Sunday, the Rocky Mountain Food Report attended the always-fun Food & Wine Expo hosted by the Colorado Restaurant Association Pikes Peak Chapter. Held this time at the BroadmoorWorld Arena, over 80 restaurants and food and drink suppliers supplied a sold-out crowd with samples of their best and newest cuisine.
The Expo also stages competitions for chefs and bartenders. RMFR’s own Bryce Crawford helped judge the cocktail competition, which awarded three prizes: best bourbon cocktail, best rum cocktail and best overall. 2016’s winners were Emilio Ortiz of 503W for best bourbon; Andrew Gorham of Johnny Martin’s Car Central for best rum. Gorham also took home the top prize.
On the chef side, the Expo gives prizes for best small plate (or appetizer), best large plate (entree) and best overall, with a secret ingredient given on-site for each category. This time, for best small plate, with a secret ingredient of true cod, Justin Castor of Over Easy won, while Corey Hoff of Cowboy Star won for best large plate, working with the secret ingredient of pork chop. Castor and Over Easy then won the big honor of Chef de Cuisine.
If you can, and you love food, this is a great event to spring for tickets ($45 this year). We’ve been lucky enough to visit the Expo for several years, and it’s always fun and the food delicious. The mood is jovial and the liquor pours generous … those things may have something to do with each other. In any case, we paid for my ticket, and it was worth every penny.
Here are some shots of the affair (you’ll have to excuse the photo quality … and some of the less-than-precise descriptions. There’s a lot of booze at the Expo):