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Penny Parker On The Town: Bravo reality real estate show tackles Aspen market

I will confess that I love all things Bravo. I’m addicted to all the reality series, as well as to honcho Andy Cohen, who hosts “Watch What Happens Live” five nights a week (I’ve even got Mr. On the Town hooked on Andy’s show as well as “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”).

Most of those shows are train wrecks that you can’t take your eyes off of. So here comes the sixth season of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,” where cast members Josh Altman (ick!), Josh Flagg and Madison Hildebrand compete fiercely for listings since the market has rebounded.

Inventory is low, according to a recent story on www.skicurbed.com, and the threesome are trying to find “sprawling estates for high-profile clients.”

So, unfortunately for Aspen, Altman calls Glamour Gulch his “second home”. Here’s part of the interview with Altman (see all of the interview at http://bit.ly/18V7lbp):

So, why Aspen?

We’ve been vacationing here for over eight years now. Matt (Josh’s brother) went to the University of Colorado in Boulder and after our family started visiting him out there, we fell in love with Colorado and especially Aspen. Our parents loved it so much, they ended up buying a place in Aspen as a vacation home. A few years later they made it their permanent home.

What are some of your favorite Aspen hangouts?

Most the time you’ll find us at The Caribou Club … we love to unwind on the comfortable couches. You’ll also see us at Pacifica, Jimmy’s and Cache Cache.

What’s your experience in the Aspen market?

We’ve done quite a few deals in Aspen and get a lot of calls. People know we are familiar with the area and have the best overseas reach to buyers through “Million Dollar Listing” and through Christie’s Great Estates. We consider it our second home, so love to co-list and co-market with local agents and are able to get them very high-profile clients.

What are your overall impressions of the real estate market in Aspen?

I feel the market keeps getting better and better and will continue to strengthen. Coming into the fourth quarter, we should see some good movement. I think it’s a great time to buy and invest here. Anyone who thinks other resort towns are hotter, obviously have never been to Aspen – in my opinion it’s the most beautiful place in the country.

Season six of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” premieres on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. MDT on Bravo.

Josh Altman of the Bravo Network's "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" (Bravo Network photo)

Josh Altman of the Bravo Network’s “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.” (Bravo Network photo)

 

Welcome to Actasana
Actasana is the latest addition to the entertainment scene in Denver. But what is Actasana?

According to www.Actasana.com, Actasana’s mission is “to unleash our imaginations and set the artist within us free through acting, yoga, comedy and theatre.”

Actasana is located at 1491 S. Holly St. in Denver will integrate its acting program with yoga into each class. The space includes a 27-seat black-box theater and is “set to have play productions on the Namastage, stand-up comedy nights, workshops, featured artists series” and a new filmmakers’ night.

Artistic Director Lea Marlene, a native Coloradan, earned a degree in journalism; broadcast news and television with a minor in theatre from Colorado State University. Marlene moved to Hollywood after college where she studied the Meisner technique with two of the nation’s best Meisner-certified teachers, Bill Alderson of Aldersonstudio.com and John Ruskin of Ruskinschool.com.

David Lauer is Actasana’s co-founder and has 20-plus years experience in the film industry. His visual effects credits include “Armageddon,” “The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Night at the Museum” and “The Incredible Hulk.” His most recent roles was as co-visual effects supervisor on the Academy Award-winning “Life of Pi.”

For more information, visit the website or call 720-638-2612

Pop-up place

For a limited time, Denver’s Curtis Hotel is offering a package with a one-night stay in a pop-up inflatable room that rises 22 feet in the air, thanks to a scissor lift on top of the van on which it sits.

The cost? Hang onto your checkbooks … it’s $50,000. There is a weight limit (yikes!), and no smoking allowed.

Architect Alex Schweder created the 5-foot-by-7-foot see-through room atop a van for the Biennial of the Americas festival, according to an Associated Press story.

The room has a chemical toilet, shower, sink, inflatable bed and couch and curtains. It is being driven to parking lots around town through Aug. 23.

The seen

On a sign (see below) posted by a homeowner on the Biltmore Golf Course in Arizona: “If you come through this door uninvited you will be killed.” The sign also carries a Spanish translation. Talk about need of anger management.

photo

(Barb Simmons photo)

 

 

Eavesdropping on two women at The Palm discussing the merits of dating younger men: ”Younger guys are smarter because they just got out of school and remember everything we forgot.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Suites caterer makes it even sweeter for Peyton Manning

Real Broncos fans are revving up for this season with the new shot in the arm of Peyton Manning, who has the potential to bring pizzaz back to our football team.

