How many chefs and local restaurants from Colorado Springs have been featured on Food Network in the past six months? More than you think!
What do Chopped; Cooks vs. Cons; Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; and Halloween Wars all have in common? They’ve all featured a Colorado Springs chef or restaurant in fall 2015 or spring 2016. In fact, our city snuggled up against the Rockies has had 10 (corrected after adding another DDD appearance!) different run-ins with Food Network in the past six months. We’ve always known how great our local food scene is, but it’s nice to get some national coverage! Congratulations to all of the featured chefs – thanks for making us proud!
Spice Island Grill, The Skirted Heifer, and more on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
With his classic car and knack for finding some of the nation’s hidden culinary gems, Guy Fieri recently rolled through Colorado Springs, stopping at some of our favorite local haunts.
Spice Island Grill, one of the destinations featured on our Original Colorado Springs Food Tour, was first on his list. Owned by Claudette and Glenroy Hutchinson, this restaurant offers authentic Jamaican fare created from family recipes and spices that Grandma brings home every year in her extra suitcase (seriously!).
Their episode recently aired in January 2016 and shows Guy tasting their curry goat, rice and peas, jerk chicken, and fried plantains.
The Skirted Heifer; sister restaurant to Bambino’s Urban Pizzeria, also one of our culinary destinations; was also featured on an episode that aired in January 2016. Their over-the-top burgers and toppings landed them on Guy’s radar, and he tasted homemade bloody Mary ketchup, the Hangover Burger, the Pueblo Farmer Burger, and hand-cut fries.
Here’s a list of each episode and the Colorado Springs restaurant that was featured:
- “All Kinds of Meats” featuring Spice Island Grill
- “Between the Breads” featuring The Skirted Heifer
- “Piggin Out” featuring Pig Latin Food Truck
- “Family Legacies” featuring Front Range BBQ
- “East-West Flavorfest” featuring Mountain Shadows Restaurant
- “Isle-talian” featuring Rasta Pasta and Paravicini’s Italian Bistro
Chef Heidi Trelstad on Halloween Wars
Everyone needs a little dessert in their life, and there’s no one better to bring the sweet than Heidi Trelstad of Chef Sugar’s Cakes and Confections. Located on the north side of Colorado Springs, this local bakery offers an array of daily delicacies along with show-stopping custom cakes.
Just so you get an idea of how creative and tasty Heidi’s creations are, we invite you to dream about how delicious peach Bellini cupcakes, watermelon Parisian macarons, or salted caramel latter cupcakes must be!
Even more impressive than her confections and cupcakes are her signature custom cakes. Chef Sugar designs one-of-a-kind cakes for baby gender reveals, birthday parties, weddings, and more.
Heidi’s talent got the attention of Food Network, and she recently competed for the second time on one of their baking challenges. On a team with two other people, she fought for a chance to win $50,000 on Season 5 of Halloween Wars in October 2015. Way to go, Heidi!
Chef Brother Luck on Chopped
We knew we were in an unforgettable summer meal when we sat on the patio of Brother Luck Street Eats (now closed) in Old Colorado City and saw watermelon salad topped with popped rocks on their menu. Chef Brother Luck (yes, that’s his real name!) continues to make everyday ingredients “pop” at this neighborhood restaurant with a rotating seasonal menu.
If nothing else, a true chef is passionate about inventing new tastes and flavors. That’s why Chef Luck’s menu changes to allow for an infusion of creativity and seasonal produce. Currently, their winter menu boasts eggplant bisque with macerated cherries, oxtail risotto, and monkfish tail served with beets. We love that his philosophy is, “Good ingredients with proper technique equals great memories shared by our customers.”
In January 2016, Chef Luck flew out to Food Network’s studio in New York City to compete on the increasingly popular show Chopped. He competed against three other chefs from around the country for a chance to win $10,000. Unfortunately, he recently found out that the show won’t air, but he’s hinted on his Facebook page that Food Network hasn’t seen the last of him and that he’ll be back on another show this summer!
Chef Mark Henry on Cooks vs. Cons
Haven’t heard of Cooks vs. Cons yet? That’s because it’s a brand new show on Food Network that just debuted in March 2016! The show features four people competing in two cooking challenges with secret ingredients, but there’s a twist: two of the cooks are professionals, and two of the cooks are cons. If a con garners the judges’ vote and is the last person standing, they are awarded a whopping $15,000. If a professional chef is the most convincing, it’s a $10,000 take-home prize.
Birds of feather flock together, and Chef Mark Henry is actually the sous chef for Chef Brother Luck. He was invited to compete on the new show, which had him create a burger using breakfast cereal and an entrée using tropical fruit.
Chef Mark made us proud by taking home the win – $10,000!
Marc Murphy from Chopped does Cooking Demonstration
Coming all the way from New York, Marc Murphy was in Colorado Springs in March 2016 as the celebrity keynote for several fundraising festivities benefiting the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Rocky Mountain Food Tours owner Samantha and her mom Karen snagged a couple of tickets for an exclusive cooking demonstration with the famed chef and Chopped judge.
His demonstrations included cheesy risotto, eggplant bruschetta, and zucchini salad, each paired with wine. While he cooked, he shared with us a behind-the-scenes look into Chopped including facts like the mystery ingredients are selected by the same two people, the show takes 10 hours to film, and Food Network picks up each judge at his or her home on the day of filming.
He also said that all of the judges, who are each successful chefs in their own right, are so close they have somewhat of a brotherhood. When he was asked to be a judge, he thought, “Why not?!” and since has been shocked with its growth and the fact that they are now in their eighth season.
Marc has a new cookbook out called Season with Authority, and it contains delicious recipes that reflect his French and Italian upbringing. We were fortunate to have met this laid back and funny guy, and we hope to dine in one of his restaurants, Landmarc and Ditch Plains, soon!
We know that Colorado Springs will continue to make a splash in the culinary world, and we’re happy to be a part of it! Join us on one of our food tours to explore local food and how it’s changing the way people eat and travel. Cheers!
Note: Brother Luck Street Eats is now closed. Try Brother Luck’s new restaurants, Four by Brother Luck and Mark Henry’s new restaurant Rooster’s House of Ramen, both of which are featured on our Original Colorado Springs Food Tour!