Colorado Springs gets new chef who does small private dinners

Ryan Sparzak, left, and his dad, Keith, prepare grilled oysters for dinner at Almagre Venue + Bar.

Ryan Sparzak, was introduced at the amazing August Field + Flowers dinner at Almagre Venue + Bar, 2460 Montebello Square Drive. The menu featured dishes with edible flowers. His dad, Keith Sparzak, helped out as his sous chef.

The dinner started with grilled oysters on the half shell, followed by Zuppa Pomodoro due Colori.

“Now is the time to be enjoying tomatoes while they are at their best,” Ryan said.

The delicate soup definitely tasted tomato-y. The chef had coaxed the intense tomato flavor from the heirloom beauties, combined with seasonal veggies and kumquats, and drizzled with flower and herb infused oil.

The next course featured his dad’s cooking talents.

“My dad is proud to be Polish,” Keith said. “He made the pierogis for the dinner tonight and homemade sauerkraut.”

If you’ve never had homemade kraut, you haven’t lived. Keith’s was exceptional — mildly flavored and not overly salty. It was the perfect match for the tender, wild mushroom-filled pierogis.

Trout ceviche was the entrée and Palisade peach galette made for a sweet ending to the delicious dinner.

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Ryan is a self-taught chef with influences from global travels and from his parents who, he said, “were always entertaining.”

The Monument-based chef currently cooks for intimate parties and small events, and runs a hobby chef account on Instagram known as Cookery Inquieto.

“It’s a combination of two words representing my restless curiosity and love for the art, practice and science of preparing food,” he said.

At the end of the dinner, Grace Harrison, owner of Almagre, said, “We already have Oct. 18 scheduled for another dinner by Ryan.”

The dinner menu is in the planning stage, but Ryan said, “It will definitely have a fall and harvest theme. One course will likely be a fall soup, which I will be doing a demonstration of.”

Visit almagrecollective.com and click on shop to find information about the dinners.

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Hello kitty

If you’ve been to one of the other Meow Wolf immersive exhibitions you know there’s a lot to explore, investigate and experience. You’re likely to spend a few hours wondering around and can easily work up an appetite. That’s where Hellofood, the fast casual fusion café at Convergence Station, the new Meow Wolf exhibit at 1338 First St. in Denver, will be a welcome respite.

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On opening day Friday, the cafe will offer grab-and-go options as well as dining in with the option of patio seating. The menu features diverse cuisines, including cerveza from a Latino-owned craft brewery, Guadalajara poke, Latin-Asian fusion and Louisiana tea cakes, to name a few options. The cafe is exclusive to Convergence Station ticket holders. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Visit meow.wf/hellofood.com for more information.

Chuckwagon dinners

The Flying W Ranch, 3330 Chuckwagon Road, has extended the season through Oct. 2. If you haven’t enjoyed picturesque outdoor venue while eating an excellent chuckwagon barbecue dinner with all the trimmings, along with unsurpassed Western entertainment featuring the legendary Flying W Wranglers there’s still time left. There’s sheltered dining available too.

Visit flyingw.com or call 598-4000 for all the details and to make reservations for the nightly Chuckwagon Supper and Show and other special events.

Calling bacon lovers

Schlotzsky’s, has introduced a limited-time offer: the Bacon Cheddar Bun, which can be used for any of Schlotzsky’s 11 medium sandwiches. For the ultimate bacon and cheese lover, fix go for the Bacon Bread Beef Smokecheesy sandwich.

Visit schlotzskys.com for locations.

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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