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December, 2017

BBQ Advisory–Smokin Yard’s BBQ’s New Denver Location

Horse art in front of Smokin’ Yards BBQ

Through sheer luck, I stumbled upon the “soft opening” for Denver location of Smokin Yard’s BBQ (“SYBBQ”). I visited he first location is in Idaho Springs a couple of years ago. I thought the bbq was pretty solid then, and wondered if the Denver location would deliver a similar product.

Inside Smokin’ Yards

Smokin’ Yards menu

Free boiled peanuts, too!

Some good news here. First of all, during the soft opening, the owners are doing a “pay what you want” model. You don’t have to pay full price, but you shouldn’t stiff them either. Please note that the last day to take advantage of this special offer is Sunday, December 31, 2017 until 9 pm when they close!

Fried catfish

Spicy coleslaw, white bread and collard greens

St. Louis spareribs

Sliced beef brisket

I ordered the three meat combo with fried catfish, sliced beef brisket, St. Louis-cut pork spareribs, collard greens, spicy coleslaw, white bread and a light beer from Tivoli Brewery. Here’s my rundown:

  • Brisket–light smoke, slightly tender.
  • Fried catfish–nice seasoned cornmeal crust, not greasy, but it’s Vietnamese catfish. Tastes fine, but different texture than U.S. catfish. UPDATE: Smokin Yard’s contacted me and assured me that they serve U.S.-raised catfish. Evidently, a catfish’s texture changes throughout the year.
  • Spareribs–good flavor, but a little dry.
  • Spicy coleslaw–creamy, mild kick.
  • Collards–soft, but could use more seasoning.
  • White bread–perfect.
  • Service: very friendly staff!

They just opened, so I look forward to circling back in a few months to see how things are going.

Smokin Yard’s BBQ
900 W. 1st Avenue, Denver, CO 80225

900900 W 1st Ave, Denver, CO 80223, USA W 1

Still Have Some Holiday Cheer? Here are 5 Ways to Celebrate Vallery Lomas, the First African American to Win the “Great American Baking Show”!

If you don’t have time for the backstory, please do these things:

  1.  Subscribe to Vallery Lomas’s blog, www.foodieinnewyork.com
  2.  Follow Lomas on social media.
  3.  Suggest Lomas for a speaker (or presenter) at an upcoming event.
  4.  Write about Lomas in food media outlets.
  5.  Contact ABC about putting online the remaining episodes of The Great American Baking Show.

Let me say up front: Baking is not really my thing. I’ll surely eat any baked goods offered to me, but I don’t rush to be a part of the creative process. Just to show you how deep this goes, I never watch any of the baking competition shows on television. 

Imagine my surprise to find out that the fourth season of The Great American Baking Show (TGABS), hosted by food personality Ayesha Curry and sports personality Anthony Adams, crowned an African American woman named Vallery Lomas as the winner. It should have been a glorious moment in the spotlight for Lomas with her winning the competition before millions of viewers. Instead, her victory was announced on a Facebook livestream video viewed by thousands. Here’s the video:

What went wrong? As chronicled in an aptly titled article in The Village Voice called “Unjust Desserts,” given the mounting sexual harassment allegations against TGABS judge Johnny Iuzzini, ABC abruptly cancelled the rest of the season rather than televise the remaining 4 episodes–even though the first two episodes had decent ratings. Lomas herself has written a nice blog post giving her insider perspective on the situation.

Steve Rudin, DC-based meteorologist for ABC, tweeted this sensible suggestion for a solution:


That’s what the producers of Top Chef: Colorado had in mind when faced with a similar challenge this season because of sexual harassment allegations made against Chef John Besh–one of the show’s guest judges. Rather than cancel the season, they edited Besh out of the show. Evidently, ABC didn’t see that as an option. Curiously, Carter Oosterhouse, host of ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, faces sexual harassment allegations, but ABC continued to air that show AFTER TGABS was canceled! Oosterhouse remains prominently featured on the show’s web page while even Siri would need some extra time finding TGABS.

