Hickenlooper went on to tout Denver's 2253 restaurants, which account for almost 50 percent of the city's sales tax; the eighteen elementary-school gardens putting food on the table; the fact that "Colorado is the beer capital of the country" -- a pronouncement that inspired hoops and hollers.
And then he introduced Bourdain, offering him a sterling silver Fork to the City.
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Bourdain had already been presented with a collection of local microbrews, and he put one to good use as he took a swig and started his Denver talk with this: "An apology is in order."
But by the end of Bourdain's generous talk, which accommodated dozens of questions from fans both wacky and wise, he had nothing to apologize for. And neither did Denver.
Come back here later today for Lori Midson's account of Bourdain's day in Denver.