Monthly Archives: April 2014

Kim & Jake’s Cakes: Bringing Gluten-Free Baked Goods Love to Boulder and Beyond.

What makes a city or town great, is the independents.
It’s always been this way, because we want to feel some heart and soul in the places we do business with.
We may choose to get our bulk toilet paper and toothpaste at a big box store, but when it comes to things like fresh baked bread, artisan cheese and beautifully composed meals, we – especially in Colorado – seek out the independents.
This is why so many of us are enamored with the European lifestyle.
There’s something magical, while practical, about picking up daily supplies from the butcher, baker and candlestick maker.
It’s charming in a way you just can’t experience from a corporate-run entity.
Kim & Jake’s Cakes is a four year old beloved bakery in Boulder [say that 3 times fast!].
A fully gluten-free bakery, they’re known for their cakes, of course, but what they produce – which has had customers in literal tears of joy – is their gluten-free, non GMO bread.
They also produce a gluten-free pizza crust, much to the delight of the gluten-intolerant in Boulder and beyond.
I had the privilege of spending the morning with them at home recently, for a piece I’m writing for FELLOW Magazine [], and I’ll save all the good stuff for that, but be sure to grab a copy in June, and learn more about them and what they do.
In the meantime, visit

James Beard Award-Winning Chef Dinner at DU To Benefit African Community Center

A friend of mine is the Resettlement Director for the African Community Center in Denver.
In her role, she helps the refugees having come to Denver to seek refuge, find employment, secure housing, and more.
This event helps support ACC’s specific program of Commercial Food Safety and Service Training, in conjunction with the University of Denver’s Fritz Koebel School of Hospitality Management.
This special partnership recently won the Best Educational Innovation Award from Worldwide Hospitality.
It’s also shown an impressive 82% job placement rate for refugees being trained for work in the hospitality industry.
And really, how often do you get the chance to eat the food of a James Beard Award winner while supporting such a worthy cause?

T h e P u b l i c G o o d G a l a
Celebrating Hope, Humanity and Hospitality

Support refugee resettlement in Denver with
• Five-Course, Wine-Paired Dinner
• James Beard-Award-Winning Chef Craig Stoll of Delfina, San Francisco
• Wine by Banfi Vintners
• Cocktails and Silent Auction featuring African Art

A taste of the menu:
Chilled Delta Asparagus | Pecorino-Black Pepper Zabaglione
Rustichella Garganelle (or mezza-rigatone) | Guinea Hen | Vin Santo Ragu
Colorado Lamb and California Spring Vegetable Vignarola
Delfina’s Buttermilk Panna Cotta | Seasonal Garnish

Tuesday / May 6th, 2014 / 6p Cocktails / 7p Dinner

$85 – Single
$650 – Table of 8


University of Denver / Joy Burns Center Tuscan Ballroom / 2044 E. Evans Ave. Denver, CO 80208

Rearrange Your Schedule and Make This Tres Leches Cake Immediately. Or at Least this Weekend.

I made this cake for an Easter brunch at the home of friends.
Other party guests actually sought me out – having heard from the hosts I’d made it – to say thank you.
That’s how big of a hit it was.
That’s part of the fun of potlucks – everyone gets to contribute – and far be it from me to keep people from the Easter, or everyday, joy that is the Tres Leches Cake.

Tres Leches Cake
3/4 c unbleached white flour
3/4 c wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 c butter, melted
1 c sugar
5 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

1 can sweetened, condensed milk
1 c almond milk
1 c 2% milk

350* / 30m

Bake the cake.
Mix together the leches.
Using the rounded handle of a kitchen utensil, poke holes in the cooled cake.
Mine were about 1/4″ round, and made it look interesting, like polka dots [something thin like a skewer won’t make holes big enough for the milk mixture to absorb into; remember the consistency of condensed milk].
Pour mixture over cake.
Refrigerate for 48 hours [can refrigerate for 24 hours, but 48 is best].
Take out and keep at room temp for 1/2 hr – 1 hour before serving.
Prepare for reverie.
Experience reverie.

Thanks to Seattle Fish Company, Our Fish Supply in Denver Rivals That of Both Coasts

