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Kitchen Sinks Reimagined – Introducing the Mick De Giulio Collection for Kallista

July 9, 2011

Internationally recognized designer and author Mick De Giulio recently launched a line of chef-inspired sinks for Kallista, a provider of luxury plumbing products and part of the Kohler Interiors Group. Two single-bowl kitchens sinks, the Multitiere and the Soltiere, feature a unique corner drain to maximize basin space and storage space under the cabinet, and custom accessories including a flatware tray and removable teak cutting board. The Multiere also includes a colander holder, a deluxe cutting board with knife holder, sharpening rod, dishcloth holder and drain board. The Soltiere fits into a standard 36″ sink base, while the 45″  Multiere requires a more generous space.

The 18″ Bacifiore  is a crafted entertainment sink in polished stainless steel. Distressing the polished stainless provides a beautiful sheen that conceals scratches, finger marks and patina that naturally occur.

In the past, designers have treated sinks as an afterthought. The only criteria was stainless steel or porcelain; single-bowl or double-bowl. Mick De Giulio’s line has taken a standard kitchen element and seamlessly melded arresting style with uncommon functionality. Click on the video below to learn more or visit Kallista’s website.


Bergamo Interiors and Rescue Renovation Featured in the Denver Post

July 5, 2011

Many thanks to The Denver Post for running an article about our barn project featured on DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation. Below is a link to the story – enjoy!

Bergamo Interiors Tranforms a Funky Old Barn into a Stylish Man Cave for DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation

July 5, 2011

Years before embarking on a design career, I bought my first house – an 1886 Victorian with a long list of home improvement projects. Six months into remodeling a tiny “master bathroom,”  I called in the experts to finish the project and rescue me from my remodeling nightmare.

With that experience fresh in my mind, I was thrilled when the folks at DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation asked me to transform a funky old barn into a stylishly comfortable “man cave.” The show’s host, Kayleen McCabe, and her amazing crew save project-challenged homeowners who are in over their heads with their renovations. The barn owners, Todd and Danielle Vitale, were struggling with how to keep its historic charm, while making modern updates.

My first look at the barn. The ping pong table was the first thing to go!

With a tight budget and even tighter timeframe, I collaborated with the Vitales and the Rescue Renovation crew to create a space that could be used year-round for both entertaining and family time. Ample seating was a must, along with room for a pool table.

In less than 4 weeks we completed a myriad of projects. We started by replacing the drafty ceiling, skylight and windows. Keeping as much of the original barn wood was a priority, however, we created a striking contrast by installing rustic pine boards on the ceiling. A ceiling fan and pellet stove ensured that the space could be used throughout the year.

The Vitales jumped into the fray by helping to build a loft space for their sons and a blanket chest out of the original barn wood.

The ladder leads to a loft space where the homeowner's three young sons like to play. They made the blanket chest out of extra barn wood.

Once construction was complete, we kicked the Vitales out of their barn and padlocked the door so we could surprise them at the “reveal.” I selected furniture, artwork and accessories that created a modern, “lodgey” look. Layered rugs in marigold and multi-color shag popped against the pine floor that we had painted and distressed. Cowhide ottomans and spice-colored pillows were paired with traditional leather-and-nailhead seating. Multiple light sources gave the room a warm glow.

The pool table was refelted in khaki and black. Layers of light add a warm glow.

Everyone scrapped their Valentine’s Day plans in favor of shooting the reveal which went late into the evening. The Vitales kept things festive by hosting a cocktail party during the shoot and inviting guests to participate in the reveal.

Layered rugs, cowhide ottomans, and vibrant pillows pop against the weathered wood.

For those of you who missed seeing the episode, I shall post the video link shortly. In the meantime, you can watch previous episodes of Rescue Renovation online by visiting:

Decorative Materials Hosts “Trends in Tile – A Report from Coverings, Las Vegas”

April 20, 2011

More than 80 designers and trade partners from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently converged at Decorative Materials’ elegant Denver showroom to learn about the latest tile and stone trends from a pioneer in the industry,  Margot Hampleman. Margot launched Decorative Materials ( more than 20 years ago with the notion that tile and stone didn’t have to be narrowed down to only three or four options. With a discerning eye for what’s new and what’s next, Margot offers designers an unmatched selection of tile and stone products.

