassy version on the Alsatian style, which tasted of spring. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The first course, a salad of greens with pickled red onion and heirloom baby tomatoes, served in mint vinaigrette with herbed goat cheese dusted in pine nuts. It was paired with Darting Riesling Kabinett, a fresh, slightly grassy version on the Alsatian style, which tasted of spring.
The second course, pan seared scallops with cilantro, ruby red grapefruit, ruby red beurre blanc, shaved asparagus and carrots, garnished with microgreens. It was paired with a Vidigal Vinho Regional, a blend of three Portugese varietals. While a dry, woody red might not seem like a fit pairing for seafood, this one played beautifully with the grapefruit. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The second course, pan seared scallops with cilantro, ruby red grapefruit, ruby red beurre blanc, shaved asparagus and carrots, garnished with microgreens. It was paired with a Vidigal Vinho Regional, a blend of three Portugese varietals. While a dry, woody red might not seem like a fit pairing for seafood, this one played beautifully with the grapefruit.
A trio of desserts. On the left, a strawberry almond meringue tartlet, served still warm. In the center, a chocolate-coated lemon blackberry cheesecake with butterfly garnish. On the right, pineapple sorbet on a cookie. These were paired with a Jean Batiste Adam Brut Rosé. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • A trio of desserts. On the left, a strawberry almond meringue tartlet, served still warm. In the center, a chocolate-coated lemon blackberry cheesecake with butterfly garnish. On the right, pineapple sorbet on a cookie. These were paired with a Jean Batiste Adam Brut Rosé.



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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wobbly Olive releases new spring/summer menus

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Co-owner Inez Fitzgerald, behind the bar. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Co-owner Inez Fitzgerald, behind the bar.
The Wobbly Olive has just released new spring/summer cocktail and food menus, and we recently sat in on a preview run-through with owners Sean and Inez Fitzgerald (bartending) and chefs Gary Bryant (house executive chef) and David Cook (menu designer and consulting chef). 

As you can see on the first page of the bar menu (PDF below), the Fitzgeralds and crew have been having fun while drinking a lot. Just check out the list of 20-plus bullet points of random advice ("a balanced diet is a muffin in each hand") and worthwhile tidbits (use the hashtag #walkinwobbleout for 10-percent off your food) for evidence. 

Bar_Menu_Summer_Draft__4-21-2016_.pdf
Sean says they've created 36 new cocktails since February, for a total list-length of 96 drinks now. His goal is to change up that list every 90 days. "We track sales and cut the losers," he says. "If it's not selling, I get rid of it." 
Egg whites froth up some of the classic cocktail offerings. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Egg whites froth up some of the classic cocktail offerings.

For this round of creation, he says the staff started with a list of 200 drinks, trying each three to four times before culling the herd. "We crossed them off until we felt like every one is a winner."
The staff began making almost all of its own syrups and infusions in recent months to both step up its game and keep prices lower, and the final menu reflects a list of everything from sweet and dessert drinks to "time-honored, classics and original recipes." 

A few we tried and really enjoyed:
• Sterling “Dutchess” Archer — Ford’s Gin, Housemade Strawberry Cordial, Aged Acetum Balsamic Vinegar, Fresh Lemon Juice, Raw Egg White, Rhubarb Bitters, Muddled Basil, Cracked Black Pepper
• Death & Company — Larceny Bourbon, Coffee Infused Carpano Antica Vermouth, Demerara Syrup, Raw Egg Yolk, Cream
• Classy Dame — Lee’s Spirit’s Dry Gin, Bryyh, Blood Orange Juice, Orange Bitters, Housemade Raspberry Cordial, Nutmeg
The Wobbly Olive also now exclusively hosts a set of Absolut Elyx copper pineapples, which raises money for clean drinking water in the developing world. And bar manager Phil Arana has been joined one day a week by former V Bar frontman Adam Gasper
Crispy pork belly on Irish deviled eggs. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Crispy pork belly on Irish deviled eggs.

On the food front, Cook overhauled about 60 percent of the menu, only keeping the top sellers and dishes like chicken-and-waffles which regulars demand. Not unlike the rigorous process to pare down the drink list, Sean says he and Cook meet at Sean's house to begin playing around with ideas. "He makes things, I point and grunt, and he finally sees my vision and runs with it — he makes it sexy," before Bryant prices everything out and figures out the kitchen flow from station-to-station.