Though Seattle Fish Company has a 30,000 sf freezer in their current location, which they moved to in 1985, to be closer to then airport Stapleton, now 85% of their fish is fresh.
That 85% arrives in boxes, on ice, and only 15% arrives and is kept frozen.
On Thursdays and Sundays, they have trucks coming in from 4 cities – Miami [biggest], Seattle, L.A. and Boston [smallest].
The trucks only take a day and a half to arrive, which ensures freshness.
Once arrived, at receiving, the gills are checked, and the temperature is taken, to assure optimum condition.
A 96-year old company, this 3rd generation family business was started in 1918, when 16-year old Mose Iacino had the vision to bring fresh seafood from Seattle to Denver and surrounding areas.
Mose’s son Ed, and grandchildren James and Cheslea, now run Seattle Fish as a leader in the Western U.S., and work hard daily to assure high standards and sustainable practices.
On this day, we followed two kinds of fish from receiving to the plate.
This is their Fishmonger for a Day program, in which media can come experience the process firsthand, and then enjoy a meal together afterwards.
The first – Gulf wild, long line caught Grouper – from the Gulf of Mexico.
The second – New Zealand Golden Snapper – considered the Crown Jewel of snappers, which James kindly had brought in especially for our group.
Much of the fish that Seattle Fish processes is on a tagging system.
A chef can log in to the tagging/tracking system and see within 10 miles of where it was caught.
This is a 24/7 operation, and when we’re there, the day shift of cutters are on duty.
Each is set up at their own station, expertly cutting fish of all varieties and sizes.
James himself, held this job as he was learning the business.
It requires incredible skill to minimize waste, and I was happy to learn they have a partnership where they provide the scraps to a local pet food company, so there is actually virtually no waste.
Some of those pets are eating better than we are!
You should also know they have a Lobster Room.
I would now like one of these in my own home.
In this room, live lobsters are kept in tanks of water mimicking sea water, so they’re at their absolute freshest.
In the shipping area, boxes marked with the names of some of Denver’s best restaurants – Il Posto, Elway’s, Oceanaire – await delivery.
Our fish was boxed and packed to head to Il Posto, where Chef/Owner Andrea Frizzi made us a multi-course meal on the fly.
A day doesn’t get much better than that.
We enjoyed:
Grouper Crudo with grilled mushroom and fava bean puree
Tagliatelle with ramp pesto, grouper, garbanzo and a grilled ramp to garnish
Pea Risotto with Golden Snapper
Salted Caramel Budino [this had no fish in it; this wasn’t Iron Chef!]
It was an educational and delicious day, and it made me proud to know a company of this caliber operates in Denver.

Emilie Rusch from the Denver Post was part of our media group on this visit, and wrote this wonderful, comprehensive piece [including recipes!]. Note: Those two fish you see in the main picture, she and I helped scale!

Lou’s + Peas = Happy Spring, Everyone!

It’s rare I write about just one dish at a restaurant.
Yes, we have our Things That Will Change Your Life for the Better list, but to devote an entire post to one dish – and even more interestingly, a salad! – is almost unheard of.
But, I had the Pea Salad at Lou’s Food Bar the other night, and it brought me so much joy, I want you too to experience that joy.
On paper, a pea salad may not sound all that compelling to you.
But, just trust me.
First, we need to talk about pea pods.
I love pea pods.
At this time of year – the beginnings of Spring – there’s really nothing like them.
They’re just so refreshing, and a happy reminder that farmers markets are soon to open again for the season.
That a restaurant would build an entire dish around peas, just delights me.
There aren’t just pea pods – there’s also loose peas, and pea shoots.
All the peas are on a bed of arugula, which gives a nice peppery bite.
There’s mint too, but they’re not heavy-handed about it, which I really appreciated as it could have easily overwhelmed things.
And if the pea festival and arugula aren’t enough to make you completely happy, they top it with a generous spoonful of their housemade ricotta.
The ricotta is sprinkled with a touch of beautiful burgundy-colored sea salt, which makes such a lovely contrast against the white, that sits on the tumble of green.
A light dressing of white wine vinaigrette, and you’re set.
I love everything about this salad, and it’s something I will crave.
As their website says, Lou’s is “part of Chef Frank Bonanno’s conspiracy to shower Denver with great food and fabulous service”.
Thanks Lou’s.

More on Lou’s here in a post I wrote last year:

Lou’s Food Bar
1851 W. 38th Avenue

Series on Creativity : Jake Sutton of Stay At Home Bartenders Union [SAHBU]

Jake Sutton is a web developer at Foraker Labs in Boulder.
And Jake Sutton is a cocktail developer at His Home in Westminster.
He runs the highly official [read: nothing even remotely official about it] Stay At Home Bartenders Union.
SAHBU for short.
He also writes a clever, informative, digital newsletter called Tonight’s Negroni.
I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about the world of cocktails, until I began reading this excellent virtual publication.
He explains it as being on both sides of the bar at once.
I love that.
Jake grew up in Florida and Tennessee with a single mom, and at an early age began helping with dinner prep.
Back then, just as Food Network was getting off the ground, he’d watch shows, get inspired and get into the kitchen.
It was a natural interest, which later, as an adult, translated to cocktail ingredients and recipes.
Jake also makes his own kegged cocktails and bitters.
You can only imagine how quickly he’s taken up on offers to come over and share a drink with him and his wife, Hezzy [also known as Heather; or is it the other way around?].
I live a deeply creative life, and that is such a huge part of my work, and my personal life.
But knowing Jake, I’m reminded how important it is – if you work a 9-5 in whatever industry – to have creative side projects too, that infuse life with joy and exploration and possibility, and help you express yourself in a way that makes you and others happy.
You can subscribe to Tonight’s Negroni here:

You can subscribe to Jake’s philosophies here:

Kale Falafel = Delicious Virtuousness.

