May 24—The French Kitchen, 4771 N. Academy Blvd., won awards in The Gazette’s Best of the Springs in four categories, and it is preparing to continue its winning strategy. And the addition of talented chefs like Jason Miller and Andre Derrill is paving the way. They have been hired as chef instructors.
Miller has decades of experience working in fine-dining kitchens and culinary schools. Before arriving in Colorado Springs, he cooked across the Gulf Coast, from New Orleans to Texas. Though he specializes in Cajun cuisine, he brings a vast repertoire of recipes and techniques.
“Jason moved from New Orleans to Colorado Springs to be the dean of the Paragon Culinary School and help Victor (Matthews) open the school,” said Christine Adrian Miller, Jason’s wife, in an email. “Later he was the executive chef at the Blue Star restaurant, before going to the Mining Exchange and Springs Orleans as the executive chef. He finally joined the Marriott as the executive chef.”
Derrill left a career in management to pursue his true passion: cooking. He went to Pikes Peak State College for his culinary training. From Baltimore, he brings a background in using versatile seafood ingredients. And his decades in Colorado Springs have made him a master at Native American and Mexican fusion cooking. Most recently he was the executive chef at Road House Cinemas.
Visit tfkcc.com for class schedule.
Room with a view
Grand View at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, 3320 Mesa Road, has reopened and is welcoming guests to enjoy the refreshed decor and new menu.
The stunning view from the Grand View has always been a showstopper, but the new refresh of the interior is on par to the beloved natural landscape from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The organic shades of gray, camel, dark brown and blue blend seamlessly with the outside view.
Come for the evening view and linger over a lavish meal prepared by an impressive culinary brigade. Dinner features a new steakhouse experience. The menu headlines buttery “American Wagyu” beef from Cross Creek Ranch located in southwest Colorado. Keith Theodore, executive chef, champions high quality, locally sourced foods, including produce from Frost Family Farms.
Other menu highlights include a seafood tower, Colorado Marcho Farms rack of lamb, pine roasted Idaho trout and Wagyu Bolognese. There’s a choice of sauces for meats and sides. Pickled onion rings should be given a try. Theodore has perfected the winning technique that results in light-as-a-feather crispy crust and tangy, crunchy onion bites.
“The one thing I learned about onion rings is the peeling of the membrane in between the layers of onion,” Theodore said. “That’s the trick to getting the batter to properly adhere, and that is a process that we painstakingly do on each onion slice daily during prep.” Details: 719-329-6901, tinyurl.com/bdcnzr
Roots Café, 330 E. Colorado Ave., has opened in the building where the home of El Taco Rey was for more than 45 years.
The owner, Dana Moore, who goes by Mama D, ran the former popular Roots Cafe food truck in Colorado Springs, and now she’s spicing up downtown with delicious Hawaiian flavors.
Menu items include Spam Musubi, Kalua Pig, Teriyaki Chicken, Spam and Eggs, and sides of mac salad and rice. Desserts include Butter Mochi, Choc-mac Banana Bread and Chocolate Haupia.
Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Details: 719-394-6540, facebook.com/rootscafecos
Susanna Maestas and her husband, Ben Kirk, who own Susanna’s Comfort Cuisine, 124 N. Nevada Ave., are gearing up to celebrate year one in their restaurant.
“Memorial Day weekend marks this very special celebration,” Maestas said in an email. “On Thursday, Friday and Saturday we will offer special drinks and menu items. There will also be culinary giveaways all three nights. Come celebrate with us and check out our new dining room floor and amazing murals.”
She also announced her June Summer Solstice pop-up dinner, 5-8 p.m. June 21. For $70 you get five courses, including an amuse bouche and drink pairings. Seating is limited. Reservation at 719-352-6844.
Happy hour is 5-6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturday and dinner is 5-8:30 p.m. Sunday brunch is 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; family-style Sunday dinner or order off the menu is 5-8 p.m. Half-price bottles of wine Sunday evenings. Visit facebook.com/ susannascomfortcuisine
The 2023 Crafts & Drafts Passport, which is dedicated to supporting the local craft beverage community and highlighting the region’s diverse craft beverage scene, has been launched.
Sign up to receive a variety of digital discounts at locally owned establishments. Beverages on the passport include beer, wine, coffee and cocktails. Participating businesses include places like 1350 Distilling, Goat Patch Brewing Co., Kawa Coffee, Mash Mechanix Brewing and Wines of Colorado.
The passport program runs through Dec. 31. Learn more about the free passport and get yours at VisitCOS.com/Passport.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.