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Eat and Drink

13 Front Range Makers to Have On Your Foodie Radar

Enliven your diet with these stellar condiments, spices, baked treats, and more.

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34 Degrees

If 34 Degrees’ Crisps are the cracker darlings of Denver, then the brand’s new Snaps are its highly snackable sibling. The airy, baked chickpea thins, sold in sea salt, everything, and onion-dip-ready umami flavors, are also produced at the company’s Louisville facility, founded in 2003 by Craig Lieberman, a co-owner of Beckon in RiNo.

Bits & Pieces Con Cerveza

Only order delivery of Orlando Benavidez’s green- and red-chile corn tortillas if you’re comfortable forming a new habit. Made by the New Mexico native and longtime Denver chef using puréed chiles (never dyes), each street-taco-size round is wonderfully supple and fragrant. Bits & Pieces’ spice blends, especially the sweet-and-savory Mexican jerk seasoning featured on its food truck menu, are flavor bombs, too.

Bubby Goober’s Baked Goods

When even omnivores feel torn between Bubby Goober’s flaky vegan hand pies and its traditional, butter-laden versions, you know you’re dealing with some spectacular pastries. Wife-and-wife team Jennifer Tom and Corrie Sharp fill each five-inch pie with sweet-tart combinations like their Black & Bluebarb (blackberries, blueberries, rhubarb) and cherry amaretto (fresh or frozen cherries, amaretto-soaked dried cherries, and sour cherry jam). We say try them all, available for delivery or pickup in Montclair.

Chimichurri Bros.

After being furloughed during the March 2020 COVID-19 restaurant shutdown, chefs Austin Hume and Forrest Bayne decided to become makers of tangy chimichurri, the herb-, garlic-, and vinegar-based sauce native to Argentina and Uruguay (they dubbed theirs Gaucho Sauce). Today, Chimichurri Bros. makes several seasonal iterations, including basil-mint, Palisade peach, and springtime ramp versions—all of which play well with steak, fish, and brats.

 

Photo courtesy of Black Knife Bakery

Black Knife Bakery

Baker Deviny Herrera likes to try new things. Case in point: She has created more than 100 macaron flavors at her takeaway-only, Westminster bakery since opening in 2018, from lavender chai crème brûlée to ube pandan to hot Cheetos (really). Order a mixed dozen or two of the gorgeous confections and get ready to swoon.

Edwards Meats

Dry, rubbery, oversalted—none of these unfortunate characteristics have anything to do with the 10 varieties of jerky that the pros at 59-year-old Edwards Meats in Wheat Ridge craft and smoke on-site. Their juicy teriyaki buffalo strips and peppered Angus steak sticks are a meat-snack lover’s holy grail. It’s time to ditch the stuff from the gas station.

Getright’s Bakery and Plant Nursery

If baker and plant obsessive (and former Uncle executive sous chef) Matt Dulin could design his own cafe, it would be warm, welcoming, full of potted plants, and smell like fresh-from-the-oven sourdough, croissants, and fruit galettes. That’s the vision he’s trying to realize through his year-old, delivery-based bakery and nursery, from which you can score some of Denver’s finest baked goods and the ponytail palm of your (and his) dreams.

Konjo Ethiopian Food

Konjo’s berbere spice blend—a mix of 14 aromatics, including dried red chile, cloves, and green cardamom—tastes just as good as a seasoning for grilled chicken and roasted vegetables as it does in the hearty stews sold at Konjo’s food truck, Edgewater Market stall, and online. Stock up on the berbere, kib’eh (clarified butter), and awaze (berbere-infused hot sauce) and your home cooking will always sing.

Linji Market

Move over, Sriracha: Thailand native Rasami Storm’s prik pad nam-man is coming in hot—literally. Drizzle the crunchy chile oil, brimming with dried chiles, vegan red miso, and fried garlic, over ramen, eggs, rice, and anything—really, everything—else that could use a spicy-salty kick.

MisoHot Chili Paste

Denver private chef Curtis Bell tested his miso-based spicy chile paste, which he originally concocted as a condiment for ramen, at least 35 times before he was satisfied that it was good enough to jar and share with the world. Using red miso and six kinds of roasted chiles as his base, Bell has taken hot sauce to dazzling, must-have heights. We particularly love it spread on a hot tortilla with butter, thinly sliced radishes, and coarse salt.

Ms. Betty’s Cooking

Denver chef Tajahi Cooke’s grandmother Betty, who moved from what is now Bangladesh to Jamaica in the 1940s, liked to add her family-recipe curry powder to dahl and to mango and chicken curries. We agree with Ms. Betty that those are very fine uses, but we also think Cooke’s allspice- and cinnamon-rich spice blend adds just the right oomph to marinades and aïolis, too.

Table Mountain Farm

The secret to these silky caramel sauces is fresh milk from happy Cañon City goats. Owner Amanda Adare’s dedication to using organic cane sugar and fair-trade organic cocoa powder, vanilla beans, and cinnamon doesn’t hurt either. We’re obsessed with the salted dark chocolate and whiskey flavors.

Yo Bucha

Mom-of-two Anna Postek, who has called Colorado home for nearly three decades, decided three years ago to create a snack for her kids that would be tasty and good for them, and so Yo Bucha—a line of antioxidant-, probiotic- and omega-3-packed yogurts flavored with fresh fruit, chia seeds, and green tea kombucha—was born. Each cup is like a layered parfait and comes in strawberry hibiscus, blueberry lemon, vanilla peach, and raspberry lime flavors.

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