Harvest Week kicked off its fifth year of celebratory fall feasts on Sunday, October 14 with the Praise the Lard brunch. Snooze, the Coral Room, Strings, Second Home and dBar Desserts joined forces to create a memorable bacon-centric event for those in attendance. This brunch was only the beginning. Each day this week, thirty-six restaurants that are part of EatDenver, a coalition of local, independent eateries, will pitch in to create five dinner parties served family-style where hand-crafted cocktails, local brews and wines will abound.
This is the second year of hosting these events at The GrowHaus, an indoor urban farm, market place and educational center. Tonight, the Hedonist's Guide to Tailgating will include watching the Bronco game against the Chargers while enjoying a different kind of tailgating food that includes Biker Jim's, Pinche Tacos, and Marcos Coal Fired Pizza, among others. Tuesday there is a Luau, Wednesday a Globetrotting dinner, Thursday the Hunters and Gatherers, and ,on Friday, festivities conclude with the Million Dollar Cowboy dinner.
Harvest Week is all about celebrating the abundance of food that fall brings about. Chef Daniel Asher of Linger and Rootdown, a big advocate for using local ingredients, is happy to be able to tap into Colorado's bounty for these dinners. "In Colorado, other than citrus and avocado, we kick ass here with what we are able to grow. Farmers are so aware and aggressive with what they are want to provide to local restaurants, consumers, and farmers markets. Every year is just upping the game and it is amazing," Asher said.
Chef Brandon Foster of Vesta Dipping Grill is excited to return Harvest Week to the Grow Haus this year. "I had so much fun there last year, it was easily the most fun event for us to do," he said. "Vesta works closely with Leopold Brothers. They make a special blend of whiskey for us. They also work with a Colorado farm and give all of their whiskey mash to them. The farm feeds the leftover mash to the pigs and the goats and the ducks on the farm. Last year, we got pigs that were fed whiskey mash from our batch of whiskey and got to serve them at the dinner," he added.
This year, Asher and Foster are collaborating on the Hunters and Gatherers dinner, that will take place on Thursday. This event is about "educating the guests that night on the story of food, how things end up from the pasture to the table," Asher said. Among the highlights at this dinner: an amuse bouche consisting of fish from the GrowHaus. Asher and Foster will kill the fish, gut them, skin them and serve them to guests crudo-style. Asher called this "pond to table." The two chefs will also make butter on the spot at the dinner from goat milk they will get themselves at Fruition Farms, in Larkspur. At that same farm, a couple of lambs will be slaughtered this week to be prepared and served at the Hunters and Gatherers dinner.