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—Photo by Aaron Colussi

Hot Stuff: Basta’s Wood-Fired Piada

There's more to Basta's Italian-style flatbread than meets the eye.

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Sometimes, a loaf of bread is just a loaf of bread—but not at Basta in Boulder. The wood-fired piada (an Italian-style flatbread) represents the next domino to fall in the local food movement: grains. Chef Kelly Whitaker makes the entirely irresistible appetizer using mostly Colorado-grown varieties that the Basta crew mills and grinds daily. And it’s not just about the feel-good factor; it’s about taste, too. Unlike all-purpose flour, these grains—red wheat, einkorn, and wheat berries—retain a detectable, nutty wholesomeness that comes from the land on which they’re grown. “We’re not trying to be evangelistic inside the walls of the restaurant; we want it to be about the food,” Whitaker says. “But once we connect through flavors and you ask, ‘What is this?’—then we can have a discussion.” To further that dialogue, Whitaker founded Noble Grain, a nonprofit that supports the production and distribution of grains between local farmers, chefs, and bakers, in June. Ponder his mission between bites. 3601 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-997-8775

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