Aaron Woo featured Chef at Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management

It is spring!  That means there are new cuisines to enjoy at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  In previous posts I have raved about the School of Hospitality Management. Before I begin this post, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management…it is a Denver must!!!!!    On Wednesday, May 15, 2013 the school will be welcoming chef Aaron Woo, Sunset Magazine’s Best Chef of the West, and Chef and Owner of Natural Selection in Portland, Oregon.  This dinner appeals to me in many ways.  First, we lived in Portland, Oregon (http://ouryearinportland.wordpress.com/)for a year and I loved it.  Next, the cuisine will be vegetarian.  If I have a choice, I prefer not to eat meat.  So I am very excited about this vegetarian cuisine.  Last, the School of Hospitality Management is phenomenal.  I sing their praises as often and as much as I can.  If I could dine at the School nightly, I would.

Aaron Woo is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy who has worked in such notable San Francisco kitchens as Absinthe Brasserie, La Folie, Stars, and as sous chef of PlumpJack Cafe under Chef Keith Luce. In Telluride, Colorado Aaron worked as Executive Chef at 9545 and Chef de Cuisine at The CosmopolitanRestaurant. Upon moving to Portland he worked with Morgan Brownlow and Jason French at ClarkLewis.

The dinner will include a wine pairing and is $70.00 per person.  Cocktails start at 6:00 pm and dinner is at 7:00 pm.  The dinner will be held at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management Joy Burns Center, 2044 East Evans Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80210.  To RSVP for this amazing night please check out the website:  http://knoebelschool.ticketleap.com/aaron-woo-guest-chef-dinner/

Please check out my other posts about University of Denver’s School of Hospitality Management: 

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/tour-ditalia-dinner-at-du-with-gina-stipo/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/fritz-knoebel-school-of-hospitality-management-and-gina-stipo/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/university-of-denver/

We have been very honored to attend these FANTASTIC events at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management:  Beer Pairing Dinner, the Guest Chef Dinner with Gina Stipo, and the Spring Showcase (picture featured below is from the Spring Showcase).IMG_20130326_221214Of course, I can’t close this post without giving my favorite peeps at the School a shout out!!!  Chef Raymond and all of the exquisite students you are the best….talented, professional, and extraordinary!!!!  ????????????????????????????????????

Tour d’Italia Dinner at DU with Gina Stipo

The Tour d’Italia dinner at DU was fantastic.  Gina Stipo was very nice.  The setting was intimate so we got to talk with Gina as well as take pictures and discuss the menu.  DSC_0042We absolutely love dining at Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in Daniels College.  We feel like part of the family and we ALWAYS are the last to leave.  The room was beautifully decorated as usual and the food presentation was delightful.  The students in this program are out of this world.  We absolutely love the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  It truly is a hidden gem tucked away in Denver.  Now onto the food!  If these pictures please your palette please check out the Daniels College website–http://daniels.du.edu/ and click on the “view calendar” icon under Daniels Events to make reservations for upcoming events.

DSC_0023This is the menu.  Beautiful and elegant.  I just love the presentation at the Fritz Knoebel School. 

Our first course was Baccala with crostino, celery, and pickled onion, paired with Le Rime.DSC_0024The next course was Roasted cauliflower soup with Rosemary, paired with Centine Rose.????????????????????????????????????Oh my favorite–Mushroom and three cheese ravioli with Sage butter, paired with Centine Rosso.  These were so good that three just simply were not enough.  They were delectable!  I could have eaten a whole bowl full of these raviolis.  Truth be told, I probably should have with all of the wonderful wine I sampled :).DSC_0033The main course was Pan fried loin of veal with black cabbage, kale, and cannellini, paired with Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino.  Believe it or not this was the first time I have ever eaten veal.  It was very tasty and very tender.DSC_0035Dessert–Pear poached in spiced Chianti with cinnamon Mascarpone and granola brittle, paired with Rosa Regale (the best dessert type wine I have ever tasted).  This was a very light and whimsical dessert.  DSC_0037An absolutely wonderful evening.  A picture of our favorite people at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality.  Thank you!!  We adore you!????????????????????????????????????

Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management and Gina Stipo

Restaurant Week in Denver starts today.  The exact dates this year for Restaurant Week are February 23rd-March 8th.  I have blogged about Restaurant Weekhttps://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/denver-restaurant-week/

This year we will be enjoying two restaurants during Restaurant Week.  We will try NoRTH and Vesta Dipping Grill.  A helpful Restaurant Week tip:  make your reservations ASAP!  This year I was guilty of dragging my feet.  I am usually on the website as soon as Restaurant Week reservations are open.  This year I was not so quick.  However, don’t let this discourage you.  If you call the restaurants directly a lot of times they can squeeze you in.

I have big news in reference to Restaurant Week.  This year we are trying something new at our favorite place to dine.  We are heading over to the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver.  Why?  Gina Stipo (Italian-American chef) from Ecco La Cucina in Tuscany, Italy will be at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  The event is called the Tour D’Italia DinnerThe dinner will be a five course meal inspired by the diverse cuisines across Italy and will be individually paired with award winning Italian wine from Banfi Vintners.  The dinner is open to the public and all of the proceeds from this event will be invested directly back into the program and students so the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management can continue to provide a “learn by doing” education.

This delectable dinner is being held on February 28, 2013 in the Tuscan Wine Cellar at the University of Denver in the Daniels College of BusinessWe literally are counting down the days for this dinner.  We can’t wait!! ????????????????????????????????????The entire evening is organized and executed by the industry’s best up and coming professionals in the hospitality industry.  We recently had the honor of attending an out of this world exquisite dinner held in the Tuscan Wine Cellar at the University of Denver in the Daniels College of Business.  The following pictures are from that wonderful experience–the Beer Pairing Dinner????????????????????????????????????Hopefully these mouth-watering pictures will tempt you to attend the Tour D’Italia Dinner.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Shall I save you a seat?  Do you have plans on February 28th?  Sometimes words can’t describe pure joy.  Take it from me, the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management is the place to be!  For information on the Tour D’Italia Dinner please refer to the following links:

http://daniels.du.edu/ai1ec_event/tour-ditalia-dinner-guest-chef-gina-stipo-from-ecco-la-cucina-in-tuscany-italy/?instance_id=

http://www.denver.org/eventS/detail?e=12390&t=%27festivals%27,%27special_events%27

Join Us!

University of Denver

On January 31, 2013 we were lucky enough to attend a superb Beer Pairing Dinner at the University of Denver.  The dinner was held in the Joy Burns Center, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, Tuscan Wine Cellar!  Literally the best kept secret in Denver.  We were invited to this wonderful dinner by our dear friend and it was an absolutely wonderful night!  Before I show pictures of the wonderful food I feel like I should brag on the awesome students that orchestrated this wonderful evening.  The students were the master minds behind the Beer Pairing Dinner.  The evening was gorgeous.  Everything from the table decor to the ice sculpture to the signature cocktail.  Fabulous!  It was so wonderful that we felt like we were dining at a 5 star restaurant.  I will fully admit that I completely overindulged and I absolutely loved every minute of it!!  Bravo Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management I definitely see bright and successful futures for you all!

Now on to the 5 course dinner.  Each course had a beer pairing. The Chef would explain each course before we indulged and the Beer Aficionato would explain the beer accompaniment.  We started off with Cold Smoked Trout accompanied by greens, olive oil, toasted sesame and poppy seeds.  The beer pairing was New Belgium Trippel Belgium Syle Ale.IMG_20130201_122933The next course was Winter Squash Soup with roasted butternut squash, curried papitas, and a ciabatta crostini.  The beer pairing was Coors Blue Moon Belgian White.IMG_20130201_123003The third course was a Beet and Goat Cheese Salad topped with pine nuts and citrus basil dressing.  The beer pairing was Dry Dock Hefeweizen.IMG_20130201_123035The main course was Leek Ash Rubbed Venison with pureed leeks and matake mushrooms dressed with a red wine demi-glaze.  The beer pairing was Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock.IMG_20130201_123110Our palate cleanser was Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils (by far the best canned beer I have ever tasted).IMG_20130201_123148The final course was a Chocolate Martini layered with bittersweet chocolate sauce, white chocolate mousse, and raspberry preserves.  The beer pairing was Dry Dock Vanilla Porter.IMG_20130201_181442Everything was divine.  My husband was in Heaven!  We literally wiped our plates clean.  What a spectacular display of talent at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  By the way, the public is welcome to book events at this wonderful establishment–http://daniels.du.edu/academic-programs/hospitality-management/events-weddings/

