Posts tagged " Foodies "

Troy Guard & Tyler Lewis

April 9th, 2013 Posted by Chefs, Denver, Radio Show, restaurants No Comment yet
Troy Guard

Troy Guard

Troy Guard of  TAG, TAG Raw and TAG Burger Bar and lead bartender Tyler Lewis join host Becky Creighton.  Listen in as they talk about food and cocktail flavors, and how they continue to innovate to keep the culinary experience creative and fun for their guests.  Troy talks about his background, his mentors and how he wound up here from Singapore.

520 Grill Brings Aspen Tasty Affordability

September 7th, 2011 Posted by Aspen, Chefs, restaurants No Comment yet

520 Grill Brings Aspen Tasty Affordability

By Becky Creighton

Walking in to 520 Grill (named after their opening date and their address) isn’t like walking into most restaurants in Aspen.  The concrete floors and metal tables lend an everyday feel to this fast casual restaurant.  Walk up to the counter and co-owner Wheaton Augur will be happy to take your order. Looking at the large sandwich board on the wall quickly tells you their food is simple and focuses on local ingredients.  I would say healthy, but, the sweet potato fries dominate their side dish menu with other indulgent favorites like bacon – that’s right, you can get a side of bacon (why wouldn’t you get a side of bacon?).

Speaking of healthy, I should mention the amazing kale salad they serve.  The kale is expertly prepared and lightly tossed with a roasted garlic, white balsamic and cilantro dressing.  Although the dressing is packed with flavor I think it’s the sunflower seeds and roasted red peppers that make this salad a stand out.  Add grilled salmon to the it and you have a super food salad.

Chef Troy Selby, formerly of the Cantina, oversees other tasty offerings from bison to salmon burgers, house made soups and a very nice selection of grilled sandwiches and side dishes. 520 Grill isn’t fine dining and it isn’t a chain restaurant (thank goodness!).  What it is is a good restaurant that offers a creative menu that is consistently prepared well and best of all, it’s affordable.

520 Grill is located at 520 E. Cooper St. Aspen, CO 81611 phone: 970.925.9788

A Culinary Recap of 2010

December 8th, 2010 Posted by Chefs, Culinary Connectors, restaurants No Comment yet

The end of a year is a good time to reflect on our happiest “foodie” memories. 2010 was full of great experiences. We would like to thank all of our Culinary Connectors fans. Your love and passion for food inspires us every day. Here are some of our favorites….

One of the year’s top highlights was celebrating Chef Alex Seidel’s Best New Chef award from Food & Wine magazine. His dish at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic (baby lamb ribeye, english pea and potato risotto, lamb sweetbread confit and a wilted pea tendril) was beautifully composed and executed. Pictured below: Alex Seidel at the Food & Wine party.

Jeff Osaka at Twelve restaurant is continuing his vision of changing his menu each month. Especially good was his pork loin with bacon, his seared scallops and his velvet smooth carrot soup. Pictured below: Jeff’s scallop pho.

The opening of ChoLon Bistro, by Chef Lon Symensma who hails from Buddakan in New York has been a great addition to the dining scene in Denver. Lon, along with this sous chef, Ryan Gorby brought us French onion soup dumplings that are simply delicious. Pictured below: Becky Creighton, Lon Symensma and Christine Lucas.

Matt Selby continues to impress all of us not only as a chef and a restaurateur, but also by his generosity. From his dedication to ending childhood hunger at Taste of the Nation and his support of Urban Peak and The Spot, Matty teaches all of us that it pays to give back. Pictured below: Becky Creighton, Matt and Gina Selby.

What else was interesting in 2010? Denver followed trends in New York and Los Angeles as many food trucks popped up. Steubens, Porker Cart, Biker Jim’s, Gastro Cart and Brava Pizza taught us that street food is fun, affordable and delicious. Pictured below: Jim Pittenger from Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs

We welcomed new restaurants like Café Aion, Pizzeria Basta and ChoLon Bistro. Cafe Aion was listed as a spot to visit when Bon Appetit named Boulder the Nation’s foodiest town. Also named was The Kitchen, another one of our favorite spots in Boulder.

We enjoyed seeing and eating what our “Denver 5” cooked at the James Beard House in New York City. Troy Guard from TAG, Matt Selby from Vesta Dipping Grill and Steubens, Brian Laird from Barolo Grill, Jamey Fader from Lola and Tyler Wiard from Elways did a fabulous job of representing the Denver dining scene in the big apple. Pictured below: Tyler Wiard’s lamb dish.

We saw the following trends in Colorado – supper clubs, artisanal cocktails, cupcakes, pie shops, less emphasis on fine dining, head to tail eating, PORK and foodies who use social media like Yelp to review restaurants. Pictured below: Jorge de la Torre, dean of Johnson & Wales,  enjoying a drink.

We shopped at Tony’s Market, the Truffle, In Season, Mondo Vino, Little Raven, EVOO, Savory Spice and Marczyks. It brings us great pleasure to support our local shops who are as passionate about bringing quality, local and seasonal items to us as we are to supporting that trend.

