We were thrilled to host the first-ever Colorado Bean Summit in March 2022! The event was held at Metropolitan State University in Denver and sponsored by the Colorado Dry Bean Committee and Barber’s Farms.
To help us kick things off, Governor Jared Polis sent us a video sharing his passion for Colorado beans.
Let’s Talk Colorado Beans
We had several great presentations, including:
- Chelsea Didinger, Outreach Director and PhD Candidate – presented on helping consumers overcome barriers to bean intake so they can capitalize on all the human and environmental health benefits beans have to offer, all while supporting local sustainable food systems and savoring delicious versatile dishes
- Dr. Henry Thompson, Professor and Director of the Cancer Prevention Laboratory – spoke about the history of beans, their incredible diversity, and exciting recent research from around the world and in his lab about beans and their ability to help prevent chronic disease and promote gut health
- Dr. Elizabeth Fajardo and students, Department of Chicano/a Studies – read an excerpt from their new book (Frijoles, Elotes, y Chipotles, Oh My! & Other Tummy Tales), students shared their touching and funny bean stories, and they invited the audience to participate by also sharing beany memories
Colorado Beans for Lunch!
The Hispanic Restaurant Association joined the fun, and many incredible chefs came to compete for cash prizes for the best dishes showcasing Colorado beans. The audience was blown away by their creativity and the flavors, and 9 News Denver did a section on the incredible masterpieces these chefs produced! Be sure to check out the news segment here!
We want to give a special shout-out to the chefs who participated and made this – and our amazingly delicious lunch – possible:
- Chef Manny Barella – President of the Hispanic Chef’s Association
- Chef Jason Grubbs – Bellota Denver
- Chef Zuri Resendiz – Shanahan’s Steakhouse
- Chef Victor Marquez – Chop Shop Colfax
- Chef Sharif Villa Cruz – Migrante Concepts
- Chef Carolina Zubiate – Uncle Ramen
- Chef Juan Herrera – Dee Tacko
- Chef Mario Herrera – Dee Tacko
Food for Thought – Diving Further into Colorado Beans
After lunch, the Food Bank of the Rockies talked to us about food insecurity in Colorado and the demand they are seeing for beans among their clients. Then, our Manager Bob Schork facilitated a panel with our President and long-time bean farmer, Harvey Colglazier, Dealer Directors Darin Aagard of Trinidad Benham and Jay Ewald, CEO of Northern Feed & Bean, and our Outreach Director Chelsea Didinger.
Next, we recognized winners of the Student Bean Recipe Contest. You can download the PDF that Belen Garcia made for her Black Bean Tesmole recipe submission here. Also make sure to explore winning recipes from our two Metropolitan State University Recipe Contests in 2021.
After that, we admired student poster submissions – check out two of them below. Thank you to all the students who participated! You all did great work, and cash prizes were awarded to both recipe and poster winners.
Then, last but not least, we enjoyed Happy Hour, complete with Lindita’s salsas.
You can see the full schedule of events here. We hope you join us for the next Colorado Bean Summit!