Coloradans are familiar with the impressive sports career of Jeremy Bloom, the three-time world champion skier, two-time Olympian, 11-time World Cup gold medalist and member of the United States Skiing Hall of Fame. And when he wasn't tearing up the slopes, Bloom was burning up the gridiron as a CU Buff and briefly as an NFL player.
But despite all of Jeremy's sports accolades, his sister, Molly, was leading a quieter yet more colorful life as the owner/organizer of a high-stakes poker game for the rich and famous, including actors Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Guy Laliberté, CEO of Cirque du Soleil.
"Molly ran her exclusive, top-secret, bicoastal poker ring for several years, keeping the details secret from even her closest friends and family - but now she's finally showing her hand in her memoir, 'Molly's Game,'" which was released June 24, according to a story in The New York Post.
Molly Bloom grew up in Loveland, with her dad, a Colorado State University professor, mom and two brothers.
"Months later, Bloom was heading to one of her games when a player texted her that the feds had crashed it looking for her," the Post story says. "Bloom fled to Colorado, where she refused to talk to investigators, which resulted in her assets being frozen.
"The former high-roller lived a quiet life in Colorado until two years later, in 2013, when she moved back to LA and shortly after got a knock on her door from the FBI.
"She was charged, along with 30 others, with participating in two Russian-American organized-crime enterprises engaged in gambling and money laundering. (She says she had no idea about her players' illicit dealings.)"
Molly, who was dubbed "the Poker Princess" by news outlets during the trial, avoided prison and was sentenced to one year of probation earlier this year.
"If I had to do it all over, would I choose the same path?" she writes. "My answer is yes, a thousand times yes. I had a grand adventure."
To read more of the story in The New York Post, go to nypost.com/2014/06/22/inside-the-poker-princess-a-list-house-of-cards.
LYFE Kitchen opens to fanfare
Last week, the newly opened LYFE Kitchen at Park Meadows mall held a VIP event to celebrate the health-food eatery's visiting executive chefs Art Smith, Tal Ronnen and Jeremy Bringardner and to welcome the community to the restaurant.
Smith is Oprah's former chef, famed cookbook author and competitor on Bravo TV's "Top Chef Duels," which premieres in August. Ronnen is a celebrated vegan chef and prepared meals for Oprah's 21-day vegan cleanse. He also owns Crossroads restaurant in Los Angeles. Bringardner is also gaining food cred, having just won an episode of the Food Network's "Chopped." He is an accomplished chef who worked in Charlie Trotter's kitchen before joining the LYFE team.
LYFE Kitchen will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, and also serves snacks and beverages, including wines and local beer. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Corner House closes
The Corner House, the Jefferson Park eatery founded by Seattle Fish Co. "schoolmaster" James Iacino and celebrated chef Matt Selby (Vesta Dipping Grill, Steuben's, Ace), closed June 21, according to a story in Westword.
Within less than a year of opening, Selby split from the neighborhood eatery for unclear reasons. Selby is now the top toque at Central Bistro in LoHi.
Restaurant consultant and marketing maven Leigh Sullivan, who handles the restaurant's public relations, became a part-owner, but according to Westword, the investment was too little too late.
The space has been taken over by an unnamed "up-and-coming" chef, who will reopen with a new concept.
Ted's salutes the bison
Ted's Montana Grill restaurants are joining their fans to pay tribute to the ingredients, meals and hospitality that define the Great American West. The restaurants are celebrating a Great American Summer with an online photo contest, signature burgers and a campaign to elect bison as the national mammal at votebison.org.
"Bison are a true American icon that once thundered across our Great Plains," said George W. McKerrow, who, along with media mogul Ted Turner, co-founded Ted's Montana Grill and pioneered the effort to preserve our country's bison herds. "This summer, we are celebrating authentic American dining by shining a spotlight on all the ways local mavericks enjoy our beef and bison burgers."
Now through July 14, entries and nominations for the "Bite Your Bison" photo contest may be submitted on the Ted's Montana Grill Facebook page, or via Instagram photos and tweets with the hashtag #BiteYourBison. Photo entries also will be accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Three fans with the most votes will enter the finals, where a restaurant voting panel will choose the grand prize winner of a Big Green Egg barbecue.
There are three Ted's Montana Grills in the metro area: Larimer Square, Westminster and Lakewood.
Penny Parker's "Mile High Life" column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for Blacktie-Colorado.com. You can subscribe and read her columns (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at www.blacktie-colorado.com/pennyparker. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 303-619-5209.