Coming Attractions

A culinary exploration of Denver’s history

Recommended activities for the coming week


Not everyone can say they achieved a dream they had while in high school. But local wine expert and blogger Simone FM Spinner did just that with the publication of her first book — “Denver Food: A Culinary Evolution.”

“Becoming a published book author has been a goal since I was fifteen years old and I finally did it,” she said. “I love food, cooking, and dining out. Working in the wine industry, I have always been lucky to dine out frequently as a part of my work; often in the latest, hottest, most interesting restaurants in the city.”

In her book, Simone explores how German, Japanese, Chinese and Italian immigrants made their way to Colorado as part of the gold rush. Soon they were opening up saloons, which later turned into a booming restaurant industry.

However, all the recent growth in metro area is causing some of the city’s most unique and historic locations to shut down. Which partly inspired Simone to start writing.

“My book is essentially a love letter to the city that I fell in love with, which doesn’t really exist anymore,” she explained. “Yet, it is also a glimpse of the future and of the amazing things that are happening right now in Denver.”

There’s a lot to know about the culinary scene in Denver, and Simone hopes readers come away understanding there’s a lot of collaboration and community between chefs. She also wants readers to know the Denver culinary community is actively doing their part to stave off waste, food insecurity and hunger, in their restaurants and in their communities.

Most importantly, Simone wants readers to understand how many great tastes and flavors there are to explore right at their fingertips.

“Denver has long been ignored by food writers, influencers, and critics. People assume that Denver is just about steaks, Mexican food, and novelty dishes. Denver’s culinary scene is a bit of a sleeper,” she said. “There is so much truly great food in this city and people should get out and explore a little bit. I really appreciate the immense culinary diversity in Denver.”

For more information on the book and to order a copy, visit

Welcome autumn in Parker

There are many ways people welcome autumn when it appears every year and one of the most popular events is Oktoberfest.

Parker will be celebrating German heritage and traditions with its 12th annual fundraising cultural event Parker Oktoberfest. The event is held from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. The festival is held at O’Brien Park, 10795 Victorian Drive in Parker.

Visitors will enjoy live German music, a Biergarten featuring presenting partner, Paulaner, delicious German food, and even a late-night German Techno dance party. There will also be beer-relay races, lawn games, a children’s area and even a dachshund race and Oktoberfest pageant.

For more information, visit

Take a bath in a ‘Broken Bone’ tub

If anyone says there’s no mystery left in the theater, they’ve never heard of Siobhan O’Loughlin’s “Broken Bone Bathtub.” But that’s about to change.

Lonnie Hanzon and The Enchantment Society is presenting O’Loughlin’s solo theatrical show to the Lakewood Glens through Sept. 23. Shows are 7 and 9 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday. The specific show location is given upon reservation.

If the secret location isn’t enough to whet your appetite, here’s some more information - the immersive, one-person play takes place inside a bathtub - in an actual private residence. After a serious bike accident, a young woman musters up the courage to ask for help and shares her story, exploring themes of trauma, suffering, human generosity and connection.

For tickets and more information, visit

Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Grandoozy at Overland Park

Denver has taken a stab at big music festivals several times over the years, with pretty mixed results. But Grandoozy, a new three-day, multi-format festival from Superfly (the team behind Bonnaroo and Outside Lands) is looking to break the slump.

Held on Sept. 14, 15 and 16 at Overland Park, south of Downtown Denver and west of Denver University, Grandoozy is bringing more than 50 musicians to four stages.

Headliners are Kendrick Lamar on Friday, Florence + The Machine on Saturday and Steive Wonder on Sunday. Other performers you won’t want to miss during the weekend include The War on Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, De La Soul, and Mavis Staples.

In addition to the main stages, the festival will also host the Escape to The Break Room, where DJs and electronic artists will be performing; the 80’s Ski Lodge for engaging and educational conversations with panelists; arts programs and live mural paintings; and The Backyard - a place for shopping and morning yoga sessions.

Single day and full weekend passes are still available at And I’ll be at Grandoozy, so look for a full report in next week’s column.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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