cookbook covers

Lecturer, Graduate, Sommelier, and Author Simone FM Spinner on Cookbooks

July 28, 2020

Note: July is National Culinary Arts Month, which is why Spinner wrote about how the pandemic has affected Colorado restaurants. Wonderwork welcomes submissions from CU Denver faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Simply recommend one book, podcast, movie, etc. that deserves more attention. Our ultimate goal is to promote a more diverse and inclusive book and media culture. Nominate your favorite Wonderwork bemailing cudenvernews@ucdenver.edu or posting on social media with #CUDenverwonderwork.


portrait of Simone FM Spinner
Spinner is a lecturer in the Communications Department.

COVID19 has changed the way U.S. Americans look at food. Many of us returned to our kitchens to bake bread, cook breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, order in, and recipe-test, forever changing our relationship to food and the way we nourish ourselves and our families. Shuttering in place led to an uptick in take-home meals and drinks, but not enough to save so many iconic Front Range restaurants. Dozens of legendary landmarks have closed and hundreds more across the state: (lists here and here). These hardworking essentials are losing their fight, one by one. Nearly all of the amazing restaurants and chefs I wrote about in my 2018 book, Denver Food: A Culinary Evolution, have closed their doors permanently. Thousands of restaurant and food industry workers are left without jobs and without their passion for providing nutritious and enjoyable meals and service to their communities. The Colorado Restaurant Association’s Angel Relief Fund needs your support to help these restaurants and their employees bridge the gap until the industry can recover, if it ever does.

There are ways to help restaurants while maintaining important health and safety measures. Order take-out and support locally owned and operated restaurants instead of national chains. Shop at local markets and take this opportunity to explore new cuisines and recipes in your own kitchen. I am reading two incredible cookbooks: the first is Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla & Kristina Gill, and the other is Foraging the Rocky Mountains: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Foods in the Rockies by Liz Brown Morgan. Both are offering wonderfully informative and enticing ideas about food history, culture, preparation, and sourcing. Dust off a cookbook, or buy a new one, venture out to your local market, and explore your kitchen. Nourish yourself and your community by baking and breaking bread with them!

– Simone FM Spinner, CWS, WSET Dip., in progress. 


Simone FM Spinner is a top-rated university wine lecturer and certified sommelier with thirteen advanced wine certifications, a bachelor’s and master’s degree in wine studies, and is pursuing her doctorate studying the socioeconomic and cultural effects of climate change on wine. She is a sought-after wine consultant and judge, public speaker, and published author. She organizes edutainment wine seminars and events and international wine tours through her company Wine Rocks & Chasing Grapes™©. Her website is Wine RocksLLC.com™© & Instagram.