A Tropical Escape in Denver's Cap Hill

When you think of the Caribbean do you  picture white sand beaches, tropical colors and flavors, fruity drinks, and island music? Well you'll find all this (minus the beach) at the new Calypso Caribbean restaurant, bar and café Bang Up to the Elephant in their cool, new space in Capitol Hill.

The fully immersive restaurant comes from Denver restaurateur Kevin Delk, the creative mastermind behind Two-Fisted Mario's, Mario's Double Daughters and the Aspen tree filled Beatrice & Woodsley. In similar fashion, Bang Up to the Elephant is full of imaginative touches, creative interior design, and lots of Caribbean colors. From the painted floor to the blue-hued light and everything in between, this new restaurant offers much more than just a meal.

The large space had been abandoned for nearly 27 years prior, and before that was The Mercury Café. The team had a lot of work ahead of them, but the empty canvas allowed for creativity and a total transformation. Between the ambiance, the unique food, and the tropical drinks (and plants), you really feel transported to a tropical destination. Another cool component is the sunny front “patio” café, enclosed with colorful mosaic stained glass walls, big doors that can fully open on a nice day and a park fountain.

We began with a few cocktails from Cocktail Conservator Dylan Holcomb, our favorite being the Nose Ender because it’s served in a coconut and festively garnished. Its spirit is tequila and house-made cream of coconut. If this doesn’t make you feel like you’ve been transported, the food and ambiance surely will. The Devil’s Claw and Newgate Knockers where our other favorite cocktails and were also beautifully garnished. Devil’s Claw contains Mekong, a Thai spirit, lemon juice, Chinese Five Spice, and curry syrup. Despite all the exotic spices, the drink was well rounded and refreshing, it did bring out the spice in the food however. The Newgate Knockers drink was a bit creamy and sweet, with lemon juice, tamarind, gin and Orgeat.

The menu is led by Executive Chef Travis Messervey, of Beatrice & Woodsley, and features a wide range of "Calypso cuisine". Delk gave us a brief history of the Islands, explaining how many different countries explored and colonized the Caribbean at various times, thus bringing their foods and customs to the Islands and its native people. Diners here will find African, Indian, European and Chinese dishes and influences on the menu. For example, the Jerk Chicken is slow-cooked over pimento wood from the All Spice Tree, traditionally used to smoke jerk meats, and covered in a savory, spicy rub. It had wonderfully deep flavors, wasn’t too spicy, and sits atop rice and black-eyed peas. It comes with a side of astringent papaya-red cabbage slaw and is garnished with tasty smoked, sweet pineapple slices.

Their Bake & Pepper Shrimp sandwich was also a standout and is one of four versions you can order of this popular Trinidadian dish. It had breaded shrimp between two pieces of fried flatbread with tomatoes, red cabbage slaw, and a green herb spread. It was satisfying, fresh and crispy. We also tried the Kale & Plantains salad that was coated in hot pepper vinaigrette which really packed a punch. The plantains and jicama help cool you, but beware. The Bowl-O-Chow Mein wasn’t spicy except for the jalapenos on top and was loaded with healthy veggies, a bit too soaked in teriyaki sauce however. To finish us off we had a scoop of fried ice cream with chocolate rum sauce and mango chunks. Delk admitted fried ice cream is not really Caribbean, he just has a soft spot for it and thinks his diners will too. It was delicious, tasting like a sundae atop a warm old-fashioned doughnut. Their menu is extensive and offers many more delicious dishes than we were able to try, so we'll be back.

Bang Up to the Elephant provides a great year-round escape, whether it be from the weather, the daily grind, or the typical meal. They have happy hour daily from 3-6:30pm and will also be launching live music brunches on Saturday and Sunday’s 9-3pm soon!

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB       Photos by Samantha Bliss  @redfollowsherbliss http://banguptotheelephant.restaurant/

Breckenridge Brewery Tour & Dinner

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Saturday night we got to go behind the scenes of the Breckenridge Brewery facilities at their Farmhouse in Littleton, CO and were treated to a special private beer dinner in their Barrel Room! Since being acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev December of 2015, the facilities and beer production has greatly expanded and contributed to their cool new Farmhouse "campus" as they call it.

We got a great tour from Katie who literally walked us through each step in the brewing, aging and bottling process. Yes, some of their beers are aged, including their newest Brewery Lane Series release, the Imperial Vanilla Porter. This limited series beer is aged in Rum barrels, which we later dined among, and brewed with Madagascar vanilla beans.

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At the end of the tour we each got a full pour of the Irish Stout and headed down to the Barrel Room where they had set up tables for us lucky 30 to sit and dine. The first course was a Roasted Beet Flatbread paired with an amazing Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout. Next we had an Agave Wheat Shrimp Ceviche served on an avocado with an Oak Aged Saison which was light but flavorful, just like the Ceviche.

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The entree was a big bowl of Duck Confit atop Risotto and Brussels Sprouts with a dry hopped orange glaze. This dish was so delicious and had a wonderful caramelized taste with an orange undertone from the glaze. It was paired with their seasonal holiday beer, the Holidale wich paired the holiday flavors of cinnamon and spice perfectly with the warming dish tinged with orange flavors. The beer itself is more of an Amber Ale with savory spices reminiscent of winter.

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For the fourth course we finished with an Imperial Vanilla Porter Orange Ganache Tart with a vanilla whip. This was a dense chocolate tart with a strong orange zest flavor and delicate whip and nitrogen shattered blood oranges sprinkled on top! They did the shattering in front of us which was fun to watch and added a unique taste and dining experience. This was paired with the Imperial Vanilla Porter of course which was dark and thicker like the Irish Stout. 

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We were so impressed with this special Barrel Aged Beer Dinner by Executive Chef Nate Gravina and GM Joe Porter, and encourage you to look out for the next time the brewery hosts one of these. And after such an excellent dinner you should definitely make it a point to get some food with your beer the next time you're there. Cheers~

Full photo gallery below.  https://www.breckbrew.com/beers

Words by Tiffany Candelaria             Photos by Josh Stephens

Ophelia’s Will Tantalize All Your Senses


Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox is a multilevel "gastro-brothel" that surrounds its guests in luxurious furnishing, flattering mood lighting, and blatantly sexy décor, aka it’s a great place for a date. In addition to dining, there’s a stage and lounge in the lower level, also viewable from the upper restaurant level that wraps around it. The name of the place is an intriguing mouthful… and you’ll find the food is as well.