Margot Hampleman, Founder and President of Decorative Materials

Having just returned from Coverings 2011 in Las Vegas (,) Margot and her daughter, Kirsten, shared the latest looks and trends in tile and stone including:

  • Slab Glass
  • SLIM
  • Large Format Rectangles
  • Dimensional Carved Stone
  • Geometry and Texture

Slab Glass

Interstyle Ceramic + Glass wowed the crowd at Coverings by introducing recycled glass slabs with up to 100% recycled content in both Ribbon and Crush glass. Similar in price to some granites, these slabs come in 3cm thickness and sizes up to 48” X 144”. The Crush collection boasts 15 colors ranging from subtle to saturated. While the Ribbon collection boasts a dozen 12 colors, custom orders are welcome.

Ribbon Architectural Glass Surfaces offers 12 "standard" colors - and an invitation to customize your own.

Crush Architectural Glass Surfaces are made with up to 80% recycled content.


Once again, the Italians have brilliantly melded form with function by introducing SLIM. A 1/8” thick porcelain product backed with fiberglass, SLIM can be installed over existing surfaces; eliminating the need for demolition. SLIM is available in a wide range of colors and sizes up to 4’x8’.

At 1/8" thick, SLIM can be applied over most wall and floor surfaces.

Large Format Rectangles – Introduced in Europe three years ago, tile manufacturers are crossing the pond with large scale rectangles (think 18”x36”.) While a popular application on floors, Margot pointed out, “Italians have always tiled every surface, including the ceiling!”

Infinitely more stylish than wallpaper or standard tile, large format rectangles with pattern can transform a powder room, shower or other small space.

Large format rectangles offer a sleek and sophisticated alternative to standard-sized tiles.

Dimensional Carved Stone

Awarded 2010 Best of the Year Award by Interior Design magazine (, Artistic Tile’s Ziva collection set the standard for dimensional carved stone ( Hand carved by master craftsmen in India; the Ziva Collection is inspired by nature and ethnicity and brought to life in stone. Each piece is individually crafted by stone carvers who can spend up to one full day on a single piece. Artistic Tile raised the bar this year by offering Ziva Lotus in Bianco Carrara.

Ziva Blue Lake by Artistic Tile

Ziva Lotus in Bianco Carrara

Geometry and Texture

Definitely  not for the timid – geometric wall tiles made a huge statement at Coverings this year. Large patterns on floors and walls with crisp shapes (not a square to been seen) take center stage in a room. With its flowing, elongated patterns, textile-inspired geometric tile is subtle, yet impactful.

Large scale geometrics make a bold design statement.

Textile-inspired geometric patterns offer an elegant, elongated look.

Decorative Materials has showrooms in Denver, Aspen and Vail. Visit them at to learn more about their tile, stone and bath products.

Stay tuned for future posts on what’s new and what’s next in tile and stone. If you attended Coverings, Las Vegas, I’d love to hear from you! Email me at

Hosea Rosenberg Talks About Life After Bravo TV’s Top Chef

March 30, 2011

Hosea Rosenberg of Bravo TV’s Top Chef fame greets me warmly at the Bitter Bar, the “late night alter ego” of the Happy Noodle House in downtown Boulder ( Even though World Champion Mixologist Mark Stoddard is behind the bar, Hosea and I opt for beer and wine. After all, it’s only 4:00 pm on a Monday afternoon and Hosea needs to plan the menu he will prepare for 600 people at the upcoming Coachella music festival.

Hosea Rosenberg and Allison Bergamo

Catching up with Hosea at Boulder's Happy Noodle House

It’s been two years since Hosea captured the Top Chef toque with his straight-forward, elegantly presented dishes, including a final “best meal of your life.” Hosea played to his strengths with seared scallops and foie gras. He surprised and impressed the judges by eschewing the dessert course, serving a venison course instead. The months following his win were packed with television interviews (including two appearances on the Martha Stewart Show, whom he describes as “very businesslike,”) charity events and promotional appearances. A trip to Hong Kong sparked his interest in Asian cuisine, while return visits to New Orleans reinforced his love of Cajun/Creole cuisine.

Hosea Rosenberg

Top Chef Season 5 Winner, Hosea Rosenberg

Why did you decide to compete on Top Chef?

I’m very competitive and like challenges. I had won every culinary competition here in Colorado more than once; it was time for something new. It was really a random set of circumstances. Someone passed along my name; I received a phone call from the show’s producer, and the next thing I know, I’m on a plane heading to New York.

Give me some dirt about the show.

