Don’t forget to check out the previous installments in our five-part series on Winter. Part one offers a glimpse into the ballet’s soundtrack, part two looks at the show’s costumes, and part three discusses the specialty scents crafted for the show.
Four Denver chefs—Noah French (Sugarmill), Brian Crow (Devil’s Food Bakery & Cookery), Iain Chisholm (Amerigo Delicatus Restaurant & Market), and Bob Blair (Fuel Cafe)—are bringing their skills to a new table by serving bite-sized eats at Wonderbound‘s upcoming production of Winter.
Each chef is sponsoring two of the eight performances, either a pair of 6:15 p.m. appetizer shows or 8:30 p.m. dessert shows. Audience members are encouraged to dine at the supporting restaurant either before or after the production, as well.
Upon arrival at the venue, everyone will be handed a box with three to four bite-size treats to indulge in throughout the performance. I got an early taste of some of the delicacies (some we’re keeping a secret)—which means you’re getting a first look, too. (Note: Chefs like to change their minds based on available ingredients and mood; some of these items may vary by the time the curtain rises.)
I’m not revealing Crow’s at-the-show bites (hint: popcorn will be involved), but Devil’s Food will be offering a special three-course menu ($52.80 for two) that carries over from what the audience will be eating during the performance. Quiet your growling stomach with beet carpaccio (thinly sliced red, golden, and chioggia beets plated with oranges, crispy garlic chips, and a drizzle of crème fraîche); a leg of duck confit (pictured, right, with chicken) sitting on a ring of house-smoked pear and mascarpone risotto, honey-poached cherries, a cherry reduction, and charred thyme oil—one of the most unique and interesting flavor combinations I’ve tried all year; and a white chocolate tart with fig compote. “This time of year is exciting for chefs,” says Crow. “You can cook foods people grew up eating, those comfort classics.” In fact, Crow describes the aforementioned duck confit dish as his “last meal kind of meal.” Appetizer shows on December 10 and 11
French continues his knack for crafting not-too-sweet but immensely satisfying end-of-meal treats with his two-bite desserts for Winter: a delightful and surprising banana-maple macaron (pictured, top, left); fluffy chocolate-pistachio cake with pistachio mousse (third from left); the holiday-perfect pumpkin cake with caramel glaze, crushed pecans, and housemade granola (fifth from left); and creamy caramelized apple cheesecake with a pecan crust (second from right). “They’re all Christmas-y, wintry flavors,” French says. “It’s not like you have to search for the flavor [when you eat it]. It’s not overbearing, but you know what you’re tasting.” Dessert shows on December 10 and 11
At the show, Chisholm is going with an Amerigo customer favorite: charcuterie. In their box, audience members will find a deconstructed herbed pork rillette bruschetta with quince jam and a micro-basil salad. Back at his cozy restaurant, Chisholm is extending $30 Thursdays to both of his sponsored evenings. For three ten-spots, diners will get a choice of salad, entree, and dessert, plus a glass of house wine. “I’m a big eater,” Chisholm says. “My favorite time to cook is fall and early winter. Italian is naturally heavier. In winter, you can let loose a bit.” Appetizer shows on December 17 and 18
We can’t give it all away! You’ll have to discover these treats for yourself. Dessert shows on December 17 and 18
Winter hits the stage December 10, 11, 17, and 18, with two shows each evening (6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.) at Wonderbound Studio at Junction Box, 1075 Park Ave W. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased here.