Jason Sheehan is on the move again...

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Jason Sheehan.
...But no, he's not returning to Denver.

In early 2010, after almost eight years as Westword's Cafe critic (and six months after his memoir, Cooking Dirty, was published), Jason Sheehan moved to our partner paper in Seattle, the Seattle Weekly.

But now he sends us this update:

I swore for more than a decade that I would never go back east again, never cross the Mississippi River for anything but business -- and even then only briefly. But after a year of crushing sandwich withdrawal and with my Armageddon stockpile of scrapple, Tastykakes and Genny Cream Ale running dangerously low, I decided that it was time to relocate. And since Philadelphia Magazine was kind enough to agree to underwrite my salami and sweetbreads addiction in trade for me saying bad words in their august publication, that's where I'll be headed. The truck from the Genesee Brewery will be meeting me there.

Sheehan will be leaving Seattle next month -- he'll be replaced by Hanna Raskin, currently the restaurant reviewer at the Dallas Observer, another partner paper -- and resurfacing in Philadelphia soon after. Here's the word from the the editor of the Philly mag.

For a couple of months now -- ever since the very smart, very funny, very talented Kirsten Henri announced she was stepping aside as the magazine's food editor -- we've been searching for someone to take over our food coverage both in the magazine and here at Foobooz. Someone who understands food; who's as passionate about restaurants as you, our readers, are; and who might be able to give us a fresh perspective on Philadelphia's ever-growing, ever-more-exciting food scene.

I'm happy to announce we've found our editor: he's James Beard Award-winning journalist Jason Sheehan.

A toast -- and a real Philly cheesesteak -- to all of them.

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Fed up with restaurants? You'll never be a member of the FEDUPs

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

Mark Manger
Ibrahim and Victoria Daleh pour on the hospitality at Phoenician Kabob.
Foodies Eating Diverse and Unusual Platings (FEDUPs) is what we call ourselves. There are ten of us, plus the occaisonal "understudy" who is invited when not everyone can attend our once-monthly get-togethers at restaurants across the vast ethnic spectrum in and around Denver....The FEDUPs have made it a mission to sample every cuisine we can poke our forks into.

So writes Stephen Crout, leader of the FEDUPs, in this week's Cafe feature, which follows the FEDUPs to Phoenician Kabob.

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Ian Kleinman is cooking with gas at hushDenver

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

Mark Manger
Ian Kleinman's chilling display with liquid nitrogen.
"Eat it quick, right after it comes out," instructs chef Ian Kleinman, "and then you can get some real smoke to come out of your nose." He spoons an amorphous white puff that he calls Kettle Corn Space Foam from the liquid nitrogen, and I raise the frozen, seemingly meringue-like ball to my lips. One chilling bite -- my tongue remains numb for a few minutes -- and it shatters, exposing a mousse-like inside as steam shoots out of my nose and the remainder of the ball crumbles onto my plate. It tastes more like kettle corn than kettle corn itself.

Ian Kleinman, the kitchen magician who made O's Steakhouse an unexpected mecca for molecular gastronomy (as Jason Sheehan described in this piece) was up to his new tricks last Saturday night when he was the featured chef at the second hushDenver dinner.

Read all about it here tomorrow.

Jason Sheehan introduces himself to Seattle

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

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Hungry for another taste of Jason Sheehan? Here's how he officially introduced himself to Seattle, the city where he's now the restaurant reviewer for the Seattle Weekly, our partner paper, which has already netted this response: "Welcome to Seattle you condescending fuck."

His first review hits the street this week.

Replacing Sheehan isn't an easy task, as I've noted before, but we're closing in. Anyone interested in the status of an application can contact me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com.

A taste of the Tasting Cafe

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

Ellen Jaskol
How do you make kids happy with healthy food? Ask Mary Meitus.
Marty Meitus's longtime job as food editor disappeared with the Rocky Mountain News last February. But she's been putting her down-time to very good use: She created a pilot program for the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children (WIC), which offers nutrition education and counseling for low-income parents and caregivers of young children, and issues vouchers for very specific nutritious foods.

Meitus's idea was to create a place where WIC clients could sample foods, almost as if they were at a Costco or a Sam's Club, while visiting one of the Tri-County Health Department facilities in Aurora. And with the help of a grant, last fall she created the Tasting Cafe.