Epicurean Catering (www.epicureancatering.com), the exclusive food purveyor to suite holders at Sports Authority Field, are setting their palates and culinary prowess around the building excitement of Peyton playing for the home team.

“We’ve sold out the suites and club level,” said Adam Hammond, executive chef and general manger for Epicurean. “There’s so much excitement with Peyton. We are bringing in disposable products to be green. It’s a big standard we hold ourselves to.”

Epicurean hosted invited guests from the Broncos organization and the press to taste new menu offerings available to suite holders at Sports Authority Field this year. Most meals are themed to the opposing team such as gumbo when The Saints Come Marching In, or ribs when Kansas City invades our space.

The themed packages include two starters, two salads, two proteins, vegetable and starch, one carved item and two desserts. Epicurean prefers to offer individual desserts to cut down on waste. “We are trying to focus on a 100-mile menu,” said Stephanie Blackford, Epicurean communications director.

To achieve that goal, Epicurean is working with Alan Preblud, executive director of the company We Don’t Waste (www.wedontwaste.org). The company collects unused food from various purveyors in an effort to recycle to those in need.

“We provided over 40,000 meals last season which is 120,000 servings.,” Preblud said. “In two years the stadium has provided 10,000 meals and 30,000 servings.”

Hammond said that the Manning factor has already affected suite sales. “We’re trying to bring it up a level. Suite holders get excited for the season.”

Help local chef win Bravo fan favorite

Chef Jenna Johansen, Denver’s contestant on Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates” (think “Amazing Race” meets “Top Chef”) may have been booted from the cunning culinary competition, but she can still win “fan favorite” with help from her fans by voting online.

“I would really appreciate every single vote that comes my way to swing the fan favorite vote to the cheerful chef who speaks all the languages,” Johansen said in an e-mail. “This may seem like a silly and small thing to ask for, but your five minutes weekly for the next few weeks until the winner is announced means the world to me. (PS you want to watch the finale!!!)”

There are two ways to vote, and here are the rules: You can vote 10 times EACH WEEK by texting “Jenna” to 27286 (BRAVO),  or you can vote 40 times EACH WEEK at http://www.bravotv.com/live-vote/around-the-world-in-80-plates/vote. Voting resets each Wednesday night until 2 p.m. Mountain Time July 25.

The winning Fan Favorite gets $10,000.

“I really, really, really want to win. I cannot do it without a lot of help!,” said Johansen, who owns Dish in Edwards but lives in Denver with fiance charcuterie king Mark DeNittis. ”I sincerely appreciate any and all votes you send my way. Please send this information to anyone you think may be interested in helping Team Jenna win…Thanks for supporting the Colorado girl!”

Shake, shake, shake

Larkburger, the Vail Valley-based burger joint with a handful of locations around the state, and its ice cream partner Boulder Ice Cream, is shaking up July – National Ice Cream Month – with its Shake it Up promotion where on Saturdays and Sundays this month a 12-ounce shake will sell for $2 – a $1.50 discount.

The discount is good at all Larkburger locations (www.larkburger.com). There’s also a contest for a chance to win milkshakes for a year, a Boulder Ice Cream (www.bouldericecream.com) t-shirt and 24 pints of ice cream. Full contest details at www.larkburger.com.

Eavesdropping on a woman watching two other woman at Elway’s Cherry Creek’s concert on the patio: “Did they call each other and say let’s wear our shortest shorts?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Benemann has ties that bind

In my opinion, CBS4 news anchor Jim Benemann has the best ties on TV.

And with Father’s Day – the tribute to ties – just days away, I asked Benemann about his necktie knowledge. Oddly, he says he has never received a tie on Dad’s Day, but his kids have given him a snappy pocket square or two.

“Thanks for noticing the ties,” Benemann told me. ”I’d guess I have about a hundred of them. And to keep the traffic moving I made a promise to myself to throw out the same number of the new ones I buy. If not I’d have hundreds and most would be collecting dust in the closet.

“I pick them out myself and gravitate towards vivid colors or rich-looking conservative colors and patterns. I will say it’s easier being an anchorman than an anchorwoman. The guys just have to wear a conservative suit and dress it up with a great tie and you’re ready to roll. I think viewers are much more critical of the women’s attire. And in general women’s fashion changes more quickly and dramatically than men’s.  Now where’s that navy suit??”