Ophelia’s opened a couple years ago and is part of Chef Justin Cucci’s collection of top-rated restaurants around Denver. Located in the old Airedale building on 20th Street and Larimer, it was formerly a peep-show parlor and clearly inspired the restaurant’s décor. The menu is a tantalizing assortment of American dishes featuring globally inspired ingredients paired in intriguing ways. In addition to its vegetable forward dishes, 75% of the ingredients are organically sourced and the menu has gluten-free and vegan icons to help those with dietary restrictions.

We were delighted to dine at Ophelia’s this Tuesday and were treated to an amazing assortment of dishes that showcased the variety of foods, flavors, and ingenuity the team brings to the tables each night. We began with cocktails of course, the Never Enough gin cocktail and the Hard Eight Rye cocktail, which were both great – one sweet and citrusy the later earthy and zesty.

To start, we selected the Smoked Scallops, 600 Degree Squash and the Crispy Pork Belly. This was already more food than we could finish knowing entrees where ahead, but we are so glad we ordered it all anyway because these three dishes were outstanding. The scallops were petite, soft and smoky, served with lavash crackers, microgreens, and a chive crème fraise and hot sauce, all meant to pile onto the crackers. The creamy crème spread was a perfect balance for the smoky scallops and seed-laden lavash. We also loved the 600 Degree Squash, a collection of caramelized yellow and green zucchini with sweet, creamy goat feta and a sundried tomato sauce. The Crispy Pork Belly was especially outstanding because it was not full of fat like so often happens when we’ve ordered pork belly. It truly was crispy and candied on the outside, and soft and supple on the inside, bursting with so much savory and sweet flavor. Best pork belly we can recall!  

Next, the kitchen surprised us with their Brothel Burger and BBQ Chicken Flatbread. The burger was super succulent Elk, we didn’t even realize this while we ate it, topped with Korean BBQ, Miso candied bacon, Ponzu onions, and pickled vegetables all between a pretzel pun. We loved it. The BBQ Chicken Flatbread was accompanied by bacon, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, charred onion, bell pepper and jicama-radicchio slaw, which was an excellent addition to an overall wonderfully composed sweet, smoky, tangy pizza. All of their flatbreads and burger buns are also available gluten free.

We then made room for two of their Dinner entrees, the Steelhead Trout with Pozole and Chicken & Waffles, which were like yin and yang as far as flavors, textures, ingredients and nutrition. Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew composed of hominy, green chilies, and spices. Their pozole is topped traditionally with fresh radishes, cilantro, tomatillo salsa, and chunks of avocado, but is only mildly spicy. The trout was wonderful, not too fishy, seasoned with black pepper, and a great, local alternative to salmon. An added bonus, all of the warming spices, herbs, root vegetables and omega-3 fish make this an excellent winter dish and flu-fighter!

On the other end of the spectrum, the Chicken & Waffles were decadent, sweet and crunchy. It comes with two pieces of herb and potato laden waffle between three pieces of crispy, fried chicken topped with bacon bits, a flavorful cinnamon apple butter and chili honey – my goodness! On the side, there’s a bit of healthy greenery for you with apple slices and dried cranberries.

Throughout all of this wonderful feasting, live musicians took turns on the stage below for open mic night. Wednesday’s and Sunday’s Ophelia’s has jazz bands, and the rest of the week generally has live music events as well. Ophelia’s is much more than just a delicious restaurant; it’s a happening hangout with plenty of pleasing offerings. The bar and lounge areas provide really nice drinking spots, and the wrap around restaurant is an awesome medley of fabulous food and dynamic entertainment below. We absolutely suggest you go!

https://www.opheliasdenver.com/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @tcdoesfnb     Photos by Samantha Bliss @redfollowsherbliss

Chicken & Waffles

Denver Celebrates MLK Day

The annual parade was held during the early morning freezing temperatures as crowds of thousands lined the streets of Colfax (en route to Civic Center Park) earlier today to celebrate Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The 32nd annual parade is commemorated in The Mile High City every January with what has grown to be one of the largest MLK Day celebrations in the United States -- even larger than that of Washington, D.C

Crowds braved the elements during this mornings march. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran

Students from MSU marched along to celebrate MLK Day in Denver. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran)

The morning was filled with drumlins from local Denver students. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran)

The Raw Deal at Vital Root

Vegetarians aren’t messing around these days. Owner of Edible Beats, Justin Cucci, opened up vegetarian restaurant Vital Root on Tennyson Street a year and a half ago and it has been a hit ever since.  Whether you’re on the run or able to stay awhile, there’s an open seat inside or on their two patios and heaping flavors waiting for you in this fast-casual dining concept.

Using only the freshest organic ingredients in each dish, you are sure to leave feeling revitalized and satisfied, and ninety-nine percent of the menu can be prepared vegan and/or gluten free upon request. Not a vegan or gluten intolerant? Try ‘em out anyway - your body will thank you later.

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Vital Root also places a huge focus on sustainability from the front of the house to the back. Supporting over 55 growers, farmers and food artisans, 50% of the ingredients are sourced within Colorado. Edible Beats’ homegrown produce comprises 40% of the produce used in all dishes across the six restaurants. It also supports local wind and solar projects through national clean energy provider, Arcadia Power, to help reduce America’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

We were cordially invited to their monthly Raw Pop Up Dinner held on the first Monday of every month. Why raw vegan cuisine? Vital Root’s chef says, “Raw food has not been heated over 118 degrees, leaving all natural enzyme and nutrient activity of the ingredients completely in-tact and maximizing bio-availability. The raw diet encourages harmony with nature, a nonviolent lifestyle, boundless energy, a healthy relationship to food-as-fuel, and is a remarkable way to experience the beautiful ingredients.”

