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Colorado Springs chef sweeps culinary cooking contest

March 23, 2017 Updated: March 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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Supansa Banker, executive chef at 2South Food and Wine Bar, won best small plate, best entrée and Champion De Cuisine at the Chef-Media cook off during the Pikes Peak Food and Wine Expo. Photo by Teresa Farney

Supansa Banker, executive chef at 2South Food and Wine Bar, 2 S. 25th St., won best small plate, best entree and Champion De Cuisine at the chef-media cook-off during the Pikes Peak Food and Wine Expo at the Broadmoor World Arena on Sunday. She reigned supreme over nine other competitors.

Supansa Banker took first place for entrees at the Chef-Media cook off during the Pikes Peak Food and Wine Expo with a delicious lamb breast preparaation. Photo by Teresa Farney 

Each of the 10 cooking teams were given mystery ingredients to prepare a small plate (appetizer) and an entree. Baby octopus was the surprise food for the small plate and duck breast was revealed as the entree centerpiece. Teams were allowed 30 minutes to make the appetizer and 45 minutes to whip up the entree. Judges included Nathan Dirnberger, president and chief executive officer of the American Culinary Federation, Pikes Peak Chapter; Jeff Greene, chief of staff for Mayor John Suthers; and yours truly. Dishes were judged on appearance, taste and creative use of mystery ingredients.

Banker received a $500 check and the honor of showing off the traveling trophy at 2South for a year. This is the second time she has had the honor of having the trophy at the restaurant. In 2015 she won best entree and best Champion De Cuisine at the competition. Details: 351-2806, 2southwinebar.com.

Spanish wine and food

Chef Aaron Christensen prepared tapas and did a seafood paella demonstration at the American Wine Society of Colorado Springs March tasting. Photo by Teresa Farney 

Spanish wine is dandy anytime, but when paired with the food of the region it gets all the better. That fact was driven home at "An Evening in Aragon" at the Coutura Design Inspirations center March 7.

The special event was part of the monthly wine tasting of the American Wine Society of Colorado Springs, which included a tapas dinner prepared by chef Aaron Christensen to be paired with Spanish wines.

The highlight of the evening was a seafood paella cooking demonstration by Christensen. Tapas he prepared included scallops with chorizo risotto, halibut ceviche, grilled skirt steak, gazpacho, patatas bravas, frittatas and flan.

Not all the events are so elaborate, but all are interesting and include plenty of wine education. And the price to attend is generally reasonable. For instance the Spanish event cost $40 per nonmember and $35 per member. The board of the organization invites nonmembers to attend three tastings, after which they ask that guests become members to enjoy future gatherings. Individual membership for a calendar year is $49 per person; household (two people with the same address) is $62. Visit aws-cos.com for more information.

Wine dinners abound

Here are a few April wine dinners to check out:

- Van Duzer Wine Dinner at Till Kitchen, 9633 Prominent Point, 6 p.m. April 4. Cost is $100 per person (plus tax and tip) for a four-course meal. Reservations at 282-8004.

- Guardian Cellars Winemaker Dinner at The Blue Star, 1645 S. Tejon St., 6:30 p.m. April 7. Cost is $120 per person (plus tax and tip) for a six-course meal. Reservations at 632-1086.

- Icons of Greece Dinner at The Margarita at Pine Creek, 7350 Pine Creek Road, 6:30 p.m. April 13. Cost is $70 per person (plus tax and tip) for a five-course meal. Reservations at 598-8667.

Veg out

The Vegan Society of Colorado Springs will have the fourth Vegan Master Chef Challenge at Seeds Community Café, 109 E. Pikes Peak Ave., at 6 p.m. April 8.

Vegan chefs Brandon Atencio and Taylor Moore will dive into a mystery basket to whip up a three-course meal to pair with vegan wines. Cost is $40 per person. Details: 473-8206, seedscommunitycafe.org.

Opening

Sawara, 5070 N. Nevada Ave., has opened, serving sushi galore. You can get a 20 percent discount on most rolls through March 31. The grand opening will be April 1 with 50 percent off on select rolls. Details: 264-1487, thesawara.com.

'KVOR Table Talk'

Guests on the "KVOR Table Talk" radio show at 1 p.m. Saturday:

- Mike Preisler, owner of A Grazing Life, talks about the organization, which strives to illuminate local farms, the men and women behind them, and the incredible bounty of their efforts. He will also talk about the upcoming "A Night on the Ranch" at Corner Post Meats, a monthly series of dinners featuring food from ranches and farms. Local chefs will prepare the meals. Details: 838-2770, agrazinglife.com.

- Alaine Nolt, owner of Alaine's Transitional Coaching, talks about the services she offers and how nutrition plays a role in physical and mental wellness. She will also talk about a book by JJ Virgin, a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert and four-time New York Times best-selling author of the "Sugar Impact Diet." Details: 661-1545, alainenolt.com.

- Mundi Ross, brand manager, marketing and buyer for Till Kitchen, 9633 Prominent Point, talks about events, cooking classes, a farmers market and other related things happening at the eatery. She is also the founder of Colorado Collective, a coffee table-style magazine about unique places and people in Ssouthern Colorado, and will talk about that, too.

Details: 428-8904, till kitchen.com, colorado-collective.com.

- Chuck Frazier and Jodi Woodruff, owners of Colorado Springs Culinary Enthusiasts, talk about their new school where they offer cooking classes and private events. Details: 569-5707.

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Send tips about restaurant openings, closings and specials to teresa.farney@gazette.com, 636-0271, Twitter: @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.

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