Check out Benemann’s ties that bind viewers to CBS4 week nights.

Mark your calendars

Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill is bringing its Cultivate Food, Ideas & Music Festival Oct. 6 to the Meadow at City Park. The free one-day festival will include cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, live music, food artisans and other activities emphasizing fresh and affordable food made with sustainable ingredients.

“These events give our customers an opportunity to experience Chipotle in a new way and to learn something about issues in food, develop a deeper appreciation for farmers and food artisans who are changing food culture for the better, and enjoy some great music,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle.

Celeb chefs conducting food demos are Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef All-Stars and owner of Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta; Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, owners of Animal and Son of a Gun in Los Angeles; and Amanda Freitag from Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef America.

Other chefs joining the Denver event are Michael Chiarello, TV chef and owner of Chiarello Family Vineyards in Napa Valley and Boulder’s Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca Food and Wine. For more information, go to chipotle.com/cultivate.

A taste of Italy

Denver-based chef Jenna Johansen is a foodie rock star. She’s still a partner in Dish! restaurant in Edwards, but is spending most of her time in the metro-area to be a personal chef and fiancee to Mark DeNittis, the chef at salumi purveyor Il Mondo Vecchio.

Johansen’s most recent claim to fame is as a contestant on Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates, an Amazing Race meets Top Chef show airing Wednesday nights.

You can meet the worldly chef from 6 to 8 p.m. June 24 during the Heart of Italy evening – a five-course Italian dining experience – for $99 per person not including tax and tip at Pizza Republica, 5375 Landmark Place, Greenwood Village.

Each of the five courses is paired with wine. For reservations, call 720-489-5156 or go to www.pizzarepublica.com.

A horse of course

Horse lovers and admirers are invited to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, 5530 E. Highway 86, Franktown, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to take a guided tour, enjoy food and refreshments and see horses available for adoption.

The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center is not a sanctuary or a rescue facility and does not accept owner-relinquished horses. It is for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have been removed from owners by law enforcement authorities. For more information, go to ddfl.org/equine or call 303-751-5772.

Eavesdropping on a man at the Denver Botanic Gardens: “I’m going to get a bobblehead made of myself.”

Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Flagg will fly in Denver

Bravo TV’s reality star Josh Flagg from Million Dollar Listing is the special guest for Realty & Reality, a fundraiser for the Denver Colorado AIDS Project from 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 8 in the penthouse of Residence XXV (1891 Curtis St.).

“We’re very excited that Josh is able to join us to raise funds and awareness,” said Ruth Pederson, CEO of Colorado AIDS Project. “We are very grateful that he is supportive of the work that we do for HIV-affected individuals here in Denver. To have the support of such a young dynamic individual whose reach is national is invaluable.”

In addition to being a reality star, Flagg is a published author and one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30.” Season five of Million Dollar Listing debuts June 6. For more information on Flagg, go to joshflagg.com. Tickets to the Denver event are $50. To buy them go to denvercap.org.

After the event, Flagg will host an after party at Chloe Mezze lounge (1445 Market St.) for small plates, speciality cocktails and dancing. The cover charge will be waived until 10 p.m. if you show your DCAP ticket stub at the door.

Beer here

Elitch Gardens amusement park has partnered with Wynkoop Brewing Co. to brand two beers for park attendees. The craft beers in the Blue Moon Beer Garden are part of Elitch’s effort to up the food offerings from fried to fresh.

“We wanted to make a culinary presence in the park,” said food and beverage boss Homer Hall. “This was the natural evolution. What is more Colorado? Craft brewing.”

Hall said his goal is to brew beer on the Elitch Gardens property in a few years. In addition to offering Wynkoop beers, chefs at Elitch’s are using the brews in barbecue sauces also sold at the Beer Garden.

Chef Chris Basley wanted to capitalize on Denver’s culinary scene by bringing fresh made food to the park.

“Denver has such a great culinary scene already, so we wanted to embrace it,” Basley said. “We make salads and wraps fresh every day and tacos and sauces from scratch.”

Hall said that his mission was to repair the amusement park food image. “Having everything fried is not what Colorado is. We’re cranking out really good fresh food.”