The Signature Cocktail (served before the dinner) that I mentioned earlier was a mixture of Dry Dock Hefeweizen, St. Germain, Grand Marnier, and an orange slice.  It was so good…I drank 3 (I think).IMG_20130201_122516The next few pictures of are of the beautiful table settings and the menus.  The design of the Tuscan Wine Cellar is brilliant.  You can enter the room from up above and walk down a grand staircase.  As you walk down the stairs you have a birdseye view of the dining room and all its glory.  Perfect for parties and weddings!IMG_20130201_122627IMG_20130201_122710The ice sculpture of the Rocky Mountains was the Pièce de résistance!IMG_20130201_122828What a wonderful evening!  We love living in Colorado!  B thank you so much for the invite…we had the time of our lives…company, conversation, and good food!

Second Home Kitchen and Bar in Denver, Colorado

Happy New Year!  My first post for the new year is about food.  Surprise, surprise!  It seems as though most of my posts are about food.  I may need to branch out a little bit more in 2013.  🙂  We rang in the New Year at Second Home Kitchen and BarSecond Home Kitchen and Bar is located in the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek.  I have mentioned the JW Marriott in a previous post:  https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/president-obama-in-colorado/

I wanted to spend this new year around lots of people.  I didn’t want to be at home.  I wanted to be around the excitement that fills the air when ringing in the new year.  The countdown, the smiles, the anticipation of a better year filled with resolutions and changes…I wanted to raise my complimentary glass of champagne and yell “Happy New Year!”

My husband made all the arrangements for Second Home Kitchen and Bar.  He did good:)!  We started our meal with the Spicy Tuna Tartare -$14
sashimi grade tuna, bok choy, sweet pea aioli, wonton chipsIMG_20130105_101424This was absolutely delicious!  I could have eaten two!

For dinner I ordered the Seared Organic Scottish Salmon -$26
Colorado black quinoa, squash, asparagus,
lemon butter–I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful this entree tasted.  The portions are really generous and the seasoning on all the dishes was perfect.IMG_20130105_101457My husband ordered the Braised Bison Short Rib -$26
parsnip mash, garlic seared kale,
whole grain mustard demi glace.  The meat literally fell off the bone.  He was in Heaven!IMG_20130105_101600I did order a table side of Sweet Potato Fries for $6.00.  I couldn’t help it.  IMG_20130105_101531We also ordered dessert.  We really indulged on New Year’s Eve.  Before heading to dinner I think we both knew that dessert would be ordered.  We ordered two desserts.  The first dessert was  the Irish Cream Crème Brûlée -$7
sugar cookieIMG_20130105_101626Sorry about the picture quality.  I was using the camera on our phone and it looks like I picked up a shadow.  This dessert was yummy.  To be honest, any Creme Brulee is awesome!  We also ordered the Chocolate Bread Pudding -$7
chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate sauce, brownie gelatoIMG_20130105_101654I could eat those little pieces of bread pudding in the morning with coffee.  I like a little bit of chocolate with my bread pudding.  Yum!

Second Home Kitchen and Bar provided a wonderful dining experience.  We really enjoyed the restaurant ambiance.  Ringing in the new year at Second Home was a great experience.  P.S.  we want to try their Sunday Pajama Brunchhttp://secondhomedenver.com/cherry-creek-restaurant-food/brunch-menu/

Second Home Kitchen and Bar contact information:

Hours: breakfast & lunch: 7 – 2 | dinner: 5-10 (11 on Fridays and Saturdays) | Address: 150 Clayton Lane | Denver CO 80206 | T 303.253.3000 | F 303.316.4697

ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro in Denver, Colorado

 

