I felt compelled to at least stop by this weekend, after a sneak peek I received at a Boulder Bloggers' Dinner on Wednesday evening. A group of us were invited to tour the remodeled store and enjoy a wonderful meal cooked by the in house chefs on the new west side patio. We were able to gain first hand insight into some of the new features the store now includes, such as a completely revamped bulk department. As your standing in the produce department and you glance over to the right, the bulk department just has this amazing lure. The bins are perfectly stacked and lined up, there's beautiful deep wood, iPads are conveniently located to access recipes (that you have emailed to you with one click), organic spices, gluten free flours, heirloom beans, amazing grains, a trail mix bar, vinegars, oils, and my favorite a special Superfoods section. I've never seen anything like this new bulk department.
Truly the best part of this section of the store, is not a food, but rather an idea. Are you ready for this, the concept is called Cooking Boulder. Cooking Boulder is a place that celebrates community and home cooks. The website contains recipes, a blog, and a place to share ideas with others within our own community, which I just adore. In addition to the website support, in almost perfect harmony Whole Foods has brought onto the staff a cooking coach, Beth Pilar. Cooking coach? Yes, a wonderful and knowledgeable woman that will guide you through a recipe or help you plan a meal. She's an amazing resource who's incredibly fine tuned at giving you the specific help you need. You can also find stacks of cook books and so much inspiration to take your whole food ingredients and turn them into a healthy home cooked meal. Wow, Whole Foods, just wow.
At the dinner, I was fortunate enough to hear Amanda Hesser of Food 52, The New York Times, cookbook author, and I can guarantee amazing chef, speak. Of all the wonderful things Amanda said that evening about collaborating with Whole Foods to create their Cooking Boulder community, there was one thing she casually mentioned that resonated deeply within me.
"Food is inherently social, but we end up in the kitchen alone." - Amanda Hesser
While I gently applauded, I wanted to stand up and say, Yes, Yes, Yes! Thanks to Whole Foods, Cooking Boulder, and Food 52 we no longer have to feel alone. There's a piece of community just waiting for us, all we have to do is click on over. I love the notion of being a part of a food centered community.
Onto the food that evening, here's a little collage to highlight the meal. My favorite dish, which is showcased below was the Yukon Gold Gnocchi with local corn, truffle oil, basil. As plates were passed, some of the highlights were figs, proscuitto, in-house smoked pork belly, a sorbet cleanser, dry aged ribeye, and cake prepared by my local favorite bakery, Kim and Jake's Cakes.
More photo highlights from the Grand Re-Opening!
The freshest produce at Whole Foods always amazes me. Baby pineapple? Aww.
L to R, bulk organic spices, a snap shot of the Superfoods, and flours. Quinoa, almond, barley, and buckwheat flours, just to name a few! Lovely.
That's Sj, using the iPad to select the "Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette" recipe, to have as a side dish this week with dinner. Allowing the girls be a part the meal planning, in addition to helping in the kitchen, are all small components to help them become passionate about food!
I feel so jazzed and energized to be a part of what Whole Foods is creating in our community. Hopefully, I'll see you there! I could write a series about all the things I adore from prepared foods to Jerry the Butcher! Stay tuned, I may just do that.
On a side note, in case you were wondering, I featured Whole Food's lunchbox selection over at Colorado Bento with photos! I love what they are offering with one easy stop when grocery shopping.