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Upon being greeted at the door, the hostess kindly led us to our seats where we anxiously awaited diving into the raw experience.

The first course presented before our eyes and our salivating palates was the Giardiniera, served on a spoon and ready to be devoured. Simple yet refreshing, the dish was comprised of eggplant relish, basil tomato and daikon thread. It set the tone for the rest of the meal and left our taste buds wanting more…which is exactly what we got.

The second course came in an array of multi-color roots. It was almost too pretty to eat, but that didn’t stop us. Served in a beautiful radicchio leaf, the Radicchio Beet Hummus executed on presentation and texture by utilizing the ingredient in two ways. We were given a variety of organic vegetables including carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers to enjoy with the hummus. To add a hint of sweetness to the dish, dates were also included.

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The third course was the one I was most intrigued by, and that was the Squash Lasagna. I asked myself, “How are they going to serve warm cooked lasagna that resembled lasagna without the power of a hot oven?” Let’s just say, I was absolutely blown away. First off, the presentation was beautiful. Secondly, cutting into it felt just like eating momma’s homemade lasagna. It was dense yet light, and didn’t come with the typical sluggish aftermath, even after eating the entire plate. What made this dish even more unique was the vegan spin on the cheese. From ‘rawmesan’ and macadamia ‘ricotta’ to walnut pesto and a winter salad—it had me more than convinced.

And for the final course: the Blood Orange Granita, a Sicily-inspired shaved ice bursting with flavor. The dessert melted in my mouth like cotton candy, and refreshed my palate at the same time with the addition of the fresh basil.

If you’re sitting there living vicariously through my words, stop. You can reserve your spot for the next raw dinner through the Vital Roots website. What makes this experience even more thrilling is that the menu is a total surprise! You won’t know what’s coming to your table until it’s presented before you. Get your palate ready and imagination going for the eccentric yet inviting meal at next month’s raw dinner.

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If raw food isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. Vital Root offers a wide array of options and is open Tuesday-Thursday from 10am-9pm and Friday-Sunday from 9am-9pm. Additionally, Happy Hour is Tuesday-Sunday from 3pm-6pm with specials including $1 off beer, $5 wine and cocktails, $2 Banh MI or Avocado Tacos, and $3 Korean BBQ Veggie Wings.

Don’t wait any longer—see what these vegetarians are raving about! http://www.vitalrootdenver.com/

Written and Photographed by Samantha Bliss-Red Follows Her Bliss Photography

Justin Great Season 2 Fashion Launch

Justin Great, a Denver-based luxury streetwear designer, will launch his Season 2 collection with a party and pop-up shop on January 19th at Urban Mix.

The event will start at 7 p.m. RSVP online at www.justingreat.com or on the Justin Great Facebook page for a gift upon arrival and entry into a giveaway for a piece from the Season 2 collection. View Season 1 collection at www.justingreat.com.

The event will premier Great’s newest “seasonless” designs, intended to be wearable from winter through summer. This will be the first event Great has hosted in Denver, and will debut the new line among a celebration of fashion, music, food, and art.

Denver-based CRL CRRLL will DJ the event, which will also offer free admission and parking, food and drinks, giveaways, a runway fashion show presentation, a dance performance by the CreNatives, a photo booth, and an opportunity to mingle, shop, and dance with Denver’s street culture elite.

“I’m really excited to finally share my brand with the city of Denver! I trust the sophisticated and modern streetwear aesthetic we offer will connect with the people,” said Justin Great, the founder and designer of the eponymous company, on his label’s signature style.

Justin Great is recognized as a growing name in luxury streetwear, known for its attention to detail. Based in Denver with a following in New York and Los Angeles, the brand is all USA made. Deconstructing and hand-sewn details are added by Great himself in his studio, ensuring no two pieces are exactly the same. Season 2 debuts the latest in the label’s signature clean aesthetic, complemented with limited edition pieces inspired by formal tailoring lines and classic prints redefined for the ready-to-wear world.

Justin Great’s Season 2 line will be available for purchase at the event, and will be available online exclusively at www.justingreat.com. 

Justin Great is a relentless entrepreneur who has a passion for progressive culture and all forms of creative expression. His driven nature has compelled him to create and be involved in various ventures including, but not limited to, the worlds of fashion, creative content/media, design, music, and blogging. His background in fashion stems from the inception of his fashion and style blog “The Upper Echelon,” which he founded in college as a means of sharing fashion and style expertise. Since the blog’s inception in 2009, Justin has had the opportunity to showcase and collaborate with multiple brands and publications. As the blog grew to prominence and gained attention, many followers began requesting Justin to create his own fashion collection, which later birthed the Justin Great fashion brand and its subsidiary, Plumage by Justin Great.

Justin is the true embodiment of the Renaissance man concept. His creative content and design company - Luxpiration - allows him and his team the outlet to create via media (photography, videography, graphic design), web/product design, audio, branding, and marketing. Justin Great’s music production background has afforded him the opportunity to produce beats of several different genres for various music artists and also film/television (Great Beats).

In addition to the arts, Justin has a passion for technology and has created products in the tech space, including co-founding the start-up Friendect – a mobile application that is revolutionizing the way people meet up with their friends in the real world.

For Justin, his various ventures are a means of creative expression and influence and his goal is to fuel and inspire individuals to enjoy, appreciate, and partake in high quality lifestyle, culture, and product.

Justin Great is a firm believer that through creativity, action, and dedication we can influence and change the world.

Among other accolades, Justin has been featured in magazines and publications such as GQ, Fortune, and The New York Times. Justin was also named one of the top 50 style bloggers in 2014. 

Holiday Flea: Where Mile High Makers & Easy Goin Vibes Reign Supreme

For someone who tends to shy away from anything that draws a massive crowd, I found myself absolutely smitten with the Friday night party for Denver's Holiday Flea. Taking over Broadway's legendary Sports Castle building for the weekend, the Flea hosted floor upon floor of Denver creative entrepreneurs & their finely crafted wares, six boozey bars serving up holiday cheer, & fitting tunes that kept that party goin. 

