This past school year I ate my way through some of the cityâ€™s ritzy culinary offerings: A rich gluten-free chocolate torte with ganache, ahi tuna egg rolls, parmesan-crusted halibut with pine nuts and pan-seared scallops paired with pumpkin and ham hash from Fish, duck confit over a seared potato cake, bacon wrapped dates and Guinness braised short ribs from CafÃ© Vino.
The Oreo, red velvet and peanut butter cupcakes from The Cupcakery, far too many sliders (tiny hamburgers) from Stuft: A Burger Bar, homemade pumpkin cheesecake and pecan-crusted chicken tenders with a honey mustard dipping sauce and, get this, pumpkin-flavored oxygen, went through the digestive process, too.
About now, youâ€™re either thinking one of three things â€¦ perhaps simultaneously.
One: â€œWhy is this crazy person writing about her digestive process? Gross.â€ Or two: â€œThereâ€™s pumpkin-flavored oxygen?â€ Or three (and I hope this is the case): â€œIâ€™m hungry.â€
If any of the above applies to you, then sit down, relax and get acquainted with the Fort Collins Food Diaries. Grab a snack while youâ€™re at it.
A quick side note: Before I go any further, I must say that writing under a single byline feels strange. On all of my gastronomic adventures last year, former Collegian photographer Michael Kalush accompanied and meticulously shot our food â€¦ in the best sense of the word.
As heâ€™s graduated and off in Spain at the moment, so youâ€™re stuck with me. Now back to the point.
Think of this bi-weekly column as the magnifying glass through which you can examine the Fort Collins food scene, which boasts one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita in the country.
Every two weeks, the stories of local chefs, food fanatics, restaurant owners, must-have kitchen gadgets and my personal kitchen experiments will appear within this columnâ€™s confines. Photos of the food I eat (sometimes in the company of friends, family or co-workers) will be included to start your taste buds watering.
Essentially, the idea is to get readers to see what food is available outside their comfort zone, beyond the typical late-night runs to get Jimmy Johns and steaming, yet always delicious, bowls of Top Ramen.
Eating food should not be considered a chore. It should not be boring.
The best dishes are created by the folks who live, breath and eat their work. They are the dishes that form the winding line from the gyro stand in Old Town late on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.
The best food is new, different and reflective of the personality of its creator.
If youâ€™re unsure of how to start your own gastronomic adventure, start here with the Fort Collins Food Diaries. You can find it in the Collegian every other Friday throughout the semester.
But if you have carved your own path in the food world and have a favorite joint or know of an off-the-beaten-path-type restaurant, let me know. E-mail your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With that, good luck and good eats, CSU. (Thanks, Food Networkâ€™s Alton Brown, for that one.)
Editor in Chief Madeline Novey can be reached at email@example.com.