Just as the World Cup reaches its final days, competitors in another major international sporting event, the Tour de France, begin tearing over mountain passes and through city streets on their bikes. And Cured, Boulder’s premier cheese, charcuterie and wine shop, is helping Tour de France spectators in Colorado celebrate the epic race with food and drink that honors different stages of the race.
The Tour begins this year in Leeds, England, passing through a number of towns – among them, Harrogate, York, Sheffield and Cambridge – before crossing the English Channel for the race’s namesake country. For the English leg of the Tour, Cured offers Montgomery cheddar, the most legendary of English cheddar cheeses, and Robinson’s Old Tom Ale, a classic English ale with just enough power, funk and bitterness to pair gorgeously with the cheese.
“Montgomery’s cheddar and Robinson’s Old Tom Ale are made just down the road from each other, and it turns out when the flavors meet, they embrace,” says Will Frischkorn, a former professional cyclist and Tour de France racer who co-owns Cured with his wife, Coral. “Because there are few things better than a good cheddar with a good beer, we are taking a departure from the wines of France. There is something special about proper cheddar and beer pairings. In this case, maybe it’s that the beer and cheese grew up so close to each other – they share similar flavors and richness in profiles. In addition, the carbonation in beer helps create fantastic pairings. This one is especially wonderful.”
Each summer Cured hosts its own Tour de France, a trip much easier to complete than the 21-day trek around France. Will breaks down the Tour into eight stages, each corresponding to between three or four days of racing. Each stage connects the cheeses and beverages with the region the racers are pedaling across. As the riders make their way clockwise around France, Cured de France “racers” follow along with cheese and wine or beer.
Each stage, available individually or as part of the whole package, comes with a healthy chunk of cheese and a drink to pair. Most beverage pairings are wine, but given the English leg of the trip this year, exceptional beer figures into the Cured de France, too. Prices vary between $25 and $50, depending on the stage; the entire bundled tour costs $295. People who go for the gusto by participating in the entire tour receive the newly released Looney Bin bottle cage from Arundel, designed to hold a bottle of wine, beer, or just about anything else, loaded up with a bottle of Cured’s House wine as a thank you and a congratulations on your effort!
Cured de France boxes are available for pick-up at the store, or for $95 a box gets sent to your doorstep at the start of each stage.
Stage One: July 5-7 (England)
Stage Two: July 8-10 (Northern France)
Stage Three: July 11-14 (Northeastern France)
Stage Four: July 15-18 (Eastern France and Southeastern France)
Stage Five: July 19-21 (Southeastern France and Southcentral France)
Stage Six: July 22-24 (Pyrenees)
Stage Seven: July 25-26 (Bordeaux)
Finale: July 27 (Paris)
“At the finale,” said Frischkorn, “we guiltily enjoy Champagne and a wedge of Fougerus while the riders finally get off their bikes and bid goodbye to the 101st Tour de France.”
July 2, 2014 – July 2, 2014
1235 Pearl Street
Megan is coordinating a Best of Boulder tour for a small group, highlighting the food scene that makes us so well-known and respected. Restaurants, Foodie Specialty Shops, The Wednesday Farmers’ Market, and more. We’re looking forward to this unique tasting tour.
June 6, 2014 – June 6, 2014
1235 Pearl Street
Becky had so much fun on tour with us that she’s invited her friends for a lunch-time soiree to some of Megan’s favorite Pearl Street hot-spots.
Coffee, great food, chocolate, and talking about all things food with Local Table Tours’ Founding Foodie.
Cassie has a lovely group of friends, and it was a lot of fun organizing a progressive dinner to some of Boulder’s best restaurants and bars for this group of cocktail-loving foodies.
We started at OAK at Fourteenth for a house-bottled soda as our first cocktail. When the bride-to-be tells me she wants a dinner that features cocktails, it’s pretty much a given that we’re going to include OAK.
I also wanted to start off on the lighter side, so OAK’s Kale and Apple salad made a great first stop.
Cassie let me know that cocktails were preferred, and beer tasting would be fun, but they weren’t much of a wine-drinking crowd. So, beer flights all around at our next stop, West Flanders Brewing.
