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Culinary crumbs and gastronomic gossip

Say goodbye to coconuts
Only 300 miles. That's the maximum distance the food you eat can travel, if you sign up for the Colorado Farm and Art Market Locavore Challenge.

The self-policed, three-month challenge, beginning July 1, aims to connect consumers with our local small farmers and food network, highlighting the environmental benefits of reducing one's "food miles" and carbon footprint.

Sign up at CFAM's Wednesday market (3-7 p.m.) in America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive) or Saturday market (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Margarita at PineCreek (7350 Pine Creek Road), or at peaktoplains.com. Call 287-6409 for more.

World's best
Colorado College's Herb 'n Farm cafe recently earned two International Restaurant & Hotel Awards, a first place for "Most Organic/Sustainable" and a second place for "Best Views." The outfit supports fair trade, sustainable agriculture, green design and recycling among its socially responsible actions.

Herb 'n Farm's CC location is Wild Sage Foods Inc.'s flagship; the Mill Valley, Calif.-based parent company and food-service provider says it hopes to expand to several new universities in the country this year. Visit irhawards.com for more.

Passing Paragon
Congratulations to the first graduating class of eight from Paragon Culinary School, who began their tedious journey in July 2005. Paragon leader Victor Matthews says all of the graduates already hold "serious positions" at fine local restaurants including the Blue Star, Black Bear and the Club at Flying Horse.

To graduate, each student passed an "extreme final" that consisted of an 18-hour, "real-world" practicum designed to test everything from creativity, taste and presentation to budgeting and bar skills. Students bounced all over town from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. one June day, preparing multiple courses for judges at different restaurants and shopping for items in between. They passed an oral quiz at day's end.

"All scored in the 90s," says Victor's wife and assistant, Rhianna. Visit coloradoeats.com/paragonschool for more.

"I've been drinkin' on the railroad ..."
The Royal Gorge Route Railroad has added a Wine Express option on its 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. daily voyages along the Arkansas River. The two-hour, round-trip ride ($59.95), features a flight of four Winery at Holy Cross Abbey wines paired with meat and cheese appetizers. Call 719/276-4000 or visit royalgorgeroute.com for more.

E-mail food-related news to scene@csindy.com.

  • Locavore Challenge, world's best at CC, railroad wine

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