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Local cookbooks, podcasts, and playing cards

Happiest of Holidays!  

Hey City Casters,

I hope you’re enjoying your holidays. I’m dropping in to say hello and remind you that we will be back in your inboxes and your podcast feeds on a regular schedule with new content beginning Monday, January 3.

Until then, enjoy this look back at my top 5 favorite local products that I spotlighted in the newsletter throughout 2021, all of which are still available for enjoyment!

See you in the new year!

— Peyton Garcia, City Cast Newsletter Writer

🍖 Adrian Miller

Denver-based food historian and James Beard Award-winner Adrian Miller published a new cookbook earlier this year titled “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue.” Through his work, Miller aims to explore the history of barbecue in America going as far back as its origins in Native American fire-cooking and its ties to African American culture. The book also includes recipes and recommendations from Miller on his favorite Black-owned barbecue joints across the country. We spoke with Adrian Miller about the book this past spring — you can listen here. You can still purchase “Black Smoke” and check out Miller’s other works here

✈️ Escaping Denver

Who doesn’t love the ridiculous conspiracy theories that surround the Denver International Airport? Aliens, illuminati, curses. Hidden underground tunnels, creepy wall murals, and our unnecessarily terrifying demonic airport mascot, Bluecifer. Whichever conspiracy is your flavor, the fictional podcast “Escaping Denver” is bringing the best of them to life in an audio thriller about the airport. The story follows characters Noah and Sarah who wake up underneath DIA with no recollection of how they got there… spooky! Listen here

⛰️ The Rocky Mountaineer

Photo: @rockymountaineer on Instagram

The Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury passenger train based in Canada, made its American debut right here in Denver in August. The train departed from 36th and Wazee Street in Denver before stopping for a night in Glenwood Springs and continuing through the red desert canyons of Utah into Moab. You can book that same trip or opt to extend your journey to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City with a variety of curated experiences on offer. The vehicle is outfitted with glass-dome coaches, an exclusive lounge car, fine dining, and an elaborate cocktail program, all set against the Rockies’ most breathtaking backdrops. Oh, but I should probably mention that one-way tickets start around $1,200 and climb to more than $4,000.

🧑‍🍳 Together at the Table

Photo by Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images)

This past spring, Immigrant Pathways Colorado (IPC) published “Together at the Table: Recipes From Our Cultural Heritage,” a cookbook boasting 125 recipes from 45 countries shared by local community members — a celebration of culture through food. Featured recipes include personal stories from contributors about dishes like Danish apple cake, Mexican zucchini soup, and Ethiopian berbere.

🖌️ Ravi Amar Zupa


Allow me to expose you to the beautiful, complex, fascinating works of Denver art world icon Ravi Amar Zupa. One Westword article described his work like this:

“… his paintings, prints and sculptures borrow imagery from myriad world cultures and folklore, as well as the annals of art history, from Bosch, Bruegel and Dürer to Mughal miniatures and Japanese woodblock prints, often massed together incongruously in one work, drawing dense parallels to make political points.”

Earlier this year, Zupa debuted this fun little treat: A set of 16 note cards and a deck of playing cards, featuring original designs of bar-crawling, beer-drinking irresponsible party cats. And they’re freaking awesome.