Growing Up: Seed to Plate

Sometimes the best childhood memories we hold are the simplest: riding a bicycle for the first time, attempting to win the 6th grade spelling bee and placing second, or being rewarded with your favorite warmed drink after working hard on a snow day. There is a moment in every adult’s life where we look back and wonder how much more simple things were in our youth when one day could be filled with never-ending amazement.

As our lens on the world gets older, we can sometimes feel the urge to make things more complicated then they need to be. It is then we need to remind ourselves that sometimes the smallest changes can have the greatest effect.  In our current food system we see ammonia being added to our meat to achieve a “more appealing pink“, chemicals previously being used in bombs for World War II as fertilizers for our crops, and heritage breeds of pigs are being considered “invasive”. Should the days of naturally pink meat, food grown from healthy soil, and healthy animals die with our memories?

As Cocina Campesina works on a menu full of tender love and care to incite those delightful memories of childhood, we request that you ask yourself: “what would your childhood self think of our food system today?”

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.

Crema

“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

Coffee

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