Behind the Menu

When it came to developing the menu for our 25th Anniversary Celebration we decided to do something a little different. We looked beyond classic crudités and lobster puffs to place our focus on the source.

Together with the local culinary veterans at Epicurean—a catering company and restaurant group with 35 years of experience in the Mile High City—we crafted a menu filled with the signature flavors from the regions where we work while paying special attention to the water footprint of each ingredient.

Jenna Johansen, Epicurean’s innovation chef, was ready for the challenge.

“We found it very difficult to create a low water usage menu and also focus on seasonality, freshness, the global theme and offering value to clients and guests,” she explains. “In the end, we found we were able to highlight low water usage items in collaboration with other items that are delicious, yet high in water usage, in smaller quantities.”

Together with her team, Johansen tweaked classic recipes to come up with a menu teeming with a mouthwatering assortment of delectable bites from local, sustainably-sourced tilapia to vegetable samosas stuffed with curried potatoes and sweet peas.

“To create a menu with low water usage, there are a few things that can help an item qualify,” Johansen explains. “Crops may be drought resistant (beans), have a short growing season (sugar snap peas), deep roots (tomatoes), or actually grow better at times with low water (black eyed peas). It is also helpful to obtain ingredients from sustainable sources that are as close to home as possible.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Epicurean has opted for the challenge over the “easy way out.” They have a reputation for infusing their work with hospitality and sustainability, and are constantly finding ways to reduce waste and give back to their local community through food donations—last year they donated 74,000 meals to We Don’t Waste and took home Colorado’s Gold Medal in Environmental Leadership.

“Over the last couple of years, we have strengthened our commitment to the environment,” Johansen shares. “But our largest reward is sharing any unused food to the needy in our community, and taking care of the earth. Cost reduction and tangible awards are the icing on the cake.”

Our 25th Anniversary Celebration is the perfect place to put their sustainability chops to the test, and if the initial menu is any indication, it will be a delicious evening to remember. Come feast with the Water For People team, buy your tickets today!

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