Occasions President Jeremy Bronson joined a delegation of 150 Denver community leaders visiting Copenhagen, Denmark, this week on the UrbanEx program of the Downtown Denver Partnership. He shares learnings from the local food scene and the culture of sustainable living. 

 

A poorly kept secret: I absolutely love Denmark. Studies show Danes are the happiest people in the world, and that’s easy to understand. Denmark has plentiful natural resources that support a healthy economy, a rich cultural history and arts community, and a universal commitment to protecting the environment. 

 

And the food! Since multiyear Best Restaurant in the World, Noma opened in 2003, the culinary scene in Copenhagen has exploded. In the last ten years, large indoor and outdoor food halls have flourished, offering authentic cuisines from traditional Danish to Filipino street food to ocean fresh sushi. Fine dining can be found throughout the city, with a decidedly casual vibe and a penchant for tasting menus and organic wines.

 

In Denmark, it’s all about local. Menus all over are constructed with the same handful of market fresh ingredients. The week of our visit, the items being harvested and served in virtually every restaurant were white and green asparagus, young spring peas, baby new potatoes, rhubarb, unripe mini peaches, baby shrimp, and a variety of lettuces and herbs. Strawberries were just arriving at street markets and hadn’t made their way onto menus yet, but most likely would by the next week.

 

In a country just a sixth the size of Colorado that is committed to eating locally, everyone knows exactly what’s in season and loves to discuss creative preparations of available produce. Ever had a dessert truffle made from potato skins and potato starch? Try one at Amass, one of Copenhagen’s hottest restaurants. Or complement your green vegetable with gently pickled white asparagus discs, like they do at Palægade.

 

Another part of the rich Danish culinary tradition is the preservation of seafood: by pickling, marinating and canning it away for the offseason. In addition to classics like herring (served all-you-can-eat in a dozen different preparations at Nyhavns Færgekro in the picturesque Nyhavn neighborhood), we had tins of marinated sardines, baby squid and chopped octopus. Eaten with a little Danish rye bread, called rugbrød, these specialties are simply to die for. You can find them at Restaurant Gorilla, one of an impressive collection of food-forward restaurants in the buildings that previously housed the city’s meat packing industry.

 

Speaking of bread, the most traditional Danish food is smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich literally translated to “schmear on bread.” Whether it’s shrimp salad and hard boiled eggs, freshly cured gravlax with dill fronds or shaved beef and asparagus, the popular Danish smørrebrød lunch can be found everywhere.

 

The conversion of this once-industrial city to modern, livable community is something to behold. Bikes outnumber people, and the city is being reengineered to minimize car travel. New apartment buildings filled with young professionals and families line the coveted canals near downtown. Transit includes a metro system, buses and even a harbor taxi that traverses the waterways around town.

 

Looking for a taste of Scandinavia on your next event? Try Occasions’ house cured gravlax or our lingonberry and brie kiss.

 

Planning your locavore menus for this growing season? Find out which Colorado produce is harvested here.

Did you know that potatoes and apples are the top items produced by Colorado farmers?




On May 30th and 31st, we opened the doors to Colorado’s newest wedding and events venue: The Pavilion at The Stanley! Over 150 top planners, clients, and vendor partners joined us to see The Stanley Hotel‘s latest addition and our newest venture as the venue’s exclusive caterer.

This open house event doubled as a styled shoot, with help from From the Hip Photo, Project Floral, Wallflower Rentals, The Gardner Effect, and Event Rents. Thank you to all our partners and guests who made the trip to Estes Park for such a unique two-day experience!




This year we wanted to be super ahead of the game, so we decided to have our holiday menus curated and designed by the mid-summer, crazy season. Just in time for Christmas in July, perhaps?…

Our team worked for weeks with Executive Chef Chris to brainstorm, curate, prep – and yes, taste! – some of our newest holiday menu creations. Just like with any of our menu design processes, we spent over five weeks reflecting on the past year’s best selections, experimented with new suggestions, and narrowed down our options as a team to the best, most well-rounded and creative holiday offerings from the Rocky Mountain region.

That is one of the best part of all of our jobs at Occasions– being able to have a say in new concepts and food that may have a lasting impact within the Denver events scene for both our clients, and our whole team.And one of our marketing manager’s favorite parts about her job, specifically? Planning and styling photoshoots from there.

Krista worked with the Occasions team and some of our top vendor partners to put together our 2017 holiday photoshoot with Boulder-based photographer and friend, Anastasia Rae.

We hope you enjoy some of our favorite highlight shots below, all thanks to the additional collaboration of the following peeps:

Hilary at Event Rents  I  rentals, tablescape
Kelly at Moss Denver  I  venue
Nate at Occasions  I  event staff, model
Annie at Anastasia Rae Photography  I  photographer

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Some of our favorite shots from Biz Bash 2017, all taken by the wonderful 211 Photography.

Every year our team looks forward to this huge annual event at The Fillmore, with over 1,000 guests there to support the two chosen charities. Check out some of the fun from the concert fundraiser!

 

Host: CoBiz Financial

Beneficiaries: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Arapahoe House

Performers: Big & Rich

Venue: The Fillmore

Design: DesignWorks

Occasions Event Designer: Holly Page