Beau Green, executive chef, has returned to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
He's on the culinary team of Service Systems Associates, which provides food service to entertainment businesses. He started at the zoo in 2008 and promptly entered the former Colorado Springs Chorale Chefs' Gala under the zoo's Wild Things Catering branch (rebranded Taste), from which he took home First Place for Best Entrée and The People's Choice awards.
Yes, the zoo not only has a catering department, but also hires talented chefs. It wasn't long before SSA transferred Green to the Denver Zoo and later moved him to head the opening of dining venues at Royal Gorge in 2015.
Happily, he has returned to our zoo, and Green's excellent food was sampled at the Tails, Tunes & Tastes event, where guests were party animals. And why not? There was an open bar, live music at four exhibits and plenty of great food to enjoy. Green set up food stations featuring four cuisine styles.
- Americana: Fried chicken and greens, beans 'n' bacon, barbecue brisket sammy and banana pudding
- Pacific Rim: Take-out noodles, Kung Pao green beans, bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and matcha (green tea) cupcakes
- Mediterranean: Grilled calamari salad, hummus plate, gyro and choklava (chocolate baklava)
- South of the border: Fried avocado street taco, Anasazi bean tostada, carne asada lollipop and tres leches cake
Not exactly what you might expect to be served at a zoo. The fried chicken was crunchy and moist. The avocado on the taco had a perfectly fried crust, a delicious texture contrast to the silky avocado. The good news is that you'll find many of these types of food at the Grizzly Grill, the main zoo dining hall, and The Overlook, an upscale small bar.
More good news is that SSA has been selected as the food provider of the U.S. Olympic Museum. While this project is still in the planning stages, with a caliber of chefs such as Green on the culinary team, the food likely will be gold-medal quality. Details: 633-9925, cmzoo.org.
Ooh la la
Blandine Brutel, owner of The French Kitchen Four-In-One Culinary Center, 4771 N. Academy Blvd., continues to be the go-to for all things French. She recently added a pastry chef, Bevon Drummond, who is turning out classical French pastries and other sweets. He is from Kingston, Jamaica, and got his pastry training in the U.S. Navy. He joins French baker Sébastien Mullebrouck, who makes fresh baguettes, croissants and other breads daily. Brutel and Kristi Tutt are the classroom teachers.
Brutel has obtained a liquor license, so now she offers glasses of wine (extra charge) at the beginning of cooking classes and with the meal you prepare at the school. If you haven't dropped by for breakfast or lunch, you really should. There's a complete espresso bar and excellent baristas pulling shots of Illy Coffee drinks. Pick up a T.D.F. (To Die For) croissant to enjoy there, or take it home to reheat. It's a croissant on steroids. An extra large buttery, flaky croissant is sliced in half and filled with thin slices of mild-tasting ham, Gruyere cheese and béchamel. Details: 528-6295, tfkcc.com.
Pick'n on the porch
Kick back and take in the live music from four bands and buy eats from a dozen trucks at the Patty Jewett Porchfest by the Patty Jewett Neighborhood Association, noon to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17. The bands will be on four porches in the Patty Jewett neighborhood. Visit facebook.com/pjnacos.
Nothing says harvest time like open-air farm dinners, and here's one up for grabs. The SunMountain Center, 328 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, brings us Biodynamic Farm-to-Table Dinners, 5 p.m. Sept. 21 and Oct. 5. For $55, you tour the gardens and terraces with farm manager Jeremy Tackette and learn the science behind biodynamic farming. Then guests will dine al fresco on a four-course vegetarian and gluten-free dinner prepared by chef Jeff Jepsen using organic produce from the garden. Details: 205-8516, sunwellness.net/events.
'KVOR Table Talk'
Is benched for football game against Michigan Wolverines. Go Falcons!
Send tips about restaurant openings, closings and specials to firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-0271, Twitter: @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.