I feel for Lomas. Winning TGABS is an amazing accomplishment that should have generated much more buzz. Such publicity could have led to several television appearances, and it would have laid the groundwork for her to get a cookbook deal, or maybe even her own television show. Well, some wind was taken out of Lomas’s sails, but we can do a lot to celebrate her achievement. 

HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO SUPPORT VALLERY LOMAS

1.   SUBSCRIBE TO HER BLOG, Foodie in New York.

2.  BOOST LOMAS’S SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE

When Lomas tries to take things to the next level, content producers will likely assess her social media platform. Worthy or not, content producers consider social media a strong predictor of future cookbook sales and/or television viewers. Let’s mitigate one excuse for NOT giving Lomas a book/television deal by:

1.  Following her on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

2.  Liking her Facebook fan page.

After you follow Lomas on social media, ask everyone you know to do the same! An appreciable social media spike will show content producers that we’re interested in seeing and hearing more from Lomas. 

3.  BOOK LOMAS AS A SPEAKER OR PRESENTER AT UPCOMING EVENTS!

Second, if you know of any organizations looking for interesting speakers, suggest Lomas! Getting more exposure will help boost her profile. 

4.  IF YOU’RE A FOOD JOURNALIST ON STAFF AT A MEDIA COMPANY, OR A FREELANCER, WRITE ABOUT LOMAS! 

5.  LET’S GET ABC TO AIR THE REMAINING EPISODES ONLINE!

My last thought is that we should persuade ABC to make the remaining GABS epidodes available online. Yes, the allegations against Iuzzini are whacked, but I think we can stomach seeing him onscreen for the sake of celebrating all of the hard work done by Lomas and the other contestants.

Here’s the contact information for ABC’s social media on Lomas where you can leave an encouraging comment.:

Facebook 

Twitter

Here’s the contact information for the Great American Baking Show. You may leave an encouraging comment there:

Facebook fan page

Twitter

YouTube (only one video posted)

Lomas summed up her experience perfectly when she said: “When life throws you lemons, make lemon curd”! I love that! So, when you post about Lomas, use #LemonsToLemonCurd.

I’m going to do all that I can help this talented sistah out, and I hope that you will too!

Colorado’s Chef Brother Luck Quickfire Challenge Win on Top Chef! 

I’m way behind on posting about the current season of Top Chef: Colorado, but I’m giving a quick shout out to Chef Brother Luck! Chef Luck, who runs Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs, is a one of the “cheftestants.” He won the Episode 3 QuickFire Challenge for his successful and playful riff on the Denver omelette. 

Guest Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine introduced the segment by discussing the history of this iconic dish. He said “No one is really sure where the Denver omelette originated, but it’s believed that it started as a sandwich on bread. The sandwich has now all but disappeared, but the Denver omelette still thrives today.” I had not heard that theory, but I’m partial to the theory that the Denver omelette began with railroad cooks from the Canton province of Chinese who modified egg foo young to western tastes.
The challenge was for the cheftestants to make a “deconstructed” Denver omelette. Of the dishes presented, I was most intrigued by:
Chef Adrienne’s “Chicken fried ham with egg yolk sauce on a brioche bun.”
Chef Joe’s “Challah bread with goat cheese, yolk sauce and pepper puree.”
Chef Tu’s “Fried egg salad with ham, peppers, caviar & onion tarragon vinaigrette.”
Chef Tyler’s “Dumpling stuffed egg yolk wrapped in ham, sauce soubise & cheddar.”
And, of course, Chef Luck’s “Smoked (and soft boiled) duck eggs, red pepper gastrique, ham & cheese tempura, and pepper salad.”
Curious about the history of the Denver omelette? Check out this sources:
The Denver Omelet: The simple dish with a murky history may be disappearing. What is in a Denver Omelet anyway? By  The Denver Post
The Muddled History of the Denver Omelet, Rick Halpern, American Historical Association Today, January 7, 2017.
Order Up: Cracking Open The History Of The Denver Omelet, Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio interviews Matt Masich, June 2, 2016.