All of us were sequestered for six weeks in a Brooklyn high rise. They (the show’s producers) took away our ID’s and all our personal items, except for our clothes. It was somewhat claustrophobic – you were in the apartment, driving in a van and cooking in a kitchen. You couldn’t even go outside for a walk. In the six weeks I was in New York, I was allowed three phone calls, which they monitored and filmed.

The producers wanted us to interact with each other so there was no radio, television or music. One day there was a concert outside our high rise. They shut all the windows so we couldn’t hear it. We were so pissed!

Tell me about your favorite Top Chef experience.

One of my favorite experiences was cooking in one of the best seafood restaurants in the world, Le Bernardin in New York ( Cooking at the Commanders Palace in New Orleans during the finale was another favorite ( I’ve been back to New Orleans several times and have fallen in love with the city – its food, culture and history. Creole and Cajun cuisine are truly American foods that come from the melting pot – French, Spanish, Italian, Indigenous, the Slave Trade, etc.

You won the Top Chef toque in 2009; the ensuing months must have been a blur. Is 2011 the year you focus on your personal projects?

It was a big blur. I was traveling all over the world and taking advantage of opportunities that were being presented to me. At the same time, I was trying to maintain my job as Executive Chef at Jax Fish House (,) spend time with my family, and take care of my father (who passed away earlier this year.)

Last year, we launched StrEAT-Chefs (,) one of just two mobile food trucks in Boulder. We prepared great food and had a great response from everyone, except the “Boulder overlords.”  They relegated us to office parks, instead of the Pearl Street Mall where we needed to be.

So now that StrEAT-Chefs is done, I’m looking at restaurant spaces. While I’ve had offers to join other restaurants, I really want to work for myself.

I’m passionate about New Orleans and New Mexican cuisine – the posole and green chile. While I haven’t decided on a cuisine yet, I want to have a restaurant that’s high quality with a casual approach to food and service; no white linen table cloths.

Top Chef's Hosea Rosenberg, Stephanie Izard and Stefan Richter

On tour with tour with Top Chef Season 4 Winner, Stephanie Izard and Cheftestant Stefan Richter

Your food is very approachable, not fussy. How has your cooking style evolved?

In this business, you never stop learning. I’ve had a lot of exposure to a lot of different cooking styles – cheese making, sausage making and Asian cuisine. People don’t get blown away by foam or cubes. They want straightforward food that tastes good. If you ask people what they would want their last meal to be, they aren’t going to say some dish that’s overly complicated. They will want a perfectly cooked steak or perfectly roasted chicken – maybe a lasagna – comfort food with an emotional connection.

So what would your last meal be?

Either a perfect BLT or the perfect roast duck with figs. Maybe both!

Back to your restaurant…

I want it to be a big gathering place with a lot of regulars who are so passionate about it that they feel like they own it. There is a restaurant in Seattle where there are brass stamps in the bar with the regulars’ names on them. The joke is that anyone who sits at a regular’s “place” has to move.  I want that; people who are violently dedicated to it.

One idea would be to have an upscale diner like Steuben’s ( – a small to medium restaurant that’s all about the food and the chef.

While I lean towards Northern New Mexican cuisine, I also am inspired by Latin/Asian fusion. I’m good at combining flavor profiles to create simple food with lots of flavor. I’ve spent time at (Top Chef judge) Tom Colicchio’s Craft restaurants where simple ingredients are treated properly ( If you order their roast chicken, that’s what you get – a perfectly roasted chicken in a copper pot. It’s like a steak house; if you want a vegetable, you order a side of asparagus. But a perfectly roasted chicken is a beautiful thing.

Hosea will be a guest judge at Cohon555  on April 3rd. Held for the first time in Denver, CO, Cochon 555 challenges five chefs to prepare a menu created from heritage breed pigs, nose to tail. Cochon 555 combines five breeds of pig, five chefs, and five wineries. For tickets and information, visit

Vesta Dipping Grill Shares Its Passion for Unique Flavor Pairings in Beyond the Sauce

December 21, 2010

I discovered Vesta Dipping Grill soon after moving to Denver from San Francisco more than 10 years ago. Anticipating a wine and gossip-fueled dinner with my girlfriends, I arrived early and took a seat at the bar. The bartender graciously poured me tastes from four different wines (for some reason I was very indecisive that night!) Once my friends joined me, we were seated in a cozy booth where, after careful deliberation, we all ordered the exact same dish – the Chili Seared Tuna with Yuzu Soy Sauce and extra Wasabi Cream Sauce. Twelve years later, Vesta still feels fresh, hip and timeless. The dynamic duo of Josh Wolkon and Chef Matt Selby, along with their talented team, continue to craft innovative dishes and sauces in a warm, convivial and stylish environment.

