I was greatly looking forward to the Denver part of our tour because it is the home of my dear long-time friend Holly Arnold Kinney, owner of the Fort Restaurant. And I knew that she was planning a very special event at the Fort. We were expecting only low temperatures in the 30's, so flying into -14 degrees F and 5 inches of snow was an unexpected and unprepared for shock. I immediately went to the ladies' room and put on everything in my suitcase. Woody enjoyed kidding me that I looked like the younger brother in "The Christmas Story" movie, all bundled up to try and stay unfrozen. Our first event was a lecture at the Johnson & Wales Culinary School. We first given a tour which included a pastry class and sampling of amazingly delicious wheat croissants made by students of Marcia Kramer, Associate Professor of Culinary. We then enjoyed a lunch prepared by the savory students. The theme that day was of Indian cuisine and Italian desserts featuring traditional cannoli (the best I've ever encountered because the shell was exceptionally light and crisp) and tiramisu. We were fortunate to have our Baking Bible video played in the beautiful amphitheater lecture and demonstration hall to kickoff our lecture to over 150 students and visitors. The focal point of our lecture was our Powerpoint presentation highlighting several of our tests to show the students discoveries and results from our recipe testing. At the end of our lecture, I was unexpectedly honored by dean Jorge de la Torre, while the audience enjoyed Praline Meringue Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies perfectly executed by their fellow pastry students.
For the evening event, we drove to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, to a beautiful wintery scene of The Fort restaurant blanketed with snow. We were greeting by Holly and Jeremy Kinney, who hosted a launch party for the book and a benefit for the Colorado Chapter of Les Dames D'Escoffer. The staff put out an enticingly delicious Western cuisine buffet of buffalo sausage, bison tongue on toast, guacamole, and refried beans with crispy tortillas. To launch our book, Holly had it done in The Fort's traditional high style with all of us going outside into the winter night's extreme cold for a tomahawking of the champagne. Our tomahawker effortlessly sent the cork flying with a single swoop, immediately filled my glass with bubbling champagne, and handed me the cork, still firmly housed in the top of the green bottle neck, as a lovely souvenir. Our dinner finale was individual Cadillac Cafe Milk Chocolate Bread Puddings from the book, made by The Forts chefs. Stay tuned for Colorado Springs and more special events in Denver.