West Flanders seated us in their second floor dining room and let each one of us pick the four beers we wanted to taste. They served some Hummus with Flatbread and Veggies and Devils on Horseback (bacon wrapped dates… love them!) for our second appetizer stop.
Our third stop was another cocktail and an entree at Riffs. The group enjoyed a light cocktail paired with a Mahi-Mahi dish prepared exclusively for us.
We were delighted to hear Chef Platt was serving this dish only to us this evening. It wasn’t on the menu, wasn’t a special, but made just for our group. Nice touch!
After organizing a number of progressive dinners and bachelorette parties, I’ve learned that dessert isn’t really craved and devoured my most people, especially ladies. So, I made our last stop another cocktail at The Bitter Bar and gave everyone a little chocolate goodie bag prepared for them by Piece, Love, and Chocolate so they could enjoy dessert at their leisure.
Cheers, ladies! It was a really fun evening.
Les Dames d’Escoffier of Colorado are a lovely group of ladies, or dames, if we dare declare, who are a women’s philanthropic organization that raises money for women entering the culinary field. Local Table Tours was honored to bring them on a tasting tour to a handful of Boulder’s best establishments.
Our first stop was OAK at Fourteenth for a “healthy” start to our afternoon. OAK has been known for a couple years now for it’s kale and apple salad. Chef Steve Redzikowski started serving this salad well before kale was cool, and it’s been a staple on their menu since they opened. No culinary excursion to Boulder is complete without a taste of OAK, as it continues to be listed among the top restaurants in Colorado.
We enjoyed the kale salad with a taste of a cocktail, as OAK is lauded not just for it’s fantastic food, but for it’s beverage program by co-owner Bryan Dayton as well. We enjoyed a light tail called The Steph, which is named after a frequent customer of Dayton’s bar .
We had a nice table in their private dining room, The Acorn Room, and as with many tours, just as soon as we were comfortable, it was time to move on… to cheese. Cured was our second stop and one of their managers and cheese aficionados, Jessica, offered us some tastes of her absolute favorite cheeses- a Kunik, Dunbarton Blue Cheddar, and Pleasant Ridge Reserve. My personal highlight of this tour was when she told us we were tasting a brand new wheel of Kinsman Ridge that she herself had not yet tasted. This wheel was made by the Landaff Creamery and aged at Jasper Hill, which means a WHOLE LOT to you if you follow artisan cheese. If you don’t, all you need to know is it’s a delicious cheese and you’d like to buy at least a 1/2 pound.
From Cured we went to Zeal- Food for Enthusiasts, for a nice chat with Culinary Director Arik Markus and a taste of a cold-pressed juice cocktail, falafel (which features carrot pulp from the juicer) and hummus. Zeal is Boulder’s newest restaurant, and has quickly become an excitingly popular place for healthy, clean food on the east end of Pearl Street. We could have sat at their community table all afternoon talking about food, but it was yet again time to move on.
By this time we were running a few minutes late, but our next stop, Locale Boulder, was luckily right next door. We arrived to a table of ten Aperol Spritz cocktails, which undoubtedly caused ten smiles. A spritz, arancini, and pizza allowed us a nice time to relax, eat, drink, and talk about the Colorado food scene. It became clear at this point that Local Table Tours’ guides have a VERY difficult job (smile).
Our dining experience at Locale was highlighted by a taste of their Budino, a perfect pudding that you MUST try.
After our first dessert, we were invited to visit the Stefano Ferrara oven, a 1,000 degree wood burning oven that is relatively cool to the touch on the outside. This is always a surprise to tour guests. How could something thats SO HOT be approachable…?
After a tour through the immaculate kitchen of Frasca Food & Wine, an introduction to their glass polishing room, and exiting through the formal dining room, we continued on to our second dessert at Piece Love & Chocolate. Sarah Amorese, owner and chocolate expert, not only introduced us to her chocolate boutique, but offered us tastes of baked goods, truffles, chocolate covered candied bacon, and sipping chocolate.
This was an incredibly fun afternoon, and we at Local Table Tours look forward to doing something like this again soon.