Team Bravo! Exploring the Food & Wine Classic In Aspen 2016

Team Bravo research department

Quotes From The Food & Wine Classic In Aspen

  • "I wasn’t 100% sober" - Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • "Merlot is Cabernet without the pain." - Mark Oldman
  • "Cooking is like a dog, it senses fear, don’t be afraid." - Anne Burrell
  • "It was never the knife’s fault." - Daniel Bouloud
  • "The secret of good cooking is, first, having a love for it." - James Beard
  • "Since we must eat to live, we might as well do it with grace and gusto." - MFK Fisher
  • "Always use virgin olive oil, there are no degrees of virginity. You either are or you’re not." - Anne Burrell
  • "Let’s Make America Taste Great Again." - Marcus Samuelson
  • "If you don’t retox, you can’t detox"?
  • "If it ain’t broke, break it" - Chef Graham Elliot
  • "The Acidity in wine keeps your mouth watering." - Bobby Stuckey
  • "Tannins in wines do not go well with Cheese." - Laura Werlin
  • "I always put something special in my food, my heart." - Nobu Matsuhisa

Matsuhisu for our 1st Dinner

We had a great dinner at Matsuhisa and had chef Nobu’s famous Black Cod with Miso. This is his signature dish that has been cloned by chefs all over the world. Nobu marinates the black cod for two to three days.

3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons sake
1/2 cup white miso paste
1/3 cup sugar
Six 6- to 7-ounce skinless black cod fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Pickled ginger, for serving

In a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil. Whisk in the miso until dissolved. Add the sugar and cook over moderate heat, whisking, just until dissolved. Transfer the marinade to a large baking dish and let cool. Add the fish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a grill pan and oil it. Scrape the marinade off the fish. Add the fish and cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the fish onto a heavy rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until flaky. Transfer to plates and serve with pickled ginger.

Woody Creek Distillery

Team Bravo drove down to the Woody Creek Distillery in Basalt for a tour. This distillery features some exciting new potato vodkas, a gin, a rye and a yet to be released bourbon. Their vodkas have distribution in 14 States and are earning very strong reviews. At the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the distillery received the highest honor, taking home the double gold medal for its Woody Creek Colorado 100% Potato Vodka. Woody Creek Colorado Reserve Vodka is made from the Polish Stobrawa potato. Revered for its high starch content and flavor complexity, both key for the production of vodka, the Stobrawa potato has been used to make some of Poland’s finest vodkas.

Don & Shawn in front of the custom Carl Stills at Woody Creek

Golf at River Valley Ranch Golf Club
This is how Team Bravo hikes in the mountains.
Terry only lost 5 golf balls and called it a major accomplishment!

Shawn & Terry showing off their Hattie B’s Nashville Fried Chicken Bling
at the Ajax Tavern

Near the Ringo Starr Ranch we were invited to a private champagne tasting “A Journey Through Joseph Krug’s Champagne House.” The food, beverages and views were all outstanding.

Terry, Whitney & Chef Richard Blaise at the Food & Wine 5K Charity race.

The high elevation made for a tough run but at the finish line was Braised Pork Belly Hash with Fried Quail Eggs, Bloody Mary’s and Champagne! Terry finished 1st in his age group. Whitney finished 3rd in hers. Shawn finished the Champagne!

Wines for IPO Trillionaires With Mark Oldman

Henriot Champagne “Cuve 38” La Reserve
Perpetuelle NV
Chateau La Fleur-Petrus 2012
Jordan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2012
Nicolas Feuillatte “Palmes d Or” Brut Champagne NV
Guigal Cote Rotie Chateau D’Ampuis 2011
Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon “Old Sparky” Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard 2012
Kopke Colheita Port 1966

Shawn With Fred Shrader of Shrader Cellars

Cheeses & Wines Notes With Laura Werlin

  • Big wines should be paired with grilled food, not, cheese. Tannins kill cheese.
  • Serve bread when tasting cheese, It’s more neutral than crackers.
  • Ice wines have very little acidity to cut sweetness.
  • Ice wines pair well with bleu cheeses and candied nuts.
  • Sheeps Milk Cheeses are usually a little grainy.

Laura Werlin with Whitney

Chefs Ann & Anne talking in the wine tents

Chef Grahm Elliot Demonstration

Owner of Grahm Elliots Bistro Chicago, 2 Michelin Star Award, Iron Chef, Top Chef Masters and the list goes on and on. Was one of Shawn’s favorite demos. He prepared truffle popcorn with Parmesan and scallions, and a fantastic pearl onion risotto with apples. His food was packed with flavors and his techniques were spot on but the best part was how he is playful with his food ideas. He likes to put a new spin on everything.