Beans are nutritional powerhouses.
They’re also filling, and a great way to substitute for meat as a main, especially in this iteration of falafel.
Adzuki beans are some of the most nutritious – rich in fiber, folic acid, potassium, protein and vitamin A.
Low in cholesterol and sodium.
So, I decided to mix it up and replace the standard chickpea for a combination of adzuki and pinto in this Kale Falafel recipe.

1 can adzuki beans
1 can pinto beans
2 T ground cumin
2 T paprika
2 T micro-diced preserved lemon
3/4 c flour
2 c chopped kale
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together in food processor, then form into 12 patties.
Place on sprayed baking sheet.
You can also spray the tops with olive oil, to give them a shiny, crispiness – the power of which is hard to deny.


Feel virtuous.

Many falafel recipes call for lemon juice, and it’s a natural marriage of flavors.
I feel like preserved lemon, micro diced, is such an incredible addition here, and gives a richness to the flavor you can’t get from lemon juice alone.

Friend and blogger Emily Grossman – of the wonderful blog Goutaste / – suggested these would be great as sliders, and the girl knows of what she speaks. Try that if you just need to have bread [which happens to me a lot, because bread equals happy].

DuVin Festival at University of Denver Celebrates Wine + Food May 15-17

Each year, for the past 5, the University of Denver has hosted the DuVin Festival, as both a celebration of wine and food, as well as a scholarship fundraiser for the hospitality program within the The Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality in the Daniels College of Business.
This year is the first in which they’ve added seminars so attendees can take a break from all that wine wandering [the exhaustion!], and learn from industry experts about interesting topics.
I’ll be leading the panel – Dishing on the Restaurant Scene – from 3:15p – 4p on Saturday, during the Grand Tasting.
Joining me are Ruth Tobias of Zagat Denver, and Andra Zeppelin, Denver Editor of Eater.
The other session is on champagne – something we all can use more knowledge of, right?
And there’s also a cooking demo with chef Tal Ronnen in the mix.
You get to bring your wine with you into the sessions, and from what I’ve heard, they’ll also be coming around with refills, so you actually won’t be missing any of the wine action.
This may be the very definition of win-win.
Your ticket of $52.80 – every penny of which benefits the hospitality scholarship fund – gets you food pairings from some great Denver restaurants, including Atticus, Bones and 1515 Restaurant, all the wine you can drink [you may want to call Uber for a ride home!], plus access to both sessions.
There’s also a multi-course dinner, prepared by DU alum Frank Bonanno, happening on Thursday, the 15th.

See the schedule for the day, and get tickets here:

You can learn more about both sessions and each of the panelists here:

brownwater Coffee Proudly Produced Here in Denver, Benefits the World

brownwater Coffee is a genius name.
Coffee = brown water.
And their tagline is: Drink brownwater so others don’t have to.
This is a business built on a strong social mission of bringing clean water to one person for every bag sold.
As consumers, we shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to support social missions, and thankfully with brownwater we don’t have to.
I tried the Nicaragua Finca Las Praderas – a medium/dark roast they describe as a sommelier would a wine – flavors of sweet maple, cinnamon, dark brown sugar finish.
They offer 4 flavors – one from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Rwanda, plus a classic espresso and a decaf.
Either whole bean or ground coffee, is a staple in most households.
If we replace even just one bag a month with brownwater, we help 12 people in the world get access to clean water.
That’s no small thing.

A word from Ricky Padilla, the founder of brownwater:
I LOVE good coffee, and clean water was the cause that appeared to be the most fundamental for economic development in many developing countries. Lacking money and experience, I partnered with a seasoned coffee roasting master who housed my tiny operation and roasted coffee that I sold online and delivered in my home-designed bags. I decided to call the company Brown Water Coffee because I wanted to inspire people to drink “brown water” so others don’t have to. In May of 2013 (after a LOT of blood, sweat, tears, awful part time jobs, vehicle repairs, sleepless nights, and begging for start-up capital) we opened the Brown Water Coffee Roastery in the great city of Denver, Colorado. Please join our story. Tell your friends about us. Try our coffee. And drink Brown Water so others don’t have to.

Also, this is an exciting time in the company’s growth, and they’re bringing in 3 unpaid summer interns in the areas of Marketing/Events, PR and Social Media & Content.
If interested, resumes need to be in by 4/18 and the internships run from 5/19 – 8/19.