Photos: Big fun at Big Eat 2014

Categories: Photos

All photos by Kevin Galaba
Eat Denver's fifth annual Big Eat was the biggest and best yet. More than three dozen of Eat Denver's 86 members -- all independent restaurant operators in the metro area -- were featured at the Thursday night bash at the Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex . The event was a sell-out, with 800 tickets snapped up. Attendees got to sample bites from many of Denver's best restaurants as well as drinks from favorite breweries and bars. Kevin Galaba was there to document the food fun; keep reading for a taste of the 2014 Big Eat.

See also: From Guatemala to Denmark, a taste of this week's culinary calendar

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First look: Ginza Sushi & Grill opens near the University of Denver

All photos by Lori Midson.
In Tokyo, Ginza is a famous shopping, entertainment and dining district. Across from the University of Denver, it's a full-service sushi restaurant at the new One Observatory Park, a multi-story shopping and residential building. The restaurant made its debut last weekend, and is now open daily for lunch and dinner; it features a full sushi menu as well as teriyaki and noodle dishes. Here's a taste of what you'll find at Denver's Ginza Sushi & Grill.

See also: Best Sushi Bar 2014 -- Land of Sushi

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First look: Homegrown Tap & Dough opens in Washington Park

Thumbnail image for Homegrown39.jpg
All photos by Lori Midson.
Considering the earlier problems that restaurants have had at 1001 South Gaylord -- a link in the Telluride-based Brown Dog pizza outfit never even opened because of neighborhood opposition, and although the New Mexico-based Il Vicino chain did start cooking here, neighbors complained about the smells emanating from the pizza oven -- the transition to Homegrown Tap & Dough was as smooth as the sauce on its pizzas. When Il Vicino turned off that oven in May (a second Il Vicino is still open in Littleton), Philip Failyou, owner of Park Burger, jumped at the chance to take it over for "a family-friendly place with wood-fired, thin-crusted classic and modern pizzas, pastas, antipasto, salads, a couple of main dishes -- think brick chicken -- and a great beer program."

He signed the lease in May and Homegrown Tap & Dough opened this past weekend. Lori Midson was there to photograph the action; keep reading for a taste.

See also: Homegrown Tap & Dough replacing Il Vicino

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Photos: Breckenridge Brewery 24th Anniversary hootenanny

Categories: Photos

All photos by Brandon Marshall
Breckenridge Brewery knows how to throw a party, and this last weekend it threw a big one. In honor of its 24th anniversary, the brewery put on a hootenanny, complete with music, food and, of course, plenty of beer. This could be the last bash in the brewery's current location; next year, it may be in its big new facility in Littleton. So we made sure to send photographer Brandon Marshall to check out all the action; keep reading for a taste of this year's hootenanny.

See also: The ten best dive bars in Denver -- Summer 2014 edition

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Photos: TheBigWonderful kicks off in Sustainability Park

Categories: Photos

All photos by Danielle Lirette
The inaugural edition of TheBigWonderful food market and entrepreneurial incubator kicked off on Saturday, when it brought more than fifty local vendors together at Sustainability Park.We sent photographer Danielle Lirette to capture all the food and festivities; keep reading for a taste of TheBigWonderful.

See also: The BigWonderful Food Challenge extends its deadline

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Photos: VegFest 2014 brings herbivores together

Categories: Photos

All photos by Jake Shane
The fifth annual VegFest, a vegan-centered fair to promote health and environment awareness, put down roots at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds over the weekend. Advocates and practitioners of the plant-based diet and lifestyle gathered to enjoy vegan and vegetarian food, cooking demos and more.

Our photographer was there to capture the fun. Keep reading to see the people, food and culinary events of the festival.

See also: Five best vegetarian restaurants in Denver

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Photos: Food for thought at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Categories: Photos

All photos by Lori Midson
Snow cones and crepes; wok-tossed noodles and chocolate chip cookies the size of a small planet; pudgy sausages that stretched for feet and cheesesteaks that fed a platoon. The Fourth of July weekend ignited sparks with all that and more at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, an annual display of art in all guises, coupled with local food vendors who piled plates with every foodstuff imaginable. Eighteen culinary peddlers participated in the festival, all of which were scrutinized by a trio of judges, who analyzed their dishes, giving consideration to presentation, creativity, taste and value. In the end, Barbed Wire Reef, a mobile food company that specializes in exotic meats (think antelope, rattlesnake and alligator), was awarded Best in Show for its blackened ahi tuna sandwich, paired with crisp-edged sweet potato fries, and Berry Kabobs, which featured fruit-and-brownie skewers striped with chocolate, took top honors in the dessert category. Take a waltz through our photos of the food orgy on the following page, and see more photos in our Cherry Creek Arts Festival slide show.

See also: Ten best new restaurants of 2014 -- so far

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Avanti Food & Beverage, a collective culinary emporium, opening in LoHi

Courtesy Meridian 105 Architecture

Late last year, Brad Arguello, one of the founders of Über Sausage, a hot dog joint with locations on East Colfax and in LoHi, parted ways with his partners over what he calls "creative differences." But that break-up turned out to be the beginning of a new relationship for Arguello, who, along with business partners Patrick O'Neill (owner of Choppers Custom Salads and founder of The Club, in Vail), and Rob Hahn, co-founder and head of GRT, a LoHi real estate investment and development group that's backing the project, are gracing the Mile High City with Avanti Food & Beverage, a caboodle of eight shipping containers, all of which are designed to give cooks, chefs and restaurateurs the opportunity to test their dream concepts in a marketplace setting, sans the prohibitive costs -- and uneasy risks -- associated with opening a brick-and-mortar.

See also: TheBigWonderful, a culinary, no-waste food market with fifty vendors, will launch in July

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Ace and Osage Café crowned the kings of wings at Sunday's Wings and Whiskey throwdown

All photos by Lori Midson
Hundreds of whiskey and chicken-wing aficionados swarmed the quarters at Ace Eat Serve on Sunday afternoon to partake in the restaurant's first Wings and Whiskey jubilee. A coop of chefs, including Tyler Wiard (Elway's Cherry Creek), Troy Guard (TAG), Jamey Fader (culinary director of Big Red F/Post Brewing/Good Bird Chicken), Mimi Banish (Osage Café), Matt Selby (Central Bistro & Bar), AJ Ouellette (Fire On The Mountain), Brandon Foster (Vesta Dipping Grill), Cliff Blauvelt (Steuben's) and Chris Medved and Brandon Biederman (Ace), were pitted against each another in a spirited competition to be crowned the overlord of fowl. Two winners emerged: Ace and Osage Cafe, both of whom waltzed away with trophies. The bash also featured a chicken wing-eating contest (and lots of squawking, sauce-smearing and face paint), whiskey cocktails, beers from Great Divide and live music. The proceeds from the event benefited the Denver Housing Authority's Youth Culinary Academy. Here's a recap of the festivities, and don't miss our full slide show of all the shenanigans.

See also: Wings and Whiskey at Ace

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Photos: Beryl's Beer Company opens in RiNo

All photos by Brandon Marshall
Beryl's Beer Company opened for business on Saturday. The new brewery, located in Denver's craft-centric River North neighborhood, specializes in barrel-aged beers. Its first, Antero Ale, is an ESB aged in brandy barrels and was named for the 14er where the mineral beryl is found.

Westword photographer Brandon Marshall was on hand for the opening. Turn the page to see some of his photos and check out the full Beryl's Beer Company slide show here.

See also: Photos: Final Friday Food Truck Fiesta at Our Mutual Friend

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