What do baristas do when they have finished pulling shots and making latte art? They get together for the Latte Art Throwdown, where they pull more shots and create more latte art. At least that's what about half a dozen local baristas do to hone their skills, have fun and vie to win the dough that's collected to be in the contest.
Ryan Warner, owner of R&R Coffee Caf? 11424 Black Forest Road, invited me to be a judge at the November competition. The event is usually the last Thursday of the month. Before the contest started, baristas from several local coffee shops took turns practicing at the bar. They dropped in $5 in a collection jar and tossed their names into a basket. Names were drawn from the basket and Warner made up a list of challengers. Pairs of baristas stepped up to the bar to pull shots, steam milk and carefully add the milk to the Joe to create lovely designs.
Harry Nichol, barista at The Principle's Office in the Ivywild School, came out on the top of the heap that evening. It's a humbling experience to see what can be done with steaming milk and a few flicks of a practiced wrist. Plus, there's plenty of free lattes for spectators as the baristas progress through the five or so heats. Warner posts information about the throwdowns at facebook.com/?ref=home#!/rnrcoffeecafe. Details: 494-8300, rnrcoffeecafe.com.
Eat out to help out
Colorado Springs Food Rescue, a newly organized group by Colorado College students, collects food destined for the dumpster from restaurants and grocery stores. The food is delivered to charitable facilities to serve the hungry. The nonprofit will have a fundraiser at the Manitou Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, at 6 p.m. Jan. 24. Cost is $25 per person ($20 for KRCC members) and includes chef-inspired cuisine, including cheese assortment, Native American street tacos, vegan ratatouille and desserts from Whole Foods Market. Details: 444-1012, smokebrush.org.
Yet another burger chain has opened. This time it's Jake's Wayback Burgers, 6964 N. Academy Blvd. There you'll find burgers made from scratch, so be prepared to wait a bit for your meal. A signature dish is the Triple Triple Burger, which has nine beef patties with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese for $14.99. The casual eatery is in a former Boston Market store in the Woodmen Shopping Center near Hobby Lobby. Details: 266-5253, waybackburgers.com.
- The Rocky Mountain Chefs of Colorado's endowment dinner and silent auction will be at The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., at 6 p.m. Jan. 18. The graduating students of the resort's apprentice program will be honored. Cost is $85 per person. Details: 623-5112 or 634-7711, rockymountainchefs.com/Endowment_Dinner.html.
- Sample what to expect when dining at the new Ristorante del Lago, at The Broadmoor (scheduled to open in May) at monthly wine dinners held at Summit restaurant, 9 Lake Circle . The first four-course dinner is Jan. 20 and features regional Italian cuisine and an Italian winemaker. Cost is $95 per person. Details: 577-5896, broadmoor.com.
My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, 7605 N. Academy Blvd., has closed.
"KVOR" Table Talk
Guests on the "KVOR Table Talk" radio show on 740 AM, 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday: JL Fields, a vegan cook, lifestyle coach and author; Bobby Couch, owner of The Green Line Grill; Laura Stamp, regional event manager for Team Effort Events, and Jay Gust, executive chef at Tapateria; and Kathleen Bol?n, owner of Enchanted Strings afternoon teas.
Send tips about restaurant openings, closings, menu changes and food specials to firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-0271, Twitter@tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.
To view a video on peeling and seeding pomegranates, scan this QR code with your mobile device or go to gazette.com.