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Showing posts from 2013

Champagne Everyday: Champagne at Julia Child Memory Lane luncheon in D...

Champagne Everyday: Champagne at Julia Child Memory Lane luncheon in D...: Champagne at Julia Child Memory Lane luncheon in Denver, Nov. 13, 2013 Placemat with menu Sunday, a week ago today, I traveled M...

Champagne Rising At The 2013 Denver International Wine Festival

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The 9th Annual Denver International Wine Festival was our best ever! Wine loving ticket holders booked 167 rooms on Friday November 8th enthusiastically supporting the move of venue to the luxurious, Four-Diamond, award-winning Omni Interlocken in Broomfield. All ticket events were sold-out in advance.
The five day festival stepped-up the focus on wine education and culinary greatness. Three educational seminars were moderated by Brandon Tebbe, Master Sommelier. Seminars included :
Artisanal Cheese & Wine Pairing Adventure Seminar by: Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario and Mike Andrews of Coyote Canyon Winery
Champagne Stylesby Madeleine de Jean, “Madam Champagne”.
Riedel Vinum XL Glass Tasting by Price Kitchem, National Sales Manager, Riedel Crystal America
A 4th seminar was presented by The International Wine Guild
Wine and Food Pairing Seminar Instructor: Claude Robbins, GWM, MWE
The stars of this year’s festival included former White House chef John Moeller and “Madam Champagne” …

Cheers to James Gandolfini

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It’s been about almost 2 months since James passed away of a heart attack in Rome. I am still in non-belief!
I was one of his biggest fans when he played Tony Soprano, Godfather in HBO’S Soprano’s. As Tony, Gandolfino kept everyone glued to their couches on Sunday evenings.
In 2009, I had the honor of getting back stage access at “God of Carnage”. Marcia Gay Harden, my friend and past wine tasting client arranged this very special visit. The play was amazing. The set was a living room where two couples are discussing what boundaries their rambunctious children broke. In the beginning, James voice had a lisp and was speaking softer than his Tony Soprano tone. When the phone continued to ring, with his mother’s continued nags, James screamed “WTF MOM!” in his typical Tony Soprano titrate. Everyone applauded!

I had the pleasure of meeting James in person after the show. He was in front of the theater signing autographs. At first, when he saw me he was cautious until he realized that I…

Super Summer Saturday’s In Boulder, Colorado

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One of our favorite things to do in the Summer is to visit Boulder on a Saturday! We can take a stroll on the Pearl Street mall to observe a colorful selection of characters and street musicians. Browse the many shops and eat at some of the best restaurants in Colorado. 

The Boulder Farmers market is to place to go for fresh local produce, flowers and herbs, ranch-raised meats and dairy. Local grown sweet corn is now available as well as zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Top stands include Black Cat Farms (owned by the Eric and Jill Skokan, who also own Black Cat Restaurant in town) and Munson Farms (famous for their Peaches and Cream Corn)



Nearby top eats: Oak At Fourteenth, a hip restaurant that is famous for amazing cocktails, wines and new American cuisine focused in seasonal ingredients. The kitchens famous Oak Fired Oven is a focal point of the restaurant. Food (especially meats) cooked over the hot wood coals provides amazing flavors.
We love going to Oak for lunch! The menu is ever…

Just Opened! Overlook Bar & Grill, Estes Park, Colorado

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A new restaurant opening in Estes Park is a rare and welcome occasion. Up until now Foodies had slim pick ins. Since this casual vacation town lies in the shadow of Rocky Mountain National Park. A large percentage of diners are looking to treat themselves to a night of dousing their campfires and enjoying BBQ, Pizza or Rocky Mountain Oysters. Most of the local joints in town are seasonal restaurants that have not been decorated or renovated since the 1970’s. While knotty pine paneling was once popular, I prefer light earth tones to dark and dingy.
The Overlook Bar & Grill has all of the right ingredients. Friendly staff, clean & modern décor, creative bistro-esque cuisine from an award winning, master chef, combined with a breathtaking mountain view. The bar offers a massive selection of craft beers, creative cocktails and hip domestic and international wines.
To be fair, I keep a practice of not reviewing recently opened restaurants, especially a restaurant tha…

Recipe of The Month! Shafsky Benedict

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We recently visited Eldorado Wine Country in California for the purpose of creating a feature story in Wine Country International ® magazine. This region is nestled between South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento off Highway 50. The main town is Placerville, California, formerly called Hangtown during the Gold Rush years.
Placerville is a quaint and friendly town with a 10 block business district, containing a historic hotel, great restaurants, antique shops, art galleries, a cheese shop, chocolate shop, winery tasting room plus even a Mel’s Dinner.
Located just across the highway, a block from a pedestrian bridge is the Albert Shafsky House B&B. It’s a fully restored, small property that is full of charm and well-appointed decorations. The bedding is superb and sheets may be purchased.
One of my favorite aspects of staying at any Bed & Breakfast is the breakfast. And co-owner Rita Timewell proved that Momma didn’t raise any fool! She prepared an incredible breakfast of fresh fruit, h…