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Feast on the story of 50top

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

Mark Manger
Jamey Fader dishes out one of the 50top dishes.
At 5:15 p.m. on a chilly Thursday, Jamey Fader, clad in black, with a plaid cap pulled low over his forehead, is balancing on a box in the corner of a back-alley warehouse. "Welcome to whatever the fuck this is," he deadpans.

What do you get when you put fourteen chefs and fifty enthusiastic diners in the Stranahan's warehouse -- with plenty of product nearby? A great party, as Lori Midson reveals in this week's profile of the underground institutions known as 50top.

Since chefs Jamey Fader and John Hinman came up with the concept close to two years ago, 50top has grown into Denver's most amazing culinary event -- and one that's been completely off the record. Until now. Feast on Midson's piece here tomorrow.

Jason Sheehan lands in Seattle

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

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Jason Sheehan, now of Seattle
I feel bloated, exhausted and fat as a bastard--lying splayed out in the middle of my living room floor like a beached whale, catching up on old episodes of The Simpsons on DVR and sweating pure suet.

It's been a week, more or less, since I rolled gimpily into town and found my way down to the office. I detailed my first day's eating adventures like a war correspondent just back from the front--dropping my critic's gear (wallet, credit cards, laptop bag, reporter's notebooks, pill case full of ibuprofen and Zofran and hip flask) by the door and falling right down in front of the typer as soon as I got home, unloading on the poor machine like it'd said something nasty about my mother.

Hungry for a taste of Jason Sheehan's writing? He's landed in Seattle, as he detailed yesterday in the above post. You can follow his adventures here, on the restaurant blog of our partner paper, the Seattle Weekly, which now can claim Sheehan as its own.

Someone's in The Kitchen...but it's not Jason Sheehan

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

Mark Manger
Eric Hines in the kitchen of The Kitchen.
There are a few things that I like about Boulder and many that I don't. For example, it bothers me that Boulder exists where it does, snugged up tight against the base of the Flatirons, frantically humping the leg of a mountain range that would be that much more splendid if the whole town just buggered off to the plains. But then, I like the view of Boulder as you come up over the big hill on I-36 and see the town all laid out with its predominantly low-slung buildings and tidy landscaping. From a distance, it looks so idyllic -- like a fantasy postcard painted by a landscape artist dosed to the gills on NyQuil and Prozac. The town is filled with pretty girls, and that's good. It's also filled with pretty boys, all carrying Rollerblades or freshly returned from a thirty-mile hike and a spa visit, and that's not so good. Makes the pretty girls that much less likely to shoot a smile or pass the time of day with a scowling, scrofulous, chain-smoking, perpetual ex-New Yorker with a fatal allergy to any outdoor activity that doesn't involve a barbecue and a wet bar.

That was the start of Jason Sheehan's review of The Kitchen penned back in 2004. He didn't like the restaurant much more than he did Boulder, and last month, when he asked readers to suggest a place for his last Westword review, several recommended the Kitchen - none more eloquently than John Broening, exec chef of Duo and Olivea.

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Sheehan: Things I'm gonna miss...

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

Time is growing short. Less than a week before I turn my back on the 303 and make for the 206 (which sounds weird just to say), and everywhere I turn, I'm seeing things I'm going to miss. It's no longer just the big things that are getting to me, but the little ones as well -- my view of the mountains as I drive in towards the office, the waitresses at the diner where I've done most of my work for the past five years, the pretty glow of the cop lights on a Friday night as they round up the drunks and face-punchers from the bar across the street...

I've got no regrets (yet). I'm certainly looking forward to settling into my new home and new scene. But Denver has been good to me. I've had more adventures, seen more weirdness and fun in this town than I have most anywhere else I've ever lived.

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After-action report: Broadway Book Mall and beyond

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

So how many people braved the weather last night and came out for my last book signing?


Which some people might see as sad, but not me. First, because that doesn't even take the record for my least-attended signing (which would be eight people showing up on a night without apocalyptic weather and at a venue with a full bar). And second, because those who did show up? They were die-hards, baby. True fans and good folk and committed crazies.

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