Boulder Food Media’s Holiday Event at The St. Julien

I briefly wrote about Boulder Food Media back in August but since we’re rounding up the end of this year, I want to share the story in full, especially as we just hosted our 6th meetup and are 38 member strong (and growing).

My friend Toni of Boulder Locavore and I launched Boulder Food Media in March of this year. We both shared a appreciation for the growing food scene in Boulder and the spoils of our area. We kept finding ourselves attending the same food events and restaurant openings, but often traveling to Denver or beyond Boulder which ended up being 1-2 hours round trip. Although we love exploring everywhere (and still do/travel), we recognized there were so many local food writers, food photographers and food bloggers in the Boulder area and we wanted a place for all of us formally gather, since nothing like that existed.

Our vision has come to fruition where we’re able to provide a mix of networking, opportunities, meeting new friends in the same field, learning more about the local food scene, interacting with chefs, restauranteurs, bartenders, farmers and food purveyors.

We’re open to anyone involved in food media whether you’re a writer, blogger or photographer in Boulder (and immediate surrounding areas). There is no requirement in terms of your level of experience or involvement. You can attend every event or just one a year. It’s however you see fit. We strive to create a supportive community, while also ensuring the events we plan are enjoyable. We approve each member to ensure they’re in the Boulder area and involved in food media, and have a $10 annual fee simply to pay administrative costs that Meetup charges us for hosting our group through them.

That said, if you’re interested in joining or have any questions just holler. You can learn more about the group here.

Our 6th meetup and holiday gathering was at Jill’s Restaurant in The St. Julien Hotel. Hosted by the eccentric and delightful Philippe Antoine, General Manager (a third generation family member in the French restaurant business) we were completely wowed with the hospitality, thoughtful food presentation and dishes that proved to be even more fresh and creative that most remember Jill’s having in the past.

Jill’s is open everyday at 6:30 AM for breakfast for guests not only at The St. Julien, but also available for lunch and dinner to anyone stopping in. Guided by Executive Chef, Lauren Mechin the food is now contemporary American and French cuisine and even with their high-volume and long hours for a restaurant in a hotel, they pull from local harvests, make chocolates and cure meats in house and focus on sustainability. That is no small feat for an operation such as theirs.

I’ll let the photos do the talking but between our blossoming group and the table-side cooking from Jill’s staff that provided succulent dishes, it was an evening to remember.

We started with gourmet tots with truffle caviar and aioli and reggiano cheese. Albeit hearty and I think I could have had this whole plate!

An incredible cheese and charcuterie plate, most of which were made or soured local. I’m a cheese plate aficionado and this was one of the better spreads I’ve seen.

E&J Farm Trout Amandine with roasted fall vegetables cooking station. Photography in action from Angela and Jennifer.

Pumpkin Ravioli (a seasonal dish) with sage brown butter, toasted pepitas, cipollini onions, reggiano, crumbled amaretto.

Philippe himself stood at one of the stations, preparing to flambĂ© bananas foster (a dish they truly do table side when you order it at Jill’s). It makes for “oohs” and “ahhs” especially since it’s not as common at restaurants anymore. The rum, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream made for such a nice dessert.

Special thanks to the team at St. Julien and Jill’s for being such gracious hosts and tailoring the event to our group! Happy holidays everyone.