Cookbook author Ilona Oppenheim visits The Bookworm of Edwards on Aug. 18 |

Cookbook author Ilona Oppenheim visits The Bookworm of Edwards on Aug. 18

Daily staff report
"Savor: Rustic Recipes Inspired by Forest, Field and Farm," by Ilona Oppenheim.
Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Dinner discussion with Ilona Oppenheim, author of “Savor,” featuring Ripe Colorado Produce and Knapp Farms.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards.

Cost: $45, includes appetizers and a copy of the book.

More information: Call 970-926-7323, or visit

EDWARDS — “The mountains sustain me with food that nourishes and fills me in so many ways, and I really want to share that experience with others.”

Aspen author Ilona Oppenheim has a deep-rooted passion for living on the fresh and abundant produce found in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Today at 6 p.m., Oppenheim will be at The Bookworm of Edwards to share her new cookbook, “Savor.”

The Bookworm is partnering with Oppenheim, Ripe Colorado Produce and Knapp Farms to create an intimate dinner setting, highlighting recipes from “Savor.” Ripe is known at The Bookworm cafe for its Palisade peaches, while Knapp has supplied many different kinds of greens. Produce from both farms will be used to create the evening’s menu.

“Savor” is a cookbook that focuses on using local or natural produce and truly savoring the food nature provides. Oppenheim’s inspiration was found during a trip to Italy.

“When my husband, Chad, and I traveled to the Lattari Mountains in Italy, I experienced the difference between American and Italian produce for the first time,” Oppenheim said. “The tomatoes, fennel, olive oil, bread and almost everything else on the Amalfi Coast is served simply, without lots of added spices or complicated dressings, and tastes delicious nevertheless.

“Eggplants, zucchini and peaches look pretty much the same but taste completely different in the United States. Eating in Italy made me question all my fancy recipes, sauces and ingredients and wonder whether the inherent flavor of our so-called fresh food had been lost in mass production.”

This Italian revelation was a game-changer for the Oppenheims’ life. The experience left such an impression on both Oppenheim and her husband, they decided to take this experience and turn it into their lifestyle.

“Once I was back in America, I made it my priority to find only fresh ingredients and use the natural flavor of what was in season, grown locally and organically,” Oppenheim said. “Spending a lot of time in Colorado in the summer, I was inspired by the earth’s bounty. Now, we have established rituals and adventures around sourcing, cooking and eating that not only establish a wholesome and healthy lifestyle but how to savor life through it. This is what I want to share with people — this way of life.”

The cookbook is split into several sections, focusing on different natural produce. From how to find local farms to foraging for food yourself and even how to prepare your fresh food on an open fire, Oppenheim’s journey to her lifestyle will give you all the tools you need to eat as nature intended.

“Everything is made from scratch, and most recipes are uncomplicated and fast to make,” Oppenheim said. “In addition to the recipes, a large part of the book is about sourcing for the food and how the atmosphere can inspire how and what you eat. It’s about wholesome, healthy food. It’s about connecting — to nature, to your surroundings, food source, family and friends.”

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