Holiday revelers shopping threads from Shinesty (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Holiday revelers shopping threads from Shinesty (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Featuring about 190 makers from in and around the Mile High, the Flea brought local fare from new hustlers like Very Cool Club, with their typography-focused tongue-in-cheek clothing line, to more established brands like B. Fresh and 14er Posters. One could trek Sports Castle from top to bottom and find everything needed for the holiday season-- Keenan's Killer K-Sauce to douse on every underflavored appetizer you encounter at your slew of holiday parties; witty and colorful thank you cards from Mountains vs Plains & Parcel Paper Co. you belatedly send friends and relatives for all those fruit cakes, tamales, and socks; slick new leather wares you'll inevitably show off to everyone from Colored Red; and of course, winter-ready gear that screams Colorado from Mountain Standard

Rollin deep

Rollin deep

Happiest Photo Bombers 2017

14er Posters talkin shop

14er Posters talkin shop

Not only was I impressed with the sheer talent & business acumen this shopping extravaganza showcased, but I was positively barreling over in laughter with how silly and happy most attendees appeared. Every time I went to take a candid crowd shot, I was delightfully bombarded with profesh photo-bombers or pose-ready models just waitin for me to press the shutter. Thank you all for making my job easy, and my night that much lovelier. 

So, if you didn't make it this time around, check out our photo gallery below and see all the fun we had without you. JK, we love you, and you were probably doing something cool, too. Besides, there's always next year, babes. 

Marcella's Ristorante | Italian Favorites & Our New Favorite Happy Hour

Outside & Inside

Outside & Inside

Italian cafe and restaurant, Marcella’s Ristorante, Pizzeria and Wine Bar, recently opened on Central St. in LoHi. Just by the looks of the beautiful façade and the extremely inviting, comfortable yet upscale interior, we knew this place would be a worthy addition in the distinguished Highlands restaurant scene.

Marcella’s was named after a house manager and chef at a villa in Tuscany, Italy, that founder Cameron Mitchell visited with his family. Cameron is an Ohio-based restaurateur who also runs two Marcella’s in Ohio as well as Ocean Prime on Larimer Square. Their Executive Chef Jacob Glowacki worked at several Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and also relocated to the Denver venue to head up Marcella’s here.

Braised Veal Meatball

Braised Veal Meatball

The menu features dishes such as a braised veal meatball with tomato sauce, wood-fired pizzas, pastas, chicken entrees, and Italian desserts. Their drink menu is just as expansive with a selection of 50 Italian wines served by the bottle, half bottle or glass, sangria, draft beers, and over a handful of interesting, Italian-geared cocktails with house-made liquors and syrups. What we were most impressed by was that such an upscale, lovely place offered such an incredible Happy Hour every Monday through Friday from 4 to 6pm! All the drinks are half off, meaning all the beer is only $3 and fancy cocktails $5.50! For Happy Hour food, the entire menu is half off minus the entrees, so salads, cured meats, cheeses, antipasti, appetizers, and even pizzas (gluten-free available) are half priced!

From Left: Milan Manhattan, Grapefruit Basil Fizz, Italian Rye

From Left: Milan Manhattan, Grapefruit Basil Fizz, Italian Rye

We sampled so many of these Happy Hour dishes that by the end it was clear Marcella’s definitely has one of the best bang-for-your-buck and largest Happy Hour selections in Denver. Our favorites were Grappa Cured Salmon, Braised Veal Meatball (they are known for this one), Melted Pecorino with crostini, apple and truffle honey, their Sweet Sausage with roasted peppers and cheese, and of course the Pizzas. We sampled the Crispy Potato Pizza which was a flavor overload in a good way, and the lighter, more mild Pesto Shrimp.

Crispy Potato Pizza top, Pesto Shrimp bottom

Crispy Potato Pizza top, Pesto Shrimp bottom

After all of this Happy Hour goodness we really didn’t need anymore food, especially as we already had full to-go boxes, but we forged ahead and tried their Gnocchi Bolognese and Spaghetti alla Carbonara. The Carbonara is made of only a few basic ingredients but was overly saturated with oil or butter, the Gnocchi was great however, hearty, flavorful and melted in our mouths. Other entrées we didn’t try but want to include a daily risotto, chicken marsala, linguine & clams, and the Chianti braised beef short rib.

Tiramisu and Chocolate Almond Cake

Tiramisu and Chocolate Almond Cake

For dessert we were treated to a traditional Tiramisu, a moist Chocolate Almond Cake, and their flaky Cherry Crustada that has a hint of almond and vanilla gelato on top. All three were delicious and met different flavor palettes, but the Cherry Crustada was our favorite.

We recommend you make your way to Marcella's  someday soon to fully indulge in all their Happy Hour has to offer - it's worth skipping out of work early for or fighting that 5 o' clock traffic! https://marcellasrestaurant.com/locations-menus/marcellas-denver/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria      Photos by Samantha Bliss

The Story On The New Breckenridge Brewery Artist Series Snowboard

For those of you living under a rock, every year the snowboard and ski season arrives in Denver with the traditional Opening Day Party put on by our good friends at Breckenridge Brewery and every year they pick an artist to design the snowboard for that year. Never Summer Industries in conjunction with Breck Brew giveaway a bunch of these boards all across town at bars and liquor stores. We were fortunate enough to chat with the designers of this years board and how the partnership and inspiration came to be. Check out our interview with Hari &Deepti below.

U5280: How long have you been doing this type of art?

H&D: We started experimenting with paper cut in 2010, so we have been practicing this art form for about 7 years now. 

U5280: Where did the idea for the medium come from and what influences are they associated with?

H&D: Our idea for this medium came by chance. We had signed up to participate for a charity event and had to donate a piece of of our art and we did not realize that the deadline was the next day so we got hold of whatever we had at our disposal - some paper & watercolors and came up with a colored diorama. Later Hari being a graphic designer wanted to work with minimal color and decided to work with white paper and Deepti had this idea of adding lights to it. We tried it out and the result was beyond words. Subconsciously we do derive from the art that surrounds us especially growing up in India. India has a rich culture of hand made arts and one of them is Tholpaavakoothu which is a form of shadow puppetry similar to Wayang Kulit from Bali. We interweaved these influences with our love for nature, and the wilderness in Colorado along with our passion for story telling. We feel our life in Colorado, being around the mountains has had a big effect on our work. We continue to get inspired by the places we travel and try to tell a story of exploration, living among magnificent giants and the nature. 