Vesta Dipping Grill's Ginger Chili Seared Tuna

Vesta Dipping Grill's Ginger Seared Tuna with Yuzu Soy, Wasabi Cream and Green Papaya Vineagar

Fans and soon-to-be-fans of Vesta will enjoy their first cookbook, Vesta Dipping Grill – Beyond the Sauce – where Wolkon and Selby share their passion for unique flavor pairings.  Recipes for appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts are  beautifully illustrated. Selby also includes recipes for 50 sauces – some are currently on the menu while others are  past and personal favorites.  A user-friendly index  is organized into three sections – main dish recipes,  sauce recipes, and ingredients.

Vesta Dipping Grill, Beyond the Sauce

Order your copy at While you’re at it, check out their behind-the-scenes video into the making of the book at

And if you’re out and about, you can pick up a copy at these retail locations:

Tattered Cover Book Stores –

Decade –

The Truffle –

The Peppercorn –

The Boulder Book Store –

In the meantime, Chef Selby has graciously shared his recipe for Thai Beef Salad. Fresh, light and easy to make, it’s a great change of pace from all the rich foods we’ve been enjoying this holiday season!

Thai Beef Salad with Ginger Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • 5 Ounces Mizuna Greens
  • 2 Ounces Enoki Mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1/4 Cup Edamame Beans, shelled
  • 3 Ounces Ginger Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 4 Ounces Chilled Glass Noodles (Cook According to Package Directions)
  • 1/4 Cup Crushed Toasted Peanuts
  • Thai Beef (recipe follows)

-Place mizuna greens, enoki mushrooms, edamame beans and ginger cilantro vinaigrette in a mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, and toss by hand.

-Equally distribute the salad onto 4 room temperature plates.

-Place about one ounce of glass noodles on the top of each salad.

-Drizzle the Thai Beef sauce around each salad, and place 3 pieces of seared beef around each salad.

Ginger Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tablespoons Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Each, Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Each Lime, juiced
  • 1/4 Block Tofu, silken
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin, ground
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Thai Beef

  • 6 ounces Beef Tenderloin or Flank Steak
  • Dashi Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 3 Each Garlic Cloves, slivered
  • 1 Each Shallot, sliced thin
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Slice beef tenderloin into 6 equal sized pieces. Generously season with dashi, salt and pepper.

Place a saute pan over high heat and get it very hot. Add sesame oil to the pan and allow it to get very hot. Place the slices of beef into the pan and quickly sear both sides (approximately one minute per side.) Beef should be served rare. Remove beef from pan, and set aside.

Add garlic and shallots to pan, and saute to sweat, approximately one minute. Add the soy sauce and mirin and allow to thicken, reducing by half. Add the lime juice and whisk in the butter to melt.

The Perfect Bite is the Perfect Holiday Gift for the Cooks on Your List

December 20, 2010

I have no idea when Chef Jennifer Jasinski sleeps. This year alone, the one-time Wolfgang Puck protegé was named “Chef of the Year” by Denver Magazine and was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation “Best Chef Southwest.” Chef Jen, along with her business partner, Beth Gruitch, recently opened their third restaurant, Euclid Hall (,  joining perennial favorites Rioja ( and Bistro Vendome (www.bistrovendome.)

Fans of Rioja’s fresh, Mediterranean-influenced cuisine are no doubt putting Chef Jen’s first book, The Perfect Bite, on their holiday wish lists. Jasinski shares the recipes to some of Rioja’s best-loved dishes, including a few of my favorites from her Signature Tasting Menu –  Artichoke and White Truffle Tortelloni; Roasted Halibut, Romesco and Pine Nut Butter, and Fig and Goat Cheese Beignets. Wine and cheese lovers will appreciate the section entitled, “The Importance of Cheese,” as well as Gruitch’s “A Note on Wine.”


The Perfect Bite Cover

Chef Jen Jasinski's first book, The Perfect Bite, features 76 recipes from the Rioja kitchen.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Perfect Bite, check out the video below:

You can purchase The Perfect Bite at all three of Chef Jen’s restaurants, at Tattered Cover locations ( and by visiting her website,

FYI: I just learned that the books are currently tied up in customs for a few days. However, this shouldn’t stop you from ordering one! Purchase your copy today, and the folks at Rioja will provide you with a beautiful gift card to present to the recipient in lieu of the book!