Kleinman cooks

Molecular gastronomy whiz chef Ian Kleinman is in the house at Studio F, the cooking school space owned by chef James Mazzio in the Ice House in LoDo, through Saturday.

On Friday, I sampled a lemondrop martini with blueberry caviar, liquid nitrogen bruschetta popcorn, lump crab creme brulee with soy sugar, ginger poached pears and habanero tobiko, strawberry yuzu sorbet with frozen olive oil and goat cheese jelly and Ian’s fried chicken with coconut gravy. Yumalicious! Reservations: studioflodo.com.

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Business bonus

Denver-based small businesses with a social or environmental mission have a chance to apply for a $50,000 investment starting on Tuesday.

Galvanize, a local organization, is teaming up with Denver to launch i4c, as in I foresee, a campaign during National Small Business Week to provide financial support, mentoring opportunities, office space and strategic marketing for businesses in Denver. Three winners will be selected July 13. More information: i4campaign.com.

Eavesdropping on a man to his wife after a recent episode of “Two and a Half Men”: “They are talking about shows that ‘jump the shark,’ but this show jumped the entire aquarium when Kathy Bates shows up playing Charlie Sheen’s role.”

My Facebook page has moved. Be sure to like it! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Local chef takes her talent to TV

Jenna Johansen, owner of Dish restaurant in Edwards, is one of 12 “chef-testants” to compete on Around the World in 80 Plates, an Amazing Race meets Top Chef meets Survivor series starting at 8 tonight (Colorado time) on Bravo.

The new series, hosted by TV chef personalities Cat Cora and Curtis Stone, pits 12 contenders in a race around the world while whipping up dishes using local ingredients.

Johansen, who’s now teaching cooking classes, consulting and preparing pop-up dinners in Denver, got the gig on the recommendation of Kelly Liken, owner of the Vail restaurant bearing her name, who was a Top Chef competitor in season seven of the wildly popular Bravo series.

“I’m a big Top Chef fan anyway, but Kelly is my best friend and thought this would be perfect for me,” Johansen said. “It’s team work for a large portion of the challenge, but after the team work you’re responsible for your own performance in the kitchen. At the end of the day when you’re finished with the team work and you’re on the losing team, one of the members get voted off.”

The competition starts in London where the contestants take over an independently owned restaurant and cook dishes to satisfy the eatery owners.

“It’s not necessarily a popularity contest,” said Johansen, who is contractually bound not to give away any of the episodes’ results. “If you’re a good strategist you might want to keep the worst chefs on your team. It depends on how you look at it. You have to be good working on a team, working for yourself and have a strong personality to stand up for yourself at the end of the day if you’re on the bottom team.”

Johansen say she’s not sure what culinary route the show will take her on, but for now she says she’s happy to be based in Denver with her fiance Mark DeNittis, owner of the wholesale salumi operation Il Mondo Vecchio. DeNittis and business partners will open the retail store Il Mondo Vecchio Mercato-Salumeria on South Pearl Street in Washington Park.

She is guest chefing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Studio F, the demo portion of Red Star Deli in the old Mise en Place cooking school at 1801 Wynkoop. Johansen will cook a five-course meal paired with wine and cocktails. Reservations: studioflodo.com.

Mask mania

While Broncos quarterbacks past and present John Elway, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning will never face off on the grid iron, they still can compete in The Mask Project online auction at the maskproject.org, a benefit for The Denver Hospice.

After the sports figures’ masks got national nods from FoxSports, Yahoo Sports and MSN.com, the bidding heated up to the point that as of Wednesday afternoon, the high bid on Tebow’s mask was $1,710, followed by Manning’s mask at $1,300 and John Elway’s at $500.

All three masks are decorated in Broncos blue and orange. The Mask Project party takes place from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, but the mask auction continues through Sunday. For tickets to the party or to bid on a mask, go to themaskproject.org.

Chef shift

Elway’s Cherry Creek top toque Tyler Wiard will be the guest chef June 7 during Chefs 180, a fundraiser for Cafe 180, the pay-what-you-will restaurant at 3315 S. Broadway, Englewood.

The evening starts with appetizers and cocktails at 7, followed by dinner. Tickets at blacktie-colorado.com.

Eavesdropping on a man and a woman going through the revolving door at Elway’s Cherry Creek: “No way I’m going to try and fit in there with you.”

(After she gives him the skunk eye) “What did I say that was wrong?”

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