U5280: It seems that the origin for using paper as a primary medium comes from areas of Japan and China and even Mexico and other latin countries, why is it more popular in those regions than say here in the United States?

H&D: We are not sure if we can throw more light on this. But we do feel in Japan, it is culturally been a very important part of their life. Right from the washi paper screens to the temple lamps,  paper is always the main element and there is a respect to the process and the medium. Similarly other cultures have been working with paper for a long time, and there is definitely an increased interest in paper. Especially in this day and age when information is easily accessible, it is really easy for people to connect with artists and art forms. We get a lot of inquiries from teachers & students regarding our artform and we are really happy to see students interact and interpret this artform in their way and to suit their narratives.

We feel in this fast paced digital word paper is tactile and if forces you to be patient. It is relatively accessible and cost effective in terms of raw material. So maybe thats why there is a lot more interest in paper arts.

U5280: How did the Breck Brew project come to fruition?

H&D: Ryan Workman from Breckenridge had seen our work and had written to us few years back that he would like us to be a part of the Breck Brew project. So in late 2016 we heard back from him saying he was still interested and we jumped on this opportunity. It was a great way giving back to the community and Colorado which has been an integral part of our art journey. The project was an amazing experience, we had a great team at Breck, who gave us a free range in what we wanted to create and the outcome is the result of that collaboration.

U5280: You have been commisioned from everything like bookcovers to window installations and now a snowboard. What is the craziest idea you have ever been approached to work on?

H&D: We think the craziest project we have done is remotely designing an installation for Pure Leaf which was displayed in multiple cities. We got our friends at Wigwam Creative to collaborate with us and we digitally designed the artwork in India which was then laser cut in the Denver and then assembled via facetime/live camera. The final assembly took place in Connecticut and then the artwork travelled multiple cities within six months. 

U5280: Living in Denver the idea from the Breck Brew project has a lot of nods to our amazing landscape, seeing as how your work translates into stories how would you describe (in a story) the idea for the snowboard.

H&D: Colorado has a huge impact on our work and we wanted to capture the spirit of Colorado and the mountain life. This artwork captures a snapshot of when you are hiking /snowboarding and you take a moment to look at the majestic mountains overlooking the lakes with pristine reflections and star filled skies, and this was just an attempt to capture that feeling which every person in Colorado can relate to.

Denver's First-Ever Sneaker Bar | Sneekeazy

Calling all cocktail enthusiasts and sneakerheads, Denver’s first cocktail lounge paired with specialty sneaker store, Sneekeazy, is now open. Located above Element Kitchen & Cocktail in an expansive second floor loft, the Sneekeazy offers a combined boutique and bar experience where you can sip on expertly crafted cocktails, shop the world’s most coveted shoes and enjoy a unique take on Denver’s downtown nightlife scene.

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Sneekeazy showcases Jordans, Yeezys and rare footwear and in addition will utilize its network of collectors to track down one-of-a-kind pieces for the public. The store also boasts a “SneakerSom” who serves as the resident sneaker expert and will offer cobbler services and specialized custom footwear. Once you’re done shopping, continue to a saloon-style lounge offering specialty cocktails, small bites, and live music and DJs every night. The cocktails are complimented with a lofty lounge atmosphere, complete with free-to-play pool tables, shuffleboard and classic arcade games! Enjoy the lounge areas and cozy up with comfortable living room furniture to retreat for a little privacy and intimate conversation. The small bites menu was created by celebrity Chef John Tesar and is available until 1 a.m., satisfying late-night cravings and featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients. Each dish is priced at $10.

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“We’re really excited to bring a fresh and exciting concept with another late-night option to Denver’s nightlife scene,” says Element Hospitality’s Jon Spadafora. “The speakeasy is much larger than typical hidden bars and boasts several different lounges. We’re also featuring Colorado beer and spirits, as well as a rooftop deck offering views of both the state capitol and downtown skyline.”

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Catering towards the late-night crowd, Sneekeazy will be open Wednesday - Saturday from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m., with DJs starting every night at 8 p.m. The space also features art from local Denver creatives that will rotate through on a regular basis. Upcoming happenings include custom designed sneaker giveaways by local tattoo artists, acoustic nights on with local musicians, and more.  

Immerse Yourself in Theater & A Wild Party

“You’re invited to leave your inhibitions (and Prohibitions) behind for a decadent 360° party in the Roaring Twenties. Indulge your inner flapper as you mingle with an unruly mix of vaudevillians, playboys, divas, and ingénues in a Manhattan apartment lost in time.” From the creators of last year’s immersive, experiential theater performance that we also covered, “Sweet & Lucky” the DCPA’s new Off-Center show “The Wild Party” is a similar experience but different. Confused? That’s good – the creators and two-time True West Award-winning Director Amanda Berg Wilson, want the audience to be surprised, it makes for a more exciting experience. Read on if you would like to know a little bit more of what to expect.

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The audience begins the experience all together in a main room and is free to mingle about, have a seat, and buy drinks. Then the show begins with a fun musical act and the performers weave through the audience dancing, singing, and chatting with the crowd. They playfully ask groups of us to follow them into another room until the entire audience has been transported to the other side. Unlike “Sweet & Lucky” where the different groups of audience members are separated and experience different scenes in different rooms, all of the audience members of “The Wild Party” end up in one room together to watch one big show play out all around them.

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The First Act is one big party, full of fun, flappers, booze and tunes, accompanied by a seven-piece band! You really feel like you’re at the party with the scenery (and almost everyone in attendance dressed up), the music, and the actors interact with the audience, teaching us to dance for example. We saw people of all ages around us, from 21 to 70’s, dressed up and having a fun night out. “Our goal with each audience member is that they are going to experience a kind of release that you only have when you have had a really wild night," Director Wilson said.

