Word of Mouth

Frank Bonanno travels Colorado's culinary landscape in Chef Driven

Frank Bonanno is driven. As if the chef/entrepreneur isn't busy enough running his ten restaurants (soon to be joined by an eleventh, Salt & Grinder), he's now the star of Chef Driven, a new show that debuts at 6 p.m. Sunday on Colorado Public Television. And he's teaming up with Seattle Fish Co. to host a seafood party that night in honor of the premiere episode at Lou's Food Bar; tickets are $30. (Call Lou's at 303-458-0336 to make a reservation.) See also: Frank Bonanno's ten favorite things at the ten Bonanno Concept restaurants In the six-part series, Bonanno will be traveling across Colorado to introduce the audience to some of the state's most notable farmers, ranchers, bakers, confectioners, brewers and distillers. He'll be cooking along the way, using ingredients and sharing techniques from each of the places he visits. And after each episode, he'll share the recipes he creates on chefdrivenshow.com (where you can also see the shows).

"As a chef, I make choices everyday about where I'm sourcing products. It always comes down to quality for me, and throughout my career as a restaurateur in Colorado, I'm continually amazed by the exceptional local products and ingredients that are available," says Bonanno in a releas. "Chef Driven is a show about just that - following a product, like striped bass or small batch whiskey, back to the source. As a consumer, it can be difficult to trace where your food is coming from, and Chef Driven is my opportunity to bridge that gap. I talk to people like Stephen Cochenour of Clear Creek Organic Farm and Lois Higgins from GrassRoots Meats, and share their philosophy by bringing it to the table - a full circle farm to table experience."

Here's the lineup of the episodes:

"Stewards of the Land," 6 p.m. Sunday, January 26 Frank Bonanno and Chris Gregory drive to Alamosa to visit Tyler Faucette, owner and operator of Colorado Catch, a family-owned sustainable fishery. They discuss sustainable fish farming and consumer benefits as they tour the farm. Back at Faucette's home, Bonanno prepares two raw, striped bass dishes. Bonanno and Gregory travel back to Denver where Bonanno hosts a dinner party and shares more cooking techniques for preparing Colorado striped bass. "A Lost Connection," 6 p.m. Sunday, February 2 Frank Bonanno visits with Stephen Cochenour, farmer at Clear Creek Organics farm in Wheat Ridge.Bonanno and Cochenour illustrate the grower-chef relationship that Clear Creek Organics has with Mizuna, Bonanno's acclaimed French restaurant in Denver. After gathering fresh produce, Frank prepares traditional pasta Bolognese and carbonara for friends and family. Bonanno Concepts wine director and sommelier Kelly Wooldridge pairs each pasta with a few of his favorite Italian wines. "Grass-Finished," 6 p.m. Sunday, February 9 Frank Bonanno visits Allan and Lois Higgins, owners of GrassRoots Meats, in Pagosa Springs. They discuss the benefits of grass-finished beef. Back in Denver, Bonanno grills steaks with executive chef and creative director Tyler Wiard of Elway's Restaurant Group. Green Russell bartender Adam Hodak demonstrates how to make the perfect Negroni cocktail and Bonanno shares the secrets to making his favorite burger. "Liquid Bread," 6 p.m. Sunday, February 23 Frank Bonanno visits with Tony Simmons, president and head brewer at Pagosa Brewing in Pagosa Springs. Green Russell bartender Adam Hodak demonstrates the "Beer" cocktail, and Bonanno tours the Grateful Bread Company in Golden with the bakery's CEO and head baker, Jeff Cleary. Bonanno and Cleary then judge a sandwich contest between the Bonanno Concepts executive chefs. Later in the episode, Bonanno spends a little quality time in the kitchen with his youngest son, Marco, to make fish and chips for lunch.

"Caramels and Spirits," 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 Ellen Daehnick, owner of Hellimae's Handcrafted Caramels, joins Frank Bonanno in the kitchen to demonstrate her caramel-making technique. Together, Bonanno and Daehnick prepare the perfect pie crust for a caramel apple pie and Green Russell bartender Adam Hodak pairs a dessert cocktail. Bonanno and Chris Gregory tour Leopold Bros with founder Todd Leopold to learn the craft of small batch distilling.

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