If food is, indeed, the next rock-and-roll, as Ferran Adria once said, then Michael Pollan is certainly one of its superstars; the author and professor has made major inroads in how we all think about what goes into our body, using his body of work -- which includes Botany of Desire, Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food and Food Rules -- to advocate sustainable living and conscious eating. He was in town last night speaking at the Paramount, the first time he's been to Denver since Omnivore's Dilemma was published.
And afterward, he needed sustenance.
So where did Pollan book a table? Fuel Cafe.
Fuel Cafe chef/owner Bob Blair subscribes to a sustainability mission of his own, bringing in organic ingredients and building a menu based on what he can find. And he's passionate about it: We've never been to Fuel without getting into a lengthy discussion over the virtues of local versus organic, the nitty-gritty details of what it means when beef is labeled grass-fed or why it's important to understand where your food comes from.
That made Blair's restaurant a shoe-in to host Pollan, and last night, he cooked for Pollan's private party with the help of Nate Hamel, Fuel's sous chef, along with Daniel Asher -- chef and raw foods guru from Root Down and Linger -- and Robin Baron, head of the kitchen at Udi's.
The event was extremely under-the-radar: Fuel ran its regular Denver Restaurant Week night and then closed early to host the small group, who dined on a few simple courses to wind down. The $1,000 per person dinner-- which included just ten people -- was a fundraiser for Ekar, a local urban Jewish communal farm and garden.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.