Debauchery turns disastrous in the Second Act as the party’s guest’s gin sets in. The plot thickens dramatically as the actors’ songs and actions reveal their feelings bubbling under the surface and themes such as race, gender, and religion are brought to the forefront. Accompanying this we hear adult language, see uncomfortable situations, nudity and violence. The mood gets real serious towards the end and almost makes us loose our buzz too, even after we all just had a complimentary shot of gin. The show’s tagline is, “When the night is over…No matter what happens…Blame it on the gin.” We came away with many different interpretations of the true moral of the story and left wishing the best parts of the party weren’t over. 

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The Wild Party is a musical by Michael John LaChiusa and a book by him and George C. Wolfe. The story is based on the 1928 Joseph Moncure March narrative poem of the same name. The show features all local actors, and runs most nights October 11 - 31, 2017 at The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace. Tickets for Sat, Oct 28 and Tue, Oct 31 include a post-show party with a costume contest, music, and dancing!

Immerse yourself in a sinful good time; hurry tickets are almost sold out.

https://www.wildpartydenver.com/get-tickets/

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By Tiffany Candelaria

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 Food + Wine Festival Returns with Even More to Explore!

Denver Food + Wine Festival (DF+WF) returns next week for its thirteenth consecutive year September 5-10! This event has gradually expanded from one attracting epicureans and oenophiles into a multi-day extravaganza attracting all types of foodies and wine and spirit drinkers. The Grand Tasting event not only has a huge selection of wines and eats, but also has entertainment, themed lounge areas,cocktails, sake, even beer, I hear. It is a really fun event and is offers the largest, most diverse selection of wine than any other festival or tasting in the Denver area. In addition the the Grand Tasting, there are various other DF+WF events that week to explore with varying price points.

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To kick the week off the Dinner Under the Stars event, Sept. 6, celebrates the best that Denver’s culinary and beverage scene has to offer with a unique alfresco pairing dinners on the Coohills pedestrian bridge. This curated, six-course meal features a wine pairing with each course, hand-selected by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ Master Sommeliers. Each course is prepared by a lauded Denver chef, representing some of the hottest restaurants in the Mile High City. The menu can be found on the website.

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On Thursday 7, local celebrity bartenders from the Colorado Bartenders Guild will compete for Denver’s “best cocktail” at the ShakeDown. Guests are invited to mingle from 6:30-9:30 while trying as many food bites and cocktails as possible and voting for their favorites of each! Live music from a special acoustic Dragondeer set, featuring members of Dragondeer, will accompany the evening’s festivities. This was a boozy blast last year, but come prepared to drink or you may miss out on the best cocktail!

On Friday 8, join Riedel and the DF+WF for an educational and entertaining program that will change how each guest enjoys wine. In a unique wine glass tasting, Riedel ambassador Doug Reed will demonstrate the relationship between the shape of a glass and the taster’s perception and enjoyment of various varietals. After the seminar, guests can take home a four-glass Riedel kit, valued at $120, containing one glass for each varietal explored in the seminar.

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DF+WF’s Grand Tasting takes place outdoors on Saturday 9 and unites the region’s culinary leaders, award winning chefs, mixologists and wine professionals, for a day of exploring and celebrating Colorado’s food and beverage traditions. The all-inclusive layout allows guests to explore creations from more than 40 top restaurants, and more than 700 different pours from wine and spirit professionals. In addition, the 5280 Home VIP Lounge, will pair specialty wines selected by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Master Sommeliers with 12 upscale restaurants for an exclusive experience. Celebrity, award-winning chefs will offer demonstrations on the Wolf Specialty Appliance Culinary Stage and guests can participate in a silent auction.

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And to wrap up this incredible week of DF+WF is a fun brunch festival featuring what will be the world’s largest Bloody Mary bar, with over 65 toppings! Rise + Dine will also feature delicious breakfast bites, bottomless mimosas, and encourage guests to wear their pajamas if they’d like!

http://www.denverfoodandwine.com/

Tacolandia's Top Tacos And More

One of the many tasty tacos at Tacolandia. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Tacolandia put on by Westword was a fiesta to say the least. The festival celebrated authentic street tacos by offering unlimited samples from over 40 taquerias and Mexican restaurants around Denver. Guests also enjoyed live entertainment, a car show, cash bars and great people watching in the heart of Civic Center Park.

Taco pimps slanging their warm tortillas with morsels of heaven. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

A VIP ticket gave you early access to the festival grounds, which was worth it, depending on how fast you can eat tacos. A full hour of early entry without the lines caused us to go into a taco-eating frenzy, followed by a taco coma. The coma timing was just right, coinciding with GA entry at 4pm, whence we made our way over to the VIP section to relax at a nice table in the shade, with drinks of course. VIP tickets included 2 cocktail or sangria drinks and a Bud Light, which pays for itself at most events where beers and cocktails are $7+, which was the case at Tacolandia. The VIP ticket holders were also treated to Lola Costal Mexican based in the Highlands. They had three tacos to choose from, including one of the only fish tacos we saw at the event, a "sustainably sourced red fish". After picking your tacos you moved to a toppings table with different salsas, a Serrano creama, kimchee vegetables, hot carrots, onions and cilantro. And last, they provided two aguas frescas, one a cherry base and one with a medley of melons. Those were delicious and so very vital on a hot day full of hot tacos!

Los Chingones with our favorite taco of the day. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

One of the non-traditional tacos featured Octopus. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

So let’s talk top tacos, because we all want to know where to eat bomb tacos in Denver. El Tejado was notable, as not only did they give you three tacos, but they were so tasty! They also had a very homey, welcoming feel, which translated in everything we tasted there.  Los Chingones served up one of the best looking tacos, with a colorful veggie slaw, pineapple and cilantro atop seasoned short rib. This taco was one I wanted to eat over and over again, but literally couldn’t because we had to try as many tacos as possible. Garibaldi's had a red chorizo taco that was so simple (there were no toppings, maybe they ran out) yet so delicious. Whatever they season their chorizo with and soak it in made it very flavorful, juicy/greasy(?) and so red that the juices stained our hands! Chuey Fu's food truck was onsite with four different taco options: roasted corn & black bean, char shu pork, Korean beef & the ancho chicken taco with peanut sesame sauce that was one of our favorites. Our final favorite was not a taco at all, but a shrimp ceviche from Suerte. Simple, fresh, and traditional.  Overall, there were only a couple veggie tacos, a couple seafood items, we found a lamb taco, but mostly it was beef and pork varieties with onions and cilantro as the popular topping.

