Colorado Takes Spotlight in this Season's "Top Chef"

Colorado is preparing to take center stage as a top culinary destination in the upcoming Season 15 of Bravo’s “Top Chef" airing tonight. Throughout Season 15, the Emmy and James Beard award-winning series will feature Colorado settings, ingredients and food personalities, as cheftestants from across the nation battle it out in a variety of picturesque Colorado locations for the coveted title of “Top Chef.” Two of the cheftestants are from Colorado -- Denver-based Carrie Baird, executive chef of Bar Dough, and Colorado Springs’ Brother Luck, owner of Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs. The Season Premier airs tonight, Dec. 7 (check your local listings), on Bravo.

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The first episode will kick off with a food festival on Larimer Square, we're guessing it's Slow Food Nations that we covered back in July. Denver show highlights will include Chef Alex Seidel’s Fruition Farms and Mercantile dining & provision and Sage Restaurant Group’s Chef Gregory Gourdet (“Top Chef” Season 12 Finalist) and his Departure Restaurant + Lounge. Denver stops will also include Rhein Haus, Elitch Gardens, Mile High Station, the Colorado State Capitol building and tailgating with the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium. The competitors also head to Estes Park for a Quickfire Challenge at The Stanley Hotel, Boulder, Telluride, and concludes with a two-part finale at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen with challenges at T Lazy 7 Ranch and the top of Aspen Mountain.

The Top Chef judges on Larimer Square

The Top Chef judges on Larimer Square

Get ready for even more people to flock to our beautifully diverse state after watching this "Top Chef" season, as many will be watching because it is the top food show on cable! Soon, everyone will know Colorado is home to 35,000 farms and ranches, 100 farmers markets, more than 300 licensed breweries, 130 wineries and more than 70 craft distilleries. Three-quarters of Colorado’s restaurants are independently owned, and the state is gaining a reputation as a sustainability-focused and unpretentious food destination where chefs have the freedom to explore, create and try new things.

For episode recaps, chef interviews and more info on "Top Chef" in Colorado as the season progresses, visit http://www.colorado.com/top-chef-comes-colorado. More information can also be found at Bravotv.com/top-chef & a preview at https://youtu.be/6VNiYsEMO1s

Westword Delivered a Fabulous Feast (on the cheap!)

Denver dining has evolved over the past twenty years — and so has Westword's celebration of the remarkable culinary scene we have here in Denver. Over the years the names and venues for this culinary food and booze frenzy have changed and this year’s newly named, Feast, was a success! Held Sunday 15th at the McNichols Building in Civic Park, the event offered guests a spectrum of dishes from over forty favorite restaurants selected by Westword food writers and readers. There were also plenty of boozy beverages from 90+ Cellar, Tito's Vodka, Silvercoin & Exotico Tequila, Stranahan's Whiskey, Stella Artois and many others.

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This event did not leave its guests thirsty or sober, and definitely provided plenty of food! We were actually very impressed by how much food each restaurant provided, because with many of these events they tend to gradually close down as they run out of samples. This event stayed strong to the very end and even saw some of the restaurants and local brand booths giving away handfuls of samples to happy guests! We walked away with a bunch of cupcakes from Milk & Cake and jerky from Duke’s, along with a whole bagful of coupons and swag we’d acquired.

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What made this event one of the best food & booze events we’ve been to all year was the fact that general admission tickets were only $25 and really did get you as much as you could eat and drink. You left super full and happy because you weren’t wasting your time standing in long lines or being told they’ve ran out! Guests could truly try everything in the three-hour, or four-hour if you had a VIP ticket, time frame and even enjoy their food while sitting at a table outside. Another factor was the event was spread among three levels of the McNichols building so people weren’t cramped and stayed moving and exploring. It was a much more enjoyable and relaxing experience than most of the food festivals we’ve been to in our tenure.

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Our best bites range from BBQ, to salad, to tacos and sweets; here are the top eight greats:      Pig Out Smokehouse pulled pork & coleslaw, Roaming Buffalo’s pork belly burnt ends & coleslaw, Good Trip’s super smooth coffee, Taste of Thailand’s Northern Thai Garden Salad, Brider’s rotisserie Lamb Leg with couscous, Frijoles Colorado’s plantain with roasted pork, beans and rice, Chuey Fu’s tacos, and La Fillette with a huge selection of French pastries.

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We really hope Westword Feast can repeat this success again next year with its winning combination of great food/restaurants, adequate amounts and variety of food and booze, an enjoyable environment, and affordable (cheap even), ticket prices!

Written by Tiffany Candelaria   Photos by Jared Cody

Denver Celebrates Breakfast Burrito Day!

Illegal Pete's

Illegal Pete's

National Ice Cream Day, Pizza Day, Pie Day, you name it, we'll be there to get a discount on the treats we love! Now you can add to the list, at least here in Denver, Breakfast Burrito Day. Mayor Michael Hancock recently declared the second Saturday of every October to celebrate the tortilla-wrapped breakfast favorite. Denver restaurants are getting in the spirit by offering cheap, even free breakfast burritos for the first ever Breakfast Burrito Day - tomorrow! Here's our list:

Illegal Pete’s is offering FREE breakfast burritos at most of its locations (except for Boulder Hill) from 9am-1pm. Mix and match with fillings, including chorizo, veggies, and vegetarian or pork green chili.

Santiago’s will offer $1.25 burritos at all 28 locations kicking it back to the original price when the first restaurant opened in 1990.

Kachina Southwestern Grill is getting in on all the fun, offering $1 burritos from 7-10am, straight from the indoor airstream located inside the restaurant.

Resolute Brewing Company is hosting Ol’ Skool Que onsite with breakfast burritos from 11am-3pm. Purchase a burrito and receive $1 off pours all day long!