Jim Burrus explores goings on in the BoCo food scene.
Flatirons Food Film Fest is a visual feast
Films about food are nothing new. But a film festival focused on food might leave fans starving for content. Not so with the Flatirons Food Film Festival, now in its third year.
The brainchild of Julia Joun has grown to fill six days with six feature length films; a collection of feature length and short documentaries on topics ranging from artisan foods, foraging, permaculture and delis to the origins of General Tso’s chicken and fermented foods.
The schedule will stoke any foodie’s appetite with its wide range of topics as well as the rich opportunity for interaction with filmmakers, directors, authors and chefs. And, of course, a heaping helping of food at every opportunity. There will be restaurant tours (this year has a sushi focus, with films like “East Side Sushi” about a Latina mother who aspires to become a sushi chef) as well as a Downtown Boulder Sushi Crawl for festival attendees.
There is a panel discussion on fermented foods (and book signing by Sandor Katz, the godfather of all things “sour” – sauerkraut, sourdough – and author of “Wild Fermentation”); a cooking demonstration and tasting with Chef Lon Symensma, owner of Denver’s ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro; and backyard tours of Boulder examples of permaculture landscaping and design.
The mouth-watering fun starts Monday evening, Oct. 19 with a 6:30 p.m. screening of SandorKraut and Symphony of the Soil at Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU-Boulder Campus followed by a book signing and Q&A with Sandor Katz after the films. General admission tickets are $12; CU students and seniors are $11. There are all manner of single film tickets, multi film and all-inclusive passes, permaculture tour tickets and more – as well as complete schedule information – available at flatironsfoodfilmfest.org.
Show me: spices’ impact on food, wine pairings
Food pairing events with beer, wine, even spirits, are all the rage. But the folks at Settembre Cellars, located in North Boulder facing 28th Street, just northwest of Lee Hill Drive (technically 1501 Lee Hill Drive, #16) are taking the unique step of showing how specific spices in a dish can be adjusted to complement and enhance how a particular wine goes with that recipe.
Savory Spice Shop owner Dan Hayward will be on hand to demonstrate in a live tasting how a dash of this or a pinch of that in a recipe can cause a given Settembre wine to fall flat or come alive, due to the reaction of your taste buds to the spice and then the wine. The event, “In Search of Synergy: Exploratory Wine and Spice Pairings” is being held from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. The cost is $8, not including the wine (offered by the glass or in flights).
For Settembre owners Blake and Tracy Eliasson – who each have advanced engineering degrees – dissecting the science behind successful food and wine pairings is a natural extension of their science backgrounds. And this is just one of several fun and educational events they will be holding this fall and winter at their winery and in conjunction with the two other wineries – Bookcliff and What We Love – located in the same complex.
And while you may dismiss other Colorado wines for lacking character, complexity and quality, winemaker Blake Eliasson brings an Old World sense of craftsmanship to his vocation. And the result is surprisingly delicious. The reds, especially, have a depth of character and nuance that becomes immediately apparent when doing vertical tastings of the various vintages. Yes, vintages; something most other Colorado wineries don’t have because their offerings are made for drinking, not laying down and maturing. So come see what can happen when a classically minded winemaker with a PhD in electrical engineering sets up shop in a Boulder commercial space and incorporates our unique terroir into his fermented passion. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
For more information about this and other events – including a wine-oriented book club – visit settembrecellars.com.
The newest herb; cooking with marijuana
For decades, the forbidden knowledge woven into Alice B. Toklas infamous cookbook was all connoisseurs of good pot had for guidance about how to incorporate cannabis into various recipes. Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is no surprise that cooking with pot is also now a thing.
Enter Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of “The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook,” that outlines various ways to infuse butter, oils, alcohol, honey, soups… you name it, with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. She, along with local chefs Scott Durrah (Jezebel’s Southern Bistro), Catherine (Catjia) Redfern (former New England Patriots cheerleader and co-founder of Medimints, a line of cannabis-infused mints with organic herbs and spices) and Donna Shields (former faculty member at Culinary Institute of America), will be on hand for her talk and book signing at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl Street. Vouchers to attend are $5 and entitle the bearer to $5 off Lawrence’s book or other purchase the day of the event.
Wonderland Brewing hosts Halloween Craft Brew Ball
For those adults and kids wanting to get an early start on the national holiday of horror, Wonderland Brewing in Broomfield is throwing a Craft Brew Ball from 1-6 p.m. on Halloween. Located at 5450 W. 120th Avenue, the family friendly event will be held in a yuuge festival tent behind the brewery, rain or shine.
Kids (under 21) are free and legal age adults pay $25 ($30 day of ball) for a commemorative tasting glass, trick or treating, face painting, temporary tattoos, games and four hours of sampling beer from 13 area breweries, including Wynkoop, Oskar Blues, Big Choice, Front Range, Kokopelli, Liquid Mechanics, The Post, Wibby and more.
There will be a selection of local food trucks serving up delicious munchies and live music from Denver’s original funk blues band, Mojomama and DJ Shack O’ Love. Limited VIP tickets are also available and include an extra hour of beer sampling, $10 food voucher, T-shirt, one free pint at Wonderland and an exclusive gourmet cheese and chocolate sampling.
And be sure to pull out all the stops for those costumes because the best costume at this, the first Craft Brew Ball, wins $250 cash! Other prizes totaling $500 will be awarded in Adult categories (Best Costume, Couple Costume, Group Costume, and Craft Beer Costume – PG-13 Please! It’s a family event!) and Kids categories (Best Under 21 Costume). Runner Up prizes will also be awarded.
This is a great way to kick your Halloween into gear and all proceeds from the event benefit the ARC of Adams County. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to HalloweenCraftBrewBall.org.
Boulder Beer abides by new Imperial Stout
In a Big Lebowski-themed party, Boulder Beer Company will be releasing its latest offering, The Dude’s D’Spare (10 percent ABV) from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Pub at Boulder Beer, 2880 Wilderness Place in Boulder.
The first 150 guests get a free 4-ounce pour of the beer, a barrel-aged imperial stout, as well as getting entered to win a VIP party at the brewery (a $500 value). This is the third release in the Dude series of barrel aged beers from Boulder Beer. ??There will also be robe give-aways, lawn bowling and a photo booth. Waxed, 22-ounce bottles of The Dude’s D’Spare – initially only available at the brewery — will be signed by Brewmaster David Zuckerman and the infamous Shipping Dude. For more information, check out boulderbeer.com.