Overall the event was a success, as we heard from random attendees that it was an easy decision to purchase GA tickets to the event and that they had in fact eaten enough tacos to make the price a bargain. Despite most lines becoming enormous once general admission was let in and vendors running out before close, we still heard happy remarks for the most part.

Aside from tacos, there were vendors sampling some tasty treats. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Tacos and Classic Cars = A match made in heaven. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Plus, in addition to tasty tacos, the GA sections also offered refreshing treats and drinks from Jarritos, Neveria Jadeney, Little Man Ice Cream and Aiko Pops. There was also live music, dance performers and the Tacolandia Car Show presented by the Saints & Sinners Car Club and seating options throughout so people could relax, eat, dance, etc.

We’ll be back, and we suggest you come VIP with us!

https://www.westwordtacolandia.com/

New PALEO Cafe Will Please the Whole Family

Its no surprise the Denver food scene is becoming more and more health conscious as we are such a fit, foodie, on-trend city. As Denver expands so too do the amazing variety of dining options and new to the scene is Just BE Kitchen in the Confluence Park/LoHi neighborhood. Just BE Kitchen is pretty unique however for a few reasons.

The main standout is that everything on the menu is PALEO, which means no gluten, grains of any kind, or refined sugars! They’ve also designed the place to inspire presence and mindful eating with calm colors and quotes hung on the walls. Everything on the menu is healthy and delicious, offering salads, burgers, hashes and sweet treats like cookies, muffins and “milk” shakes! The other main difference is their hours are 7am – 3pm daily and feels more like a café with their order-up counter, coffee offerings and cozy/cute interior.

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Given those hours the menu at Just Be is a bit breakfast-centric with many egg and (coconut milk) yogurt dishes, but also offers a few salads, a cheeseburger, green chili and a … Meatzza! The Meatzza is their paleo take on a pizza with a pasture-raised, grass-fed pork sausage patty taking the place of normal dough crust. A sugar-free, house-made tomato sauce and a bacon pineapple jam are spread on the base. To top, they fry fresh kale in tallow and sprinkle nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. I hear it is every bit as indulgent as it sounds!

We went for breakfast and of course tried as much as we could. We started with the Chia coconut yogurt topped with a great grainless granola and berries that tasted light and creamy with the only sugar coming from the berries. Then we had a lovely seasonal salad called Enchanted with arugula, pickled onion, roasted beets, their granola and almond feta. This was really tasty with all the ingredients perfectly coated by the almond feta and vinaigrette.

For our main dishes we ordered their burrito and the seasonal veggie hash. Both were delightful and filling without leaving us weighed down or bloated. The burrito’s tortilla was very much like a regular flour tortilla, except better because it’s free of grains, refined sugars and dairy! It was soft and doughy but dense enough to keep the hearty fillings wrapped inside (even after a night in my fridge it stayed put together and as good as when it was served). The shredded sweet potatoes in both dishes were so flavorful and sweetened up the basic eggs in the burrito, along with the savory, juicy sausage inside. Add a side of their pork green chili and it was the tastiest healthy burrito I’ve eaten!  The veggie hash was beautiful, seemed much healthier, was full of flavorful and texture, making it an amazing meal for a vegetarian. We topped ours with a poached egg shown at top.

In addition to their menu being gluten-free, so many of their dishes are easily made vegetarian, making it a really wonderful place for friends or couples with different dietary needs to eat together. Their manager explains, “Our goal is to cater to many different food sensitivities with a very modular menu.” There’s even a yummy kids’ menu priced at only $6. For drinks you’ve got bullet coffees and lattes, espresso, fresh juice, Kombucha, and natural sodas. There’s even a “bone broth bar” with 48-hour broth that comes with a handful of toppings to choose from. This place is seriously a unique gem in the Denver dining scene and we hope you find the time to treat yourself to something satisfyingly delicious and nutritious!

Sunday Funday @ Punch Bowl Social

While Punch Bowl Social, the giant bar, game venue, diner, lounge, whatever you know it as, is nothing new, it’s food and beverage menu is always changing. If you have yet to go, you really should as it offers so much in every category: food, drinks, games, fun.  This large, two-story venue greets guests with a diner-style restaurant, then a 360 degree bar area and bowling lanes, then a back room featuring a “holiday lodge” lounge, two more bowling lanes, and a long line of bocce ball, shuffle board, foosball and corn hole. Upstairs you’ll find vintage arcade games, private karaoke rooms, pool and ping pong tables, another bar and mixed seating.  PBS is a destination where you can spend the whole day and offers food and fun for every mood.

We went for a super Sunday Funday to sample the new Brunch menu and Bloody Mary bar and play some games. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday until 3 p.m. most of the menu is made in-house, including drinks, desserts and condiments. The brunch menu offers a variety of fresh juice creations, an amazing build your own Bloody Mary bar we were blown away by, and a host of other breakfast drinks and concoctions. PBS is continually changing their menu to reflect the seasons, the trends, and the talents of their chefs. This summer brings a renewed brunch menu that launched July 15th showcasing culinary partner and celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s Southern spirit.

Hugh Acheson's fresh approach has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef, the Atlanta Journal Constitution Restaurant of the Year, a six-time James Beard nomination for Best Chef Southeast (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and the James Beard award in 2012. He has been both a contestant and a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and now he’s leading the helm of Punch Bowl Social’s culinary creations.

