September 29, 2010

Street Food Party on Friday

Friday night, when you don't want to cook and you're debating dinner destinations, consider the Justice League of Street Food's third outdoor party. This pop-up event is a gathering of Denver's best food trucks--and it's a rarity that these taco makers, burger masters, and biscuit bakers actually get out in the evening. (These mobile modern restaurants are easier to find at lunchtime or during morning farmers' markets.)

The trucks will gather in an empty lot outside of Coors Field, and there, you can try warm, gooey mac 'n' cheese balls from Deluxe Little Orange Rocket, brothy drunken noodles from Steamin' Demon, spicy Mexican from Pinche Tacos, and more. And if you stick around long enough you might catch a party, too. The Justice League likes to dish up its gourmet street eats with style, and Friday night is '80s themed. The Denver Film Society will be showing '80s movie clips, DJs will spin '80s tunes, and you're encouraged to throw on your jean jackets and leg warmers.

Friday, Oct. 1, 5-10 p.m., 29th Avenue and Huron Street, Denver

Kazia Jankowski
Associate Culinary Director

September 27, 2010

Salt's Customizable Cocktails

How many times have you waited in line for a Chipotle burrito? Or at the Apple store, for the new iWhatever? We are a culture that loves customization (whether it comes via burritos or iPads).

In our busy, cluttered worlds, we look for any opportunity to create true expressions of our tastes. And cocktails, Salt has decided, are the next best medium to do just that.

Our neighborhood bistro now has a DIY cocktail menu. Pick from one of six alcohols, a selection of herbs and seasonings, and a variety of drink styles to make the cocktail of your choice. And then do it again, changing it up according to your mood or preferences.

So just one question: What are you up for today?

1047 Pearl St., 303-444-7258

Kazia Jankowski
Associate Culinary Director

September 22, 2010

4 Forks and 7 Food Carts


we ventured down to Denver to examine one of our culinary shifts in action, Luxury Re-Valued. The Civic Center Park in Denver fills up with more than 15 street carts every Tuesday from 11am-2pm and it was finally time for us to taste what they had to offer. Colorful trucks, stands, and massive amounts of people filled the park. Steuben’s, Deluxe (and their “little orange rocket”), Gastro Cart, Sugar Lips, Denver Cupcake Truck, Denver Biscuit Co., and Paris on the Platte beckoned for us to try their creations. We munched down on Steuby Snaks, Chicken Tacos with kimchi, an Old Country Sandwich with olive tapenade, artichokes, gouda, and roasted red peppers, Biscuits stuffed with grape jelly and bacon, Cheese Grits, Chicken Bahn Mi, and deep fried Mac and Cheese Balls with truffle oil. And for dessert, Mini Donuts smothered in s‘mores, peanut butter and chocolate, and jalapeño bacon, as well as Lime, and Pistachio cupcakes. The real highlights of the tour - tacos from Gastro Cart, bahn mi from Deluxe, and the ever so moist and delicious cupcakes from Denver Cupcake Truck. Starting in October Civic Center EATS will be changing their format, with daily EATS, but less options. It's definitely worth the stop.

For more information: Civic Center EATS

Bryce Clark
Culinary Assistant

September 20, 2010

New Products Culinary Shifts Quiz

Once a year at the New Products Conference, Prepared Foods magazine and Mintel join forces to review what's happening in the world of food. Over the course of three days, the trade publication and powerhouse research firm (which we tap for many of our projects) approach new cereals, yogurts, frozen dinners, and more from several vantage points (consumer trends to ideation)--and they highlight some of the strangest, most inventive, and/or most trendsetting new products to reach the international market in recent months. Here are a few of our favorites from this year's conference, which took place last week.

Each one relates to a certain Culinary Shift. Read through and see if you can guess which Shift the product fits. (There's an answer key at the end.)

Kellogg Krave
Released January 2010
Country: UK
Chocolate-hazelnut-filled cereal puffs (a.k.a. nutella cereal)

What's the Shift?

Kit Kat Yoghurt Aloe
Released July 2010
Country: Japan
Kit Kat wafers coated in yogurt and aloe. Developed in conjunction with Tokyo Beauty Clinic.

What's the Shift?

Pepsi Throwback
Released April 2010
Country: USA
Pepsi made with its original recipe (with real sugar) and packaging.

What's the Shift?

Blood Energy Potion
Released March 2010
Country: USA
Fruit punch-flavored energy drink that claims to have similar nutrients to real blood. It promises four hours of iron, protein, and electrolytes.

What's the Shift?

Yoplait Simply GoGurt
Released April 2010
Country: USA
A version of the on-the-go yogurt that's free of high fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial colors and flavors.

What's the Shift?

Answer Key
1) Kellogg Krave: Luxury Re-valued
2) Kit Kat Yoghurt Aloe: Dr. Me
3) Pepsi Throwback: Simple Refuge
4) Blood Energy Potion: Break Free
5) Yoplait Simply Go Gurt: More with Less

Kazia Jankowski
Associate Culinary Director

September 15, 2010

Boulder: The Foodiest Town in America

The Boulder food scene has received some major national “ink” in 2009 and 2010. Last year it was named one of the top ten food cities in the world by Travelocity and just months later it was featured in the Wall Street Journal, calling it “the best small city for great meals we know of in this country.” And then Wednesday Boulder received one of the most notable food awards, Bon Appétit named it “The Foodiest Town in America.”

Andrew Knowlton’s (Bon Appétit’s restaurant editor) six day stint in Boulder included visits to Dish Gourmet, Frasca, Pizzeria Basta, Leaf, Cafe Aion, and Happy / The Bitter Bar. From vegetarian to Asian it was a whirlwind of Boulder's amazing local produce, chef creations,and craft beers with hiking, biking, and swimming on the side. Clearly burgers (and all food) tastes better after exercise. Check out the full article at Bon Appétit.

Photo courtesy of Bon Appétit

Bryce Clark
Culinary Assistant

September 8, 2010

Wines on Tap

In recent years, in an effort to be more sustainable, restaurants have ditched bottled water. Now, increasingly they are doing the same with bottled wine.

Across the country, restaurants are pouring more draft wine (wine served from a keg, like beer). Not only does this serving method offer diners a less wasteful restaurant, it promises better, more affordable wine. Tap wine reduces wine packaging as well as the amount of wine that restaurants throw away. (Restaurants commonly toss open bottles of wine that have oxidized and lost their freshness.) Tap wines, though, which are stored in a barrels, are never exposed to oxygen and stay fresh for weeks. Similarly, they don’t carry the cost of the wine bottle, which means that restaurants can sell them for as little as $4 or $5 a glass.

These advantages have had national restaurants like Daniel Boulud’s newest NYC restaurant, DBGB, and Father’s Office in Los Angeles selling tap wine for the last couple of years. And recently Denver has joined the movement as well. The newly opened Euclid Hall serves three tap wines from the local winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem. Table 6 pours one tap wine at a time, and Jax Denver also has a rotating wine on tap.

And now that our environmentally friendly city has embraced this trend, we don’t expect it to go back to bottles. Rumor already has it that new restaurants (scheduled to open in 2011) are building entire bars around draft wine.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

Kazia Jankowski
Associate Culinary Director