By Sara Bruskin
On the massive list of things we’ve missed because of the pandemic, Boulder County’s beloved First Bite: Restaurant Week did not take place in November. The immensely popular event usually draws more than 10,000 diners to participating local restaurants, where prix fixe meals are offered at discounted prices.
Normally a great opportunity to taste-test your way around town, First Bite brings many of BoCo’s more expensive restaurants within reach for diners on a tight budget. The huge turnout is also a big help for restaurants that start to see less patronage as the weather turns colder. Between restaurant-week sales and financial partnerships with other businesses and nonprofits, it’s estimated that First Bite moved $542,000 through our local economy in 2019 alone.
Obviously, packing restaurants across the county would not be safe right now, but those restaurants and our economy need more help than ever. That’s why First Bite owner and executive producer Jessica Benjamin found a new way to support them, with a First Bite cookbook called “A Bite of Boulder.”
Featuring more than 40 recipes from 30 Boulder restaurants, the cookbook also contains stories from the chefs, background information on the dishes, and special features on everything from wine and cheese to cooking techniques. We may not be seeing our favorite chefs in person, but this gives us a peek inside their methods and inspiration, and allows us to bring their favorite flavors into our own kitchens.
At least 50 percent of the proceeds from cookbook sales will go back to the participating restaurants to help them through this difficult time. The cookbook will have a limited run, so grab yours before they run out. You can buy them online at firstbiteboulder.com and at all participating restaurants (see list HERE), plus Boulder Bookstore, Cured, Peppercorn and Savory Spice Shop.