Aftertaste: Denver’s Urban Winery Rolls Out New Wines With Haute Cuisine

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Denver, Colorado, Thursday May 16, 2013.
It was like a set from an HBO miniseries, filmed inside a working wine cellar. There were fourteen rounds set to feed about seventy wine and food lovers, the tables displayed amongst towering racks of new and old oak wine barrels, curtains flowing from the ceiling amongst soothing light to soften and section the dining area, and vases full of freshly cut flowers decorated the cellar. Guests eagerly awaited to taste Balistreri’s newest wines from barrel, many months before they are to be bottled, offering a rare glimpse of future wines.
The talent was abundant that night. Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” Season Five Winner, Hosea Rosenberg, created a spectacular six-course pairing menu with his team at Blackbelly Catering. Chef Rosenberg has remained true to his roots after his win propelled him into culinary stardom just five years ago. There have been no automobile endorsements, just honest hard work transitioning from a chef-employee into a businessman …

Anthony Bourdain departs with fork in hand for "Parts Unknown” with CNN!

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Top chef, culinaire, bestselling author and travel host Anthony Bourdain will launch a new show "Parts Unknown" on CNN. The one hour weekend show premiers on April 14th, at 9pm ET with it's premier episode of Part's Unknown Explores Food and Culture of Myanmar. 
Bourdain is known for his New York style wit and candor, backed by extensive culinary expertise. The one-hour weekend lifestyle series follows Bourdain as he travels the across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. Known for his curiosity, candor, and acerbic wit, Bourdain takes viewers off the beaten path of tourist destinations - including some war-torn parts of the world - and meets with a variety of local citizens to offer a window into their lifestyles, and occasionally communes with an internationally lauded chef on his journeys.  CNN.COM
Link to:  http://www.cnn.com/video/shows/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown#

Foie Gras For Valentines!

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Foie Gras For Valentines!
Valentine’s is all about being decadent! Don’t skimp on great food & wine!
Foie Gras is French for "fat liver". It is is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened.I love my Foie Gras seared, but restaurants also prepare it as a mousse, parfait, or pâté (lowest quality). France is the leading producer and consumer of duck and goose foie gras. In 2005, the country produced 18,450 tons of foie gras (78.5% of the world's estimated total production of 23,500 tons) of which 96% was duck liver and the rest goose liver. Top producers supplying the US are based in Canada and Hudson Valley New York.
If you order a Foie Gras appetizer at your favorite restaurant, it is essential that you pair it with a dessert/ sweet wine that cuts through the fat.
Pairing suggestions:
Sauternes Ice Wine Late Harvest Dessert Wine Vin doux Naturel (VDN) Port Champagne or sparkling wines 

Delicious & Quick To Make Catalon Salad!

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Roussillon is an Old World region in Southern France that is guided by energetic, young and progressive winemakers who respect their vines and nature. The cuisine is logically Mediterranean, featuring ultra-fresh seafood, plump with tapas, gazpacho, organic vegetables and rustic meat dishes.
We discovered this simple but amazing dish during a visit to the region during Harvest 2012. 



"Meli-Melo of The Sun" Salad By Bruno Ribière Co-Proprietor of Domaine Ferrer Ribière, Roussillon, France
A refreshing dish that is easy to make and will make you and your guests ask for more!
TIME: 20-25 minutes YIELD: 4 appetizer portions
Ingredients
2-Zucchini raw 1-Soft Spanish Chorizo Sausage Picante (spicy) or Dulce (sweet) 1/2 lb small shrimp (20-30 count) 1/2 lb Manchego Cheese 1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette dressing 

Directions
Use a potato peeler to remove skin from the zucchini.  Slice the zucchini in a food processor using a A julienne disc. This will produce thin spaghetti-like strands of zucchini…

4th Annual Denver International Beer Competition adds Gluten Free Beers!

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The 4th Annual Denver International Beer Competition promises to be the best ever! 
This annual competition is organized by Wine Country Network, Inc. The 2013 competition promises numerous changes and improvements to the its judging system that is is sure to generate more 2013 medal winners. 
The competition is expanding it's beet categories this year with the addition of: 

•Gluten Free Beer •Black International IPA'S •American-Style-Brett Ale •Wood-and-Barrell-Aged Beer
Brewers may download entry forms at this webpage:  http://denverbeercomp.com/contforms.html
Note: A 20% Early Bird discount is offered for entries that are received and paid for before February 15, 2013. 

The 2013 Denver International Beer Competition is officially sanctioned by the BJCP. It is America's most food friendly commercial beer competition. 


Gold and Silver medal winners will be showcased at a unique food & beer pairing competition called Pairsine, Chefs Food & Beer on Thursday June 13, 2013 at Th…