Colorado Springs restaurants featured at unlimited food, drink event

By Jen Mulson Updated: April 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm • Published: April 12, 2018 0

Does a nice dinner out land you at Red Lobster or Chili's?

Not that chain restaurants don't have positive attributes, but wouldn't it be nice to throw your dollars at a locally owned or family-owned restaurant or bar?

The 23rd Annual Pikes Peak Food, Wine & Beer Expo was founded to help people find new favorite local restaurants and watering holes to visit in the Pikes Peak region. More than 1,000 people attended last year. It's Sunday at The Broadmoor World Arena.

"Our goal is to keep local businesses relevant," said Brittany Bastian, event coordinator for the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, which is putting on the event. "Right now local is key, and we would rather people eat at locally owned, family-owned restaurants than a big-box place. We want Colorado Springs to thrive as a community, and one way to do that is through restaurants."

Attendees have four hours to nosh their way through nearly 80 booths featuring restaurants, distilleries, breweries and spirit vendors from the Springs and Pueblo. Samples aren't stingy either, Bastian said.

"They're almost like small plates, so people get full. And there's tons of alcohol and music."

As part of the afternoon's entertainment, 10 local chefs and 10 local bartenders go head to head in competition. Chefs will be given secret ingredients and told to devise an appetizer and entrée. Bartenders will create cocktails.

Trending this year are craft cocktails, said Bastian. Gin and bourbon are popular, as is infusing liquors to create new flavors.

"Anyone can have a regular old-fashioned," she said, "but how are they going to take it to the next level?"

A portion of the event's proceeds go to charities throughout the year, and leftover food from the chef competition is donated to Marian House Soup Kitchen.

"Colorado Springs is very transient with the military, and they need to be made aware of what we have to offer - what's new, what's exciting," Bastian said. "The restaurant industry is becoming younger, with pop-up restaurants. We want to focus on that and getting people to know, hey, this is what Colorado Springs has to offer when choosing where to go out to eat tonight. Try something new."

Comment Policy

Like us on Facebook