We ordered the Hash Brown Skillet, the Mushroom Biscuits 'N' Gravy, and asked to put their OMFG gluten free fried chicken atop their malted waffle. Our chicken & waffle mash up was delicious with strawberries, crispy basil and this thick chipotle pecan maple syrup (not pictured) that made this dish really delicious. We could eat that thick jam-like syrup on anything. The chicken was close to being as crispy as a flour-fried chicken and juicy on the inside with good flavor. The dish overall was good, but the sauce enhanced it for sure, and ordering it on the side is a smart way to get the right amount with each bite.

The Hash Brown Skillet had layers of hash browns, Tasso Ham, onions, shiitake mushrooms, cheddar cheese and eggs. It was good but didn’t pack the flavor punch we were expecting, some of their special hot sauce helped put some punch in though! The Mushroom Biscuits 'N' Gravy were the standout, looking as good as they lasted. PBS makes a good biscuit in general, and then this dish adds a great gravy, beautiful eggs, perfectly cooked potatoes and a bright side of avocado. Bang for your buck and palette right here!

PBS has locations scattered across the U.S including Portland, Austin, Cleveland and Detroit with another CO location in the works for Stapleton. “at PBS we believe in a ‘dirty modern’ mash up of chandeliers, ‘Gangster’s Paradise,’ food for foodies, PBR tallboys, and craft beverages. We believe in brunch turning into a bowling party and bowling parties turning into all-you-can-sing karaoke. We believe in exploring evenings filled with shuffleboard and made-from-scratch chicken and waffles.”

Go explore Punch Bowl Social for yourself, open everyday with daily happy hour and late night food and fun.

http://www.punchbowlsocial.com/location/denver

The Best Images From Day One Of Comic Con San Diego

Our good friend and cosplay extraordinaire photographer Jason Pendleton is coming to us live all weekend from San Diego from Comic Con. One of the most respected photographers in the game  Jason will be chiming in all weekend with the best images from each day.

Slow Food Nations Recap!

         Taste Marketplace

         Taste Marketplace

Colorado’s first ever taste of the Slow Food Nations took over Larimer Square last weekend with a plethora of events, interactive workshops, tastings, educational talks, and many exhibitors, companies, and producers of foods from around the nation and globe. The Taste Marketplace at Larimer Square was the main focal point with over 100 exhibitors of good, clean, fair food, and was free and open to the public Saturday morning through Sunday evening. Various renowned chefs, leaders in the Slow Food Movement and in sustainability, curated dinners, and hands on workshops made this event truly unique and marked Denver as increasingly relevant in terms of a foodie city that values various cultures, sustainability and accessibility.

                 Taste Marketplace

                Taste Marketplace

The event drew people from all over the state, as well as from different parts of the globe as their involvement with the Slow Food Movement encouraged their members to attend either as guests or as participants. The movement is focused on peoples’ access to grow and share good, clean and fair food throughout the world.

             CO-Made Block Party

             CO-Made Block Party

To kick off Slow Food Nations, they held an all-inclusive Colorado-Made Block Party on Larimer Square to celebrate Colorado farmers, ranchers, producers and chefs. Unfortunately, we were disappointed by their poor start to the festival as it was the low point of the weekend and hopefully didn’t discourage people from attending the other offerings or the Taste Marketplace that took place over the next two days. There was a line by 6p.m. and when you entered at 6:30 you were struck with the thought, “is this it?!” Yep, not even an entire street block was designated for the CO-Made Block Party and only about 4 tents, with two restaurants each made up the event. There was certainly no demonstrations or hardly even conversations between the chefs/restaurants and guests as the lines were so outrageous and the chefs were busy trying to keep up.

              CO-Made Block Party

              CO-Made Block Party

It was shocking almost and I heard nothing but complaints from the other guests, even the restaurants participating were upset because they were told to provide bites for 250 and ended up running out or having to serve even smaller bites in order to last the two hours. I feel bad for the 250 people squeezed in that little square who shelled out $70 to experience a “taste of Colorado” and only got about 10 bites if they showed up when it opened and waited in every line. For a two hour event on Larimer Square and touted as the kickoff party to the Slow Food Nations Festival, we all had much higher hopes, but instead were left squeezing through crowds, waiting in lines, and needing to buy dinner after.

Luckily the Big Bad Breakfast on Sunday was a much better experience. It featured Southern dishes from John Currence, a James Beard Award winner and Top Chef Masters contestant, along with notable chefs from select Southern cities. The ten or so booths served up a wide variety of tasty, hearty Southern cuisine.

                   Big Bad Breakfast

                   Big Bad Breakfast

             CO-Made Block Party

             CO-Made Block Party

This event was also held in the same small square as Friday’s Party, and cost $70, yet there were far fewer lines and seemly less people. One big factor I can attribute to this was every place served a full size portion, not just a few bites, and the dishes themselves were hearty and took time to eat. This meant people would get a dish or two and then sit down to eat and socialize for a while. It also helped that there were plenty of Bloody Mary’s ready to take from the team at Snooze & The Real Dill, they even had servers walking around with trays-full! The event finally provided cups next to the water jugs today and had jugs of tea too, which was a life saver as it was a hot morning full of spicy food and Tabasco products!

The free Taste Marketplace at Larimer Square was also really enjoyable and offered a really great selection of booths with products from around the US. It was designed much like a farmers market, where you have all your great food and health products with the growers/makers right there to talk with you about their items. However, unlike the local farmers markets we regularly frequent, every vendor was new! There were about 20 different cheese makers from around the US, various honey and chocolate booths from around the world, healthy snack companies, lots of charcuterie, coffee, lotions, and even crickets! Turns out kids are much more willing to try a cricket than the adults.

Everything in the marketplace was available to sample and to purchase and there were lots of great eats. Slow Food Italy, Mexico, and Turtle Island were featured in international pavilions on Larimer Square itself and offered full meals to purchase and information. We were surprised how easily two and a half hours passed in the Taste Marketplace and were happy the main event was a success for Slow Food Nations Fest! I heard rumors it will be back again if you missed it!

https://slowfoodnations.org/

Review & Photos by Tiffany Candelaria

                 Big Bad Breakfast

                 Big Bad Breakfast

                   Big Bad Breakfast

                   Big Bad Breakfast