Again, balance is key to the Fitzgeralds, and Sean says he ensures plates for vegans and vegetarians in addition to omnivores. For this menu, he says he was craving "big flavor, but light dishes."

Cook says he interpreted that as something in the realm of a curry. So even though he's a French foundational chef, he brought in the essences of India, Indonesia and Thailand here specifically. "I tried to do some fun things that other people around here weren't doing," he says, citing plates like the Khao Soi-style Rabbit Tacos, essentially a deconstructed rice noodle dish served stacked on a wonton crisp with mango and chili vinegar. 

Peppercorn seared tuna: sunchoke purée, caramelized fennel, blood orange and Castelveltrano olives. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Peppercorn seared tuna: sunchoke purée, caramelized fennel, blood orange and Castelveltrano olives.
Chef Corey Wilson, with whom Cook has been working lately, should be credited with initially turning Cook onto the Asian fares, himself having been inspired after a visit to Vancouver's Vij's. Cook says he bought a $1,500 Indian spice kit online and some books and got to work exploring. In order to execute his ideas now on a restaurant scale, locally, he says he's driving between nine separate import markets weekly and blending all of Wobbly Olive's spices in-house. 

The culmination of all the effort is best tasted in the phenomenal new Spicy Indian Chickpeas small plate on Wobbly Olive's menu. The foundation of its potent seasoning is Cook's version of Panch Phoron, a Bengali spice mix of black cumin, black mustard, fenugreek, fennel and kalonji. The dish also introduces us to candlenuts

Check out the rest of the new menu here:
Menu_LoRes_GoLive_Summer_Menu__4-21-2016_.pdf
The outstanding Spicy Indian Chickpeas. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The outstanding Spicy Indian Chickpeas.
Beautiful presentations continue with the Rendang Duck Breast with mango salad, Malaysian curry, burnt lemongrass, mint carrots and bamboo rice. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Beautiful presentations continue with the Rendang Duck Breast with mango salad, Malaysian curry, burnt lemongrass, mint carrots and bamboo rice.


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cowboy up for Care and Share

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Cowboy Star will celebrate its first anniversary tomorrow, April 27, with a pig roast from 2-6 p.m.

Entry costs $10, with all proceeds benefiting Care and Share

In addition to the pork, served with four different sauces, guests will receive side items and beer samples from Bristol, Red Leg and Local Relic. The latter will release a special peach trappist ale. 

Here's the event flier that says as much, but also shares a little more info and includes pretty pictures:

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ute Pass Brewing's hemp-happy 4/20

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 4:17 PM

Yesterday's 4/20 celebrations had at least one cannabis-related event for those who chose not to smoke. We headed up to Ute Pass Brewing Company in Woodland Park to check out their selection of five hemp beers and hemp-added snacks.

Largely, the beers were good, though nothing astonishing and world-changing. Their hemp porter was the most successful, rich and toasty with a hint of creaminess. Said toasty flavor also showed up in the amber ale, which tasted darker than it looked and had a pleasant balance overall. But the amber also left a slight fatty or oily feeling in the back of our mouths, a sensation which was stronger with the wild hop ale. On the upside, said ale was brewed with wild-harvested hops from Manitou and several ghost towns in the area, according to our server, and that's super cool. But the ale needed a touch more hop to balance the oily quality from the hemp seed. As for the lightest beer, the honey nut blonde had a mighty honey quality and a hint of wheat — a little sweet, but pleasant.

Our server warned us, though, that the ESB was the most hemp-forward beer, and he was not lying. It tasted quite singular, with powerful grassy and vegetal notes overwhelming, finishing with nutty hints — good — under an oxidized-greens funk — not so good. Make no mistake, though, this beer was an interesting experiment, and I'm interested in seeing the next version.
Food fared a little better, though. It's possible to mess up a plate of green chile fries ($5), but it takes some doing. A little hemp seed in the chile added protein and little flavor to a respectable plate of Southwestern goodness. And the gluten-free vegan hemp tamale (a little steep at $6.50) had a pleasant warmth in the filling, though the masa wasn't the most fork-friendly. While the "hempanero" chicken wings ($8.50 for 7) were cooked beautifully under their sticky sauce, there was no spice to speak of. A shame; the clean sweetness would have benefit from a little kick.

