Acorn, Oak's Steven Redzikowski nabs Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef Southwest crown

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Lori Midson
Steven Redzikowski, along with his team at Acorn, have a lot to celebrate.

Steven Redzikowski was having lunch with his parents in Boulder when his phone beeped. "My mom and dad and I were having lunch at Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder, and then I got the text," says Redzikowski, executive chef of Acorn at the Source and Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder. The text, which came from Bryan Dayton, Redzikowski's partner in both restaurants, shouted this...in all caps: "YOU WON THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE, MOTHERFUCKER!!!! CONGRATS!!!!"

See also: Cast your vote for Acorn/Oak at Fourteenth's Steve Redzikowski, a Food & Wine magazine "people's best new chef" nominee

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Cast your vote for Acorn/Oak at Fourteenth's Steve Redzikowski, a Food & Wine magazine "people's best new chef" nominee

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You'll find plenty of foodniks singing the praises of Oak at Fourteenth, the lauded restaurant that Steve Redzikowski and Bryan Dayton opened in Boulder in 2010 -- and again in 2011, following a crushing fire. And you'll find just as many ardent admirers of Acorn, the sequel to Oak that opened last year at the Source. I'm a huge fan of both restaurants and Redzikowski, with whom I chatted earlier this year for my weekly chef and tell interview, is a chef that shuns the spotlight -- and yet he keeps landing smack-dab in the middle of it, generating local and national accolades for his pure, honest cooking that's refreshingly absent of gimmicks and superfluous bullshit. And it appears that Food & Wine magazine has also taken notice of Redzikowski, because the glossy food title just named him a nominee in its annual "People's Best New Chef" competition, now in its fourth year.

See also: Steve Redzikowski, chef of Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth: "Tweezers are just so finicky"

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The Little Nell and Denver author Adrian Miller nab James Beard Foundation finalist spots

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Adrian Miller, aka the "Soul Food Scholar," was named a James Beard Foundation finalist for his book: Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time>/em>

Earlier this morning, hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and restaurant-industry groupies were eyeballing their computer screens and mobile phones, anxiously awaiting the news, which was live-streamed from the Publican in Chicago, announcing who would make it through to the James Beard Foundation's finalists round, the nominees of which included seven Colorado restaurants, bars and chefs, along with one author: Williams & Graham (Outstanding Bar Program); Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, Spuntino (Outstanding Pastry Chef); Frank Bonanno (Outstanding Restaurateur); The Little Nell (Outstanding Wine Program); Jorel Pierce, Euclid Hall (Rising Star Chef of the Year); Jeff Osaka, twelve (Best Chef, Southwest) and Alex Seidel, Fruition (Best Chef, Southwest); and Adrian Miller, executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time.

See also: Alex Seidel, Jeff Osaka and more Denver chefs among James Beard Foundation semi-finalists

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Winners of the 2014 Denver International Spirits Competition

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Picture by Christopher J. Davies

The Denver International Spirits Competition, the only international spirits competition in the Rockies, has announced the list of 2014 medal winners. During the event from March 1-2 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, fourteen spirits professionals tasted almost 200 spirits in a double-blind tasting.

See also: Highlights from last night's Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition


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Yelp names Biker Jim's and Pho 95 two of the best restaurants in the country

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Lori Midson

In 2005, a former repo man with a rather impressive rap sheet stemming from a reckless and wild youth plunked down a hot dog cart on the 16th Street Mall, in an area of downtown that already pimped plenty of wiener beaters, but this wasn't your average hot dog cart -- and the guy who started it, Jim Pittenger, definitely isn't your typical wiener slinger. Biker Jim, as he's known locally and nationally -- and on all those Food Network shows in which he's appeared -- was doing something outlandishly different, at least in the hot dog world: He was vending wild game sausages -- wild boar, rattlesnake, elk and reindeer -- and if that weren't enough to raise eyebrows, he was streaking them with ammo, namely cream cheese, that he shot out of caulking gun and then crowning the franks with onions lubricated in Coke. Now, more than eight years, three carts and a brick-and-mortar later, Biker Jim's Dogs was just ranked twelfth in Yelp's 100 Best Places to Eat in the United States list. And Pho 95, which has one location in Denver, and a second in Centennial, placed 71st on the list.

See also: Biker Jim busts out a bread haiku, bemoans boba and spills details on a new brick-and-mortar


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Trillium celebrates Jeff Osaka's James Beard Award nomination with a cocktail tribute

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The negroni Osaka, in honor of twelve owner-chef Jeff Osaka, who is a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist.

Earlier today, we announced that several local chefs and restaurants were nominated for a James Beard Foundation award -- and that coveted roster includes Jeff Osaka, chef-owner of twelve, who recently just celebrated the Ballpark restaurant's fifth anniversary. And now, Ryan Leinonen, chef-owner of Trillium, which is just a few doorstops down from twelve, wants to acknowledge the chef's nomination with a little extra glitter, namely a cocktail in Osaka's name.

See also: Alex Seidel, Jeff Osaka and more Denver chefs among James Beard Foundation semi-finalists


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Alex Seidel, Jeff Osaka and more Denver chefs among James Beard Foundation semi-finalists

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Earlier today, in a live stream from Orlando, Florida, the James Beard Foundation rolled out its culinary red carpet of semi-finalists in several categories, including Outstanding Bar Program, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Wine Program, Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best Chef, Southwest -- all of which are award categories that trumpet at least one Colorado chef or restaurant.

Last year, Jennifer Jasinski, exec chef-owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall strutted home with the Best Chef, Southwest James Beard award, while Frasca Food and Wine took home the Outstanding Wine Program award.

Flip the page to see who's vying for this year's prestigious medallions.

See also: Jennifer Jasinski and Frasca Food and Wine win James Beard Foundation awards


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Continental Sausage wins a Good Food Award for its bison pastrami

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Denver-based sausage-maker Continental Sausage won a 2014 Good Food Award for its bison pastrami. Added to the award that Serendipity Confections of Wheat Ridge took for its chocolate-covered butter caramels with fleur de sel, that means Colorado companies have racked up sixteen awards since Good Foods began handing them out in 2011.

See also: Justin Brunson teams up with Uber Sausage to create winning wieners

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Flagstaff House wins Wine Spectator Grand Award -- for the thirtieth year in a row

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The patio at Flagstaff House, overlooking Boulder.
Wine Spectator just presented Flagstaff House with the Grand Award -- it highest honor, given only to restaurants that demonstrate passion and commitment to their wine programs. And Flagstaff House definitely displays that passion, because it's won the same award every year since 1983.

See also:
- Best View 2011 - Flagstaff House
- Flagstaff House wins an award as big as its wine collection
- Review preview: Flagstaff House at forty years


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Where did Boulder rank on PETA's list of the top vegan cities in the U.S.?

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Christopher Morgan
A scene from the Vegan Prom earlier this year. See our slide show at Fancy Pants Vegan Prom.
The folks at PETA know a little something about avoiding meat, and they recently came up with a list of the top ten vegan-friendly cities in America. And while Denver has its share of vegan-friendly options, Boulder was the only Colorado city that made the list.

Turn the page to see how PETA described Boulder and then check out the full list of PETA's favorite cities, along with photos on the Latest Word blog.

See also:
- The five best vegetarian/vegan dishes in Denver
- Photos: The Fancy Plants Vegan Prom at the Mercury Cafe 2013
- Best Vegan Food Truck -- 2013 -- Vegan Van


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PETA, vegan

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