Back in March I posted about restaurants in the Denver area that we were interested in trying–https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/eating-our-way-through-denver/  Out of the 10 restaurants I listed, we have tried 4.  We really need to get busy finishing up this list of delectable cuisines so that I can post about the next 10 that we are going to relish in.  My husband recently surprised me on my birthday with a trip to ChoLon Modern Asian BistroChoLon was first on my list of restaurants to try and it is ranked 3rd on 5280’s  25 Best Restaurants listFor this post I am going to start with dessert.  Since it was my birthday I did splurge.  I couldn’t help it.  I ordered the Coconut Chiboust Cake, Mango, Passion Fruit Sorbet.  This dessert is absolutely wonderful!  The top is caramelized similar to a Creme Brulee, the inside is light and creamy, and the bottom has a very light sprinkle of toasted coconut shavings.  The sorbet accompaniment is perfect giving it a light tropical feel.  I could have eaten 4 of these desserts no problem.The dinner menu at ChoLon is set up with small bites, salads, plates, and from the wok.  We started with a few small bites.  But my favorite mouth-watering small bite was the Soup Dumplings, Sweet Onion, Gruyere.They only serve 4.  This is just mean!  I could have easily eaten a 1/2 dozen :).  My husband and I shared these.  To be honest, I didn’t want to share after I tasted one of these scrumptious delights.  They are piping hot, so you have to let them cool a bit before plopping them in your mouth.  Once you have placed the dumpling in your mouth, you give it a gentle bite, and a lava gush of Sweet Onion and Gruyere soup pour into your mouth.  It is absolutely wonderful!  How they get soup into a dumpling I will never know!

For our main plate we ordered the Black Pepper Short Rib, House Made Chow Fun, Chinese Broccoli.  I am not a big meat eater but oh my this was delicious!  The meat was cooked so well that when I put my fork into it, it fell apart.  The seasoning was delectable and long story short I couldn’t stop eating the short rib.  If we weren’t in public I probably would have licked the plate!Of course, I am going to highly recommend ChoLon.  Not only was the food fantastic but the service was out of this world.  Our server Dave, was personable and funny.  He made the dining experience at ChoLon even more fabulous.  This is what he brought out for my birthday:Yes, I ate two desserts!  I look at it this way, the sorbet was used to cleanse my palette!

ChoLon is located in downtown Denver.

303.353.5223

1555 Blake Street, Suite 101

Denver, CO 80202

Below are the other pictures I took at ChoLon.  The pictures are of the Summer Rolls, Crab Salad, Sriracha Mayo, Chicken Wings, Blue-Cheese “Toga-Ranchie” (the blue-cheese was so good I could have eaten a gallon of it no problem), and (not pictured) Chicken Fried Rice, Poached Egg.One last thing before I end this post.  Most restaurants serve complimentary bread before a meal.  Not ChoLon!  Look at what they brought to our table.  Isn’t is gorgeous–a rice fan with a gorgeous dipping sauce.  Yum!  **Disclosure:  I am not paid for any of my restaurant reviews.  My blogging philosophy is simple:  I want to keep it positive.  I eat, I blog, and if I eat and don’t like it I just don’t blog about it!  Great service is very important too.  If the service is dumpy we will more than likely not go back to a restaurant nor will I blog about it.  If a restaurant makes it on my blog it was because we had a great culinary experience and the service was excellent.  Eating is personal, and this is my personal take on restaurants in Colorado.  I hope my opinions are helpful and enjoyable.

JJ Madwell’s Italian Food in Conifer, Colorado

JJ Madwell’s is an Italian Restaurant in the town of Confier, Colorado.  If you blink you will miss it.  This would be very sad because it is so good.  A totally random Italian establishment in little ole Conifer.  However, JJ Madwell’s is BIG on taste.  We have been quite a few times since we have lived in Colorado.  If you happen to be on 285 I highly suggest a stop at JJ Madwell’s.  I will apologize once again for the pictures.  I forget to take pictures until I take a bite or two of my food.  This is why the plates look messy.  I try to rearrange them to no avail.  This is a sure sign the food is delicious.  We have never ordered anything that we didn’t like at JJ Madwell’s.

This is where the problems start.  They serve fresh, hot, super scrumptious bread with marinara sauce.  Then they have the nerve to offer a refill on the bread and marinara.  Each meal comes with your choice of soup or salad.  I ordered the salad with blue cheese dressing and my husband ordered the Italian wedding soup.

On to the entrees…..I ordered the Capellini Pomodoro
(a fabulous vegetarian option)
Sautéed capers, kalamata olives & marinated Tomatoes in a
spicy marinara over capellini. No anchovy paste.  $10.95
My husband ordered the Linguini and Clams
½ lb. whole cherry stone clams sautéed in a spicy red or white
wine garlic sauce over linguini.  $17.95
Finally, dessert.  Tiramisu.  This piece of Tiramisu was huge.  We took half of it home.
Please make a stop at JJ Madwell’s. 
Buccelli’s JJ Madwell’s
26412 Main Street

Conifer, CO   80433
(303) 838-1440