In closing it was a fabulous year. Now, a few thousand dollars poorer and few pounds heavier, we say farewell to 2010 and hello to 2011. May it be filled with as many amazing dishes, chefs, restaurants, wine and friends. Cheers!


August 23rd, 2010 Posted by Chefs, Culinary Connectors, Food Cart, restaurants No Comment yet

I didn’t realize that August was going to be so hard on my waistline. This month has been full of foodie events and I have no will power to resist them. This weekend I attended four!  Friday afternoon I kicked off the weekend by doing a Culinary Connectors Highlands walking tour. We started at Happy Cakes, gorging ourselves on red velvet cupcakes. We made our way down the block with stops at Stella for housemade pasta, Bang! for grilled pork tenderloin with sweet corn and ended with paninis and sangria at Highland Cork and Coffee.

Saturday evening I braved the hot sun and walked in heels (wedges) in an unpaved parking lot to experience the Justice League of Steetfood. Over 2,000 people joined me to feast on Pinche Tacos, dogs from Biker Jim, biscuits from the Biscuit bus, the most amazing pork and pancake dish from Gastro Cart and Steubie Snacks from Pearl, the Steubens truck. Infinite Monkey Theorem and Great Divide provided beer and wine for the parched crowd.

Later, on the patio at Jonesy’s Eat Bar, I attended the Two Rivers Winery dinner in celebration of Harvest Week. Chef Brendon Doyle grilled melons, roasted lamb, fed us cherries from his father’s back yard and dished up bread pudding as we watched the sunset and delighted in the cool summer breeze.

I ended the weekend at the Summer Seafood Dinner at Infinite Monkey Theorem. This sold out event was put together by Alex Seidel of Fruition, Scott and Deanna Parker from Table 6, Justin Brunson from Masterpiece Deli and Jeff Osaka from Twelve. I mingled with fellow foodies and feasted on smoked sturgeon, oysters, shrimp, heirloom tomato salad, clams, housemade andouille sausage and seared scallop and pork belly skewers. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better Deanna Parker served her shortbread with peaches and whipped cream fraiche. Oh my!

I woke up this morning feeling slightly guilty…I had indulged all weekend long. I told myself it was time for a long run to make up for eating all week. I vowed to eat nothing but chicken and broccoli, do double cardio workouts and abstain from wine – but then I realized it’s Harvest Week and wouldn’t it be nice to have dinner somewhere tonight like Venue or Encore or Duo? So much for my waistline and my budget (but that is a subject for another day).

Just in case anyone wants to keep indulging with me click here for a list of the restaurants that are participating in Harvest Week. This is the third annual Harvest Week, a celebration of Colorado’s exceptional produce. Each participating restaurant creates a menu that features food grown in Colorado so get out there and savor it.

Chef Jeff Osaka from Twelve Restaurant

June 9th, 2010 Posted by Boulder, Chefs, Culinary Connectors, Denver, restaurants 1 comment

As I walked into Twelve Restaurant for my interview with Jeff Osaka the dining room was dark and quiet. He poured me a cup of french press coffee as we sat at the bar talking. This was one of those interviews that could have lasted all day as Jeff is an accomplished chef and eater. I was enraptured listening to him speak about why he became a chef.

Jeff began his career in Los Angeles, before moving to Denver. “I was a foodie for so long. When I was younger I used to work at Vons grocery store. I actually made money and I liked to spend it dining out. I loved trying the newest and trendiest restaurants in LA. One day during a meal I walked by the kitchen and saw a whole brigade of chefs working. It piqued my interest and I asked the hostess for a job application. I don’t know what came over me. Later, the Chef sat down with me for two hours. He hired me right on the spot. I thought that I would just do prep but I ended up working with a Sous chef for private dining. I did this part time while I still worked at Vons. Finally I decided to go to culinary school. It came easy to me. I had a passion for it. I never took notes in class and I passed with a 4.0.”

From there Jeff worked with the greats in L.A. including Wolfgang Puck, Joaquim Splichal and Bradley Ogden. While Jeff was working with Bradley Ogden he was introduced to the Farm to Table concept. This was back in the 90’s. Even though One Market, Chef Ogden’s restaurant, was huge he would close for lunch on Saturdays and visit the farmers markets. He also worked a coop deal with farmers in the Napa Valley so that he could bring in the freshest produce.
Twelve Restaurant gets its name and its concept because the menu is entirely different each month. For those of us without kitchen experience this may not seem like a big deal, but it is. No dish is repeated even from year to year. It takes creativity and foresight to be able to change a menu so frequently let alone do it flawlessly and make it delicious. “It’s challenging,” Jeff says, “but it keeps my staff excited. My Sous chefs have input now into changing the menu and they like that. ”
Chef Osaka prefers to have a small restaurant although that can be challenging as well. “Business has been good and steady, “ he says “but I would like to see my dining room full each night. I think Denver thinks that Twelve is a high-end restaurant, expensive and with small portions. But that’s not true.”

Having eaten at Twelve a few times now I also don’t understand why it’s not cranking every night. It’s in a super location – right by Coors Field and the Ballpark Lofts and with his $35 three-course prix fixe menu on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Twelve, in my opinion is primed to become the best restaurant in Denver. (more…)