October 2011 Menu

First Speakeasy Drink Pairing:

Randa Duffy of Speakeasy’s rendition of a Lemon drop. The twist: Her homemade cardamom agave.

Burdock Three Ways:

Burdock lightly pickled with a Cocina Campesina garden pickling mix, burdock and sunchoke chips sprinkled with ground green myrtle peppercorn and Pacific salt, and wokked burdock with a honey chile sauce.

Second Speakeasy Drink Pairing:

 A cherry pie shooter composed of white rum and Leopold Bros’ cherry.

Acorn Squash Soup:

Roasted acorn squash soup topped with roasted curried acorn squash seeds.

Third Speakeasy Drink Pairing:

An Argentian Malbec from Colores Del Sol

Braised Short-ribs and Whole Rabbits with Basmati Rice:

Choke cherry and hickory wood smoked whole rabbits braised with black currants and guajillo chiles. As well as braised short-ribs with black currants and dried roasted guajillo chiles with a side of basmati rice seasoned with saffron and nutmeg.

Dessert “Caprese”:

Jasmine infused agar agar topped with dehydrated golden raspberries, crystallized Thai Basil, Berry Patch strawberry powder, Japanese Golden Pear and German Striped Tomato powder. 

Pour Over Anyetsu Coffee:

Single origin coffee from Wellega, Ethiopia roasted by Novo Coffee presented by Noah Price of Crema Coffee House.

Ingredients sourced from:

Berry Patch Farms, Cocina Campesina’s Garden, Coke Farm, Full Circle Farms, Grant Family FarmsHardpan Horticulture, High Plains Food Coop, Leopold Bros, Novo Coffee, Prairie House Herbs, Savory Spice Shop, and Simminger Variety Farm.


Brighten your Spirits

Randa Duffy of The Speakeasy is a master mixologist by extension of a strong passion for food. Being rooted in cooking and baking ultraganic vegan cooking, she has the intense knowledge of putting flavor profiles in the spotlight. She specializes in hitting different parts of the tongue to accentuate the ingredients her liquid creations are rooted in. She achieved her start with humble beginnings and humor. By luck of a “free-box” she picked up a ridiculous William Sonoma bar guide book and plunged herself into a world of spirits. She combined her love of fresh local humane ingredients into her cocktails. Working her way up from friend tastings, private events, and now bar resident of The Handmade Homemade Marketplace. She is truly holistic with her ideology of drink essentials: knowing where it’s coming from and how it’s prepared.

The Speakeasy is full scale bar featuring organic and locally distilled spirits and liqueurs, and Colorado microbrews and homebrews, mixed with organic agave based sodas, homemade organic infused agave nectars, and other fresh, organic (and all vegan) ingredients.

I am honored to say that Randa Duffy will be in full charge of drink pairings for the launch meal. I hope this news brightens your spirits in a way that it has brightened mine.

Setting the timer

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My first experiences of becoming involved with food were very much like a slap-stick comedy version of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s (Lewis Carroll’s) Alice falling through the rabbit hole. A classic example: the first time I attempted to use flour was also the first time I made glue. A pot of boiling water and a couple of pours of a jar that shouldn’t have been in my reach and I had the fanciest paste in my sixth-grade class. I somehow made it through my young years virtually unharmed (albeit a couple burns). A few kitchen lessons I learned those very crucial and humbling years were:

  1. Don’t finish with raw spices
  2. Baking is far more precise than cooking
  3. I don’t have the temperament for baking
  4. When busy: set a timer! It’ll be your best friend, just don’t tell the copper mixing bowls that.

Using the last piece of advice, I encourage you to have your calendars ready for what is about to be shared.

I am pleased to announce the date of the first dinner:

October 21, 2011

Coffee in the Morning and Music in the Kitchen

The launch of Cocina Campesina is mirroring how I tend to start my day: dancing to some soulful sounds while anticipating my first cup of smooth caffeinated beverage. I proudly say that More Than This and Crema will get our first dinner off to a proper start, providing live music and coffee.


“When I think food justice, I think of giving justice to the food that you are preparing. We get these amazing ingredients, both local and internationly. Fresh produce, meat, & coffee. And it is our duty as preparers to not fuck it up.

A taste of crema

Crema is the lovely layer of thickly effervescent foam that defines well-crafted espresso, an emulsion of the essential oils contained in the coffee. This presence of a thick layer of richly aromatic, reddish brown crema indicates that all culinary factors were met satisfactorily during the preparation of the shot. Espresso is all in the nose. The aroma of espresso lives in the crema so swirl it around. Get your nose right down in there. Inhale deeply.”

-Noah Price, owner of Crema


Brandon Carter with Josh Taves.

More Than This

More Than This: This femme-tastic duo met while canvassing for the local rape crisis center back in autumn 2009. Combining sultry vocals with jazzy piano texture, they create a unique folk sound, with a twist of R&B and rock. More Than This is turned on by new wave, and loves to squeeze fresh juices from the 80’s, with a special inspirational love for Roxy Music. To these funky ladies, Food Justice means access to local, affordable, non-GMO produce and other healthy goodies for all, but especially for marginalized communities and peoples.

-Celeste Spink and April

Check your produce for blemishes

Ripe for the Picking?

Heels deep in sandy soil I make a find of the year. ¡Qué bendición, what a blessing!  Maturing about one hundred-ten days after planting, a melon that can grow to twelve inches in length and be six inches in diameter falls upon my hands. Being surrounded by families and their young on a U-Pick farm day, I couldn’t help but feel indecent when contemplating the juices this fruit contained underneath its hard skin. Who brings their children to such a sensual place?! This family farm yielded fruit with the distinguished quality of keeping long into the colder months when fresh fruit is nonexistent and highly sought after.

Hidden Blemishes

Why is that experience set apart so uniquely?  We tokenize what is really healthy food creating an elitist novelty. Meanwhile, we lose a history of labour and craft by welcoming large scale agriculture “goods” into our kitchens; a heart of most homes. What does it say about our hearts when ingredients virtually untouched by human hands enter our bodies? What does it say about our sense of empathy when we support a food system that keeps its poor malnourished and underfed?

There’s a not-so-positive feedback loop that is created when the able consumers buy nutrient-dead food. It gives a stamp of approval that our society is complacent in sustaining ourselves with food soaked in the blood of farmers, the diabetic poor, and World Bank-indebted countries. Complacency in gluttony is no longer acceptable. So if you are in the place of privilege,  please check your produce for blemishes.

Taken from site with an informational video about farmer suicides in India.

Pre-Heat the Oven

Pre-Heat the Oven

This picture was taken from a website that has instructions on how to build a simple wood-fired cob oven

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… The people who give you their food give you their heart.”

-César Estrada Chávez

A shout out to the food obsessed: The first ever Denver Pop-Up restaurant for food justice is firing up its kitchen! Prepare your palate to be mesmerized, tantalized, and challenged. A peek-a-boo menu (Half the fun of eating is the unexpected, right?) is in the works of being sent to your mailbox. Only a few ingredients used will be revealed. Try a taste-bud game of clue to keep you occupied until the debut dinner!