A Colorado culinary connection

Denver's food scene may not be as big as San Francisco's or New York's, but it isn't bad. In fact, it's the perfect match between intimacy and variety. And its size provides plenty of opportunities to get close not just to our restaurants, but to the specialty food shops around town. 

Culinary Connections of Colorado is a new company set up to help you do just that. Started by Cristino Griego of Della Radice Gourmand Services (pictured here ©2009 Alan Hill)  and 'foodie' Becky Creighton, Culinary Connections offers three food-related tours on Saturdays that give people a look at the stores and restaurants that make the scene thrive.

"There is a tremendous amount of excitement from both the tour guests and proprietors. We rotate the stores and restaurants so they stay fresh and we can continually introduce our clients to the best culinary experience Denver has to offer," says Creighton.

The Top Restaurant Tour involves visits to several area restaurants to meet with some of the best chefs in the state, including Frank Bonanno of Mizuna, Bones, Luca d'Italia and Osteria Marco; Elise Wiggins of Panzano;  Andre Frizzo of Il Posto; Keegan Gerhard of D Bar Desserts and Alex Siedel of Fruition. Wiggins offers a cooking class, as well. 

The Gourmet Culinary Tour takes you to such places as The TruffleWen Chocolates and Little Raven Vineyards. I'm especially excited about this tour, considering how fantastic the Truffle and Wen Chocolates are. (I haven't been to Little Raven Vineyards, but Creighton says it's one of her favorites.)

Finally, there's an Ethnic Market Tour that visits ethnic markets and restaurants, including H Mart and Rancho Liborio.

The tours are each chauffeur-driven, about four hours long, and cost $139 per person. Visit Culinary Connections of Colorado's website for more information. I plan on tagging along on a tour soon, and will report back.    -- Tyler Nemkov

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