Ute Pass Brewing Co. did something adventurous and laudable with the 4/20 holiday, and they packed the dining room full doing it. 
Left to right: ESB, porter, amber ale, wild hop ale, and honey nut blonde — all brewed with roasted hemp seed. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Left to right: ESB, porter, amber ale, wild hop ale, and honey nut blonde — all brewed with roasted hemp seed.
Hemp or no, green chile cheese fries are the bomb - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Hemp or no, green chile cheese fries are the bomb
A gluten-free vegan hempseed/corn/black bean tamale from Wally's Tamales. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • A gluten-free vegan hempseed/corn/black bean tamale from Wally's Tamales.
Though the clean sweet glaze on these wings was tasty, we wished for more heat. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Though the clean sweet glaze on these wings was tasty, we wished for more heat.

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Two new Local Relic beers at Peak Place Coffeehouse

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 2:28 PM

Local Relic brewer Grant Goodwiler, as seen at one of last year's beer dinners. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Local Relic brewer Grant Goodwiler, as seen at one of last year's beer dinners.
The last time Local Relic released a beer at Peak Place Coffeehouse, it sold out fast — while Local Relic co-owner Melissa Lofton says it took 90 minutes, brewer Grant Goodwiler estimates an hour or less. So for next Saturday's release party, Peak Place GM Vinnie Snyder bought Local Relic's full stock of two beers.

The first, appropriately coffee-related, is a kölsch brewed with cascara, the fruity pulp that grows around a coffee bean. According to Goodwiler, Snyder wanted a kölsch for the event.

“Coffee kolsch sounds way out there, even for us," says Goodwiler. So rather than obliterate the light German ale with heavy coffee, he added the fruity cascara. For those unfamiliar, Goodwiler says cascara is hard to describe on its own, but it's responsible for the unique taste of Ethiopian coffee beans. 

The second beer Snyder will feature is a raspberry barelywine that Goodwiler has been aging for a little over three months. Goodwiler says that though the raspberries aren't in-your-face strong, they're definitely present, even with the powerful malt backbone and potent 12 percent ABV. Funny enough, it wasn't brewed for Snyder. Rather, after the last Local Relic release sold out so quickly, he went looking through Goodwiler's stock and fell for this brew. Like the cascara kölsch, it will be a Peak Place exclusive.

For more information on the event, click here.
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Meet Welcome Fellow, a limited coffee spot

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 1:19 PM

"We are not a coffee shop, but we do make and sell coffee. So, somewhat a coffee shop."

That's a message from the trio of guys behind Welcome Fellow, a newly opened community workspace and venue at 616 N. Tejon St., open to the public from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

To clarify what "somewhat a coffee shop means," it means Welcome Fellow has no espresso machine, but instead offers drip, pour over and cold brew coffee. 

Co-founder Jeremy Worley says he'll rotate through "accessible varieties from fun micro-roasters" around the country, and the idea is for guests to come buy a cup of coffee and enjoy the co-working space along with the six separate businesses that have bought into all of the available slots. "We see it is a public work space," he says. "It's not that different from how people treat a lot of the coffee shops around." 

Worley operates The Worley Co., a design company, which sells items like shirts, notebooks and metal pint cups at Welcome Fellow. Co-founder Adam Morley runs Café Motique, which sells curated vintage clothing. Their names will be familiar to some, as they previously collaborated along with member August Ortiz on an “umbrella company called We Live Studios." 

Other Fellows sell candles, and the space also sells its coffee retail. 

Hello Fellow.
  • Hello Fellow.


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Axe and the Oak nets whiskey awards

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Last week in Dine & Dash, we acknowledged Distillery 291's awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Denver International Spirits Competition and World Whiskies Awards. Between them, distiller Michael Myers netted gold, double gold and best-in-the-class awards. 

But another Springs distillery deserves recognition as well: Axe and the Oak

The distillery won a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, a silver medal at the North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition and another silver at the Denver International Spirits Competition

Big congrats to both outfits, and here's more info on Axe and the Oak's wins:
Axe_and_Oak_Press_Release_3.24.pdf
Winning three silver medals at prestigious events so early into business reflects well upon Axe and the Oak. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Winning three silver medals at prestigious events so early into business reflects well upon Axe and the Oak.

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