Chef Shawn with Chef Chef Grahm Elliot

Every year we create our own dinner. This year’s event we combined Classic French Escoffier dishes with Colorado’s Buffalo Bill Cody ingredients. A French Colorado Dinner we called “The Escoffalo Dinner”

Pop Tarts
Blueberry and Foie gras mousse
Moėt Chandon Rosé Champagne

Duck Salad
On mâche with granola
Orange vinaigrette
Moėt Chandon Rosé Champagne

Trout grenobloise
Cauliflower salad and mustard
Flowers Chardonnay

Bison Tenderloin
Pomme nature, chanterelles and Pinot Noir reduction
Belle Glos Clark & Telegraph Pinot Noir

Grand Marnier Soufflés
With Woody Creek infused raspberries

Restaurant tips for traveling between Denver and Aspen: A stop in Golden, CO will break up the trip. Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza in downtown, close to Coors Brewery, is a clean, simple restaurant with good food. Of note, it is just a few blocks from Parfet Park.
1305 Washington Ave
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 277-0443

Or, a Denver restaurant we enjoy is Hillstone Restaurant for lunch or dinner.
303 Josephine Street
Denver, Colorado 80206
(303) 333-4688

Bourbon Trail 2015

Bravo offers some great small batch bourbons but I wanted to make sure we had the latest. Bourbon sales have increased by 40% in the last 5 years and our guests know many of the small batch bourbon distilleries, so I decided it was time for another tour of the Bourbon Trail. I drafted two bourbon aficionados to take the tour with me, my wife Whitney, who grew up in Tennessee, and Dean MacVicar, who has great palate for whiskeys and his wife Linda, our navigator extraordinaire.

The drive to Louisville is about five and a half hours so we decided to stop for brunch at Milktooth Restaurant in Indianapolis. This building is a former gas station converted into an amazing breakfast and lunch restaurant. I had met the chef at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. He was selected as one of their top 10 Best New Chefs. Bon Appetit also named Milktooth as one of the 20 Best New Restaurants in the country and they are only open for breakfast and lunch. It was amazing!

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Team Bravo! Exploring the Food & Wine Classic In Aspen 2015

Team Bravo!

Team Bravo! arrived in Colorado a few days before the 32nd Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. This year is another sold out event and it helps kick off the summer season for the town of Aspen. The weather was fantastic with sunny skies and 80 degree temps all week.

After arriving, we shopped for some basic supplies for the house: Beef Tenderloin, Caviar, Wine, etc, and then headed out for a hike. At almost 8,000 ft., it will take us Michiganders awhile to get used to the altitude. As we drove up toward the historic ghost town of Ashcroft we saw a large Cinnamon Bear! OK, we were still in our car when we encountered the big guy, but it was still exhilarating especially recognizing we all share the same goal, the pursuit of fine food! The hike was amazing, with warm weather, (something we haven't seen in Kalamazoo for a while) and snowcapped mountains as a backdrop. We packed a picnic of rustic bread and chicken salad made with olive oil that we enjoyed on the back deck of a camp house that was across the street from the old mining town.

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More Coffee And Beers Are Coming In The Same Glass

Excerpted from an article in SouthWest Michigan's Second Wave

Nick Chard of Bravo! in Kalamazoo has been using in his java stout Water Street’s espresso blend, which he finds to have a low bitterness level, leading to a more enjoyable drinking experience.

"It has a lot of darker features, like chocolate, which was what I was going after, it doesn’t seem too abrasive. I put a lot of roasted malts in there that already had some of that roasted coffee flavor, so it seemed like a good fit," Chard says.

Bravo! recently released Chard’s java stout on draught but has also held a portion back to age in bourbon barrels. Chard intends to release the bourbon barrel java stout in the near future and pair it with special menu items.

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Aspen Food & Wine 2014

Day 1

Monday was travel day for team Bravo! We landed in Denver and started our trek to Aspen. First stop was in Golden Colorado, not to see Coors Brewery but to grab lunch near Parfet Park. Yes, it's named after Don's great grandfather George Washington Parfet. He was a clay miner in Golden and an admired civic leader. He was the first president of the local Kiwanis Club in Golden. After his death the park was named in his memory. One of his sons, George William Parfet was the Worshipful Master of the local Masonic Lodge and read the burial rites at the burial of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Yes, this is true. We even traveled up to the top of Lookout Mountain to see the burial site and the Buffalo Bill Museum.

The Buffalo Bill Museum
The Buffalo Bill Museum

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Bravo! serves up bacon to Kalamazoo Marathoners

Thiry pounds of bacon left our restaurant this morning that will not be coming back! Enjoy runners! And good luck to you! For anyone who is not participating, come try our bacon during our delightful brunch today.

Thirty pounds of bacon Read the story on MLive...
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