The assistant pastry chef at Frasca (who also happens to be one of my best friends) mentioned I should find out about a new company that was running gourmet market and restaurant tours. That same evening, at the Highlands wine bar A Cote (owned by Z Cuisine), I happened to run into Becky Creighton of Culinary Connectors. She shared a bite of her Tartine a la Parisienne and offered to take me to lunch so we could discuss her new venture.
Culinary Connectors is based on the idea that many cultures are centered around food and cooking. Every family get together, social gathering, funeral, celebration and evening at home involves food. It is what connects our society in a profound way. Now, if you can take that basic connection and expand it where people can connect to a particular chef, that chef to a writer/reviewer, that chef to his guests and guests to each other, then you’ve experienced something special. With this in mind, Culinary Connectors sets up tours where guests can visit 3-4 establishments or markets and get an insiders perspective. They can speak to the chef, tour the kitchen, be treated to a tasting, get an owner’s expert cooking advice and have an intimate encounter as if in that chef’s home.
For our meeting Becky suggested we met at Opus, in old town Littleton, where we dished about restaurants and had one of the best meals in town. Normally outside my restaurant reviewing radius, this fabulous establishment is right on Main Street and expertly run by Chef Michael Long. We didn’t know what we would be eating that day, as Chef Michael prepared a hand-selected meal for us. What came out of the kitchen was to die for. Juicy, organic Red Bird chicken stuffed with breadcrumbs that had been mixed with chunks of melting Tillamook cheddar cheese. It was served with a Broccoli Gratin that was light on the cheese and firm on the potatoes. The other dish was a perfectly cooked medium-rare Filet of Beef, wrapped in crispy prosciutto. Beside it was the creamy Porcini mushroom and blue cheese risotto. If that wasn’t enough to send me over the edge, then the dessert would. Chef Michael himself brought out his award winning Chocolate Chip Cookie Spring Rolls. A crunchy pastry shell wrapped around a molten center of chocolate chip cookie dough, served with vanilla ice cream and caramelized bananas. Wow. You too can indulge in the food at Opus. They are currently running a special price on their Tasting Menu which has been reduced from $69 to $59, for a limited time.
Check out both of these wonderful ventures and expand your culinary expertise.