Tune back 65 million years ago to a time when Dinosaurs roamed and ruled the earth; when diets consisted of all your major food groups minus all the additives, chemicals and other foreign substances that hide in our food today. There was a time when every food item that made its way into our bodies was fresh, natural and contained no “extras.” While we are far removed from the cave and our ancient cavemen ancestors, the choice to eat entirely pure has come back full circle! The FDA has substantially eased up on its standards and regulations, as a result the food the ends up on our plates and subsequently in our bodies is not 100% safe and natural anymore. Cutting slack to the major food producers has led to an increase in the use of substitutes and preservatives to make food as far from its natural origin as possible. With the constant fear of eating an unknown, it’s no wonder many have turned to a diet that is more transparent and uncontaminated.
The Paleo diet, as it has been coined, is one in which a person consumes solely wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups that our hunter-gather ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic or Stone Age Era. The main premise of this diet is centered around fundamental characteristics which will ultimately optimize health, and minimize any number of chronic diseases or illness that come from an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. The following list created by Dr. Lorren Cordain, the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and founder of the Paleo movement demonstrates some of the main benefits a person will gain from adopting the Paleo Diet.
• Higher protein intake- The average Westerners diet consists of 15% protein which is much lower than the hunter-gather protein index ranging between19-35%. Protein loaded products such as meats, seafood and other animal products have come to represent the main staples of the newly found Paleo diet.
• Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index- Representing 35-45% of our diet is by those vegetables and fruits that are non-starchy. Paleo-centric foods are slower to digest and won’t escalate a blood sugar level which leads to a greater absorption of nutrients that we may miss in other foods.
• Higher fiber intake- Fiber is essential to every diet, and contrary to what we are told whole grains are not the means. In fact, whole fruits contain double the amount of fiber than that of whole grains and nearly seven times the amount of those grains that have been refined.
• Moderate to higher fat intake by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are balanced by Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats- Specific types of fats, not the daily intake itself, are responsible for increasing blood cholesterol levels which then lead to a higher risk in such health complications such as heart disease, cancer and even Type II Diabetes. By cutting polyunsaturated fats and replacing with monounsaturated fats we will decrease the likelihood of any cardiovascular related problems.
• Higher potassium and lower sodium intake- The average American consumes twice the amount of sodium than potassium which does not bode well for essential body organs such as the heart and kidneys to function effectively. Low potassium can be directly linked to problems such as blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
(The Paleo Diet Premise: The Paleo Diet)
So, now that you know the low-down of this cleaner food eating alternative, here are the foods to stock up on next time you visit your local grocer!
• Grass-produced meats
• Fish/ seafood
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Eggs
• Nuts & seeds
• Healthful oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut)
** (Fruits and Vegetables must be consumed entirely raw in order to align with this diet. Meats must be untainted and cooked without the use of oils except those that have been listed above)*
Now that you have the key to the foods that should be contained in your Paleo diet, here are the foods you should absolutely avoid:
• Cereal grains
• Legumes
• Dairy
• Refined sugar
• Potatoes
• Processed food
• Salt
• Refined vegetable oils
Will this diet turn into a short lived fad or will more food conscious Americans embrace it? While neither is certain, what can be is that your preferred caterer Y.Lo Epicure is more than happy to provide meals prepared to the Paleo standards.


A coin toss, a 50-50 that Colorado will have snow on the ground or in the air on Christmas; while we can’t always predict the weather, or rely on what the weatherman says due to our ever dynamic weather patterns, we can all agree that the traditions we create year to year with friends and family are definite. To those on the outside looking in these customs may seem at first foreign, unorthodox or altogether strange. For only those who have practiced these fancies annually will understand the true significance they hold. To us they are the signature of our holiday- the cream of the crop if you will.

Once a tradition is born and embraced it will survive infinitely through each generation that too recognizes its withstanding importance. It will not shy away due to other’s objections or societal norms. It will not crumble at the sight of appearing to be out of place. It will, however, stand tall and proud and welcome all who adopt it!

Here are those traditions that each Y.Lo member has established and called their own- and don’t worry if you find one that catches your eye make it your own we won’t mind:Image

Lisa Altenburg (Owner of Y.Lo Epicure) – Growing up, Lisa and her siblings would come home from church on Christmas Eve to a brand new pair of pajamas that they’d wear to bed and on Christmas Day. This tradition is still prevalent in their family!

Dax Altenburg (It Guy)- Enjoys homemade powdered sugar Pecan Balls that his Grandmother originally created and his mother has since carried on the same recipe every year.

Michelle Pool (Event Specialist)- The day after Thanksgiving the family travels up to Buffalo Creek to seek out the perfect pine which will be embellished and adorned with all their ornaments and lights for Christmas. On Christmas day, Michelle and her husband cook up a mean prime rib and will usually host some sort of Ugly Sweater Party in December, as well!

Mandi Pacer (Catering Coordinator)- Every Christmas Eve each family member is allowed to open one gift of their choice. Other traditions include homemade peanut brittle and visiting the local theatre to see movies on Christmas day. Labeling a few of the gifts from Santa under the tree even into adulthood has become a customary practice created by her dad.

 Yolanda Nelson (Head Executive Chef)-Yo lights a candle and places it in her front window in remembrance of her brother Larry who passed away a few years ago.

Drea Rodriguez (Sous Chef) – Cooking Mexican Tamales & Bunuelos and staying the night at her Grandmother’s house are the main traditions seen in her family around this time of year.

Mary Cruz (Kitchen Prep)- She, too, cooks tamales and bunuelos and traditional Mexican cuisine like Posole. Additionally, setting up a Nativity scene and celebrating the birth of Jesus with piñatas is also customary for her family.

The Hot Seat


Step right up folks! Take a dive deep into the jungle of heat via the sweating bullet train.

 The verdict is in and you, my friend, are in the hot seat- literally- guilty as charged. Luckily, for your sake, the consequences are short lived. A fireball mouth followed by a series of sweat- a direct result from the consumption of spicy foods.

            If you love spicy food there is a good chance you are an adrenaline junkie. A recent study conducted by Nadia Byrnes, a doctoral student at Penn State, set out to analyze the linkage between a person’s personality and their interest or affection towards spicy foods. The main premise behind the testing was to determine whether or not an individual was “sensation seeking”- or in laymen’s terms liked the taste of spicy foods. Where an individual ranked on this standard alone- low, average or high- correlated to how much of a risk taker or thrill seeker they were said to be (Thrill Seekers More Likely To Enjoy Spicy Foods, Research Suggests-The Huffington Post 7 July, 2013)

If you are a thrill seeker you are more likely to scope out the menu items that contain a chili pepper next to them. On the contrary, if you avoid gambles, risks, and anything considered moderately life threatening or dangerous, chances are your choices in food do not include anything that could make your mouth burn for minutes on end.

Luckily for you, whether you are a Risky Business Tom Cruise or a Play It Safe Kristen Ashley, Y.Lo has the meal you crave.  Our Green Chile and Enchiladas can accelerate the heat for anyone brave enough just ask our Chef who likes to spice up any dish that calls for a little extra “ohhhhhhhh weeeee”! Oh, and the next time you reach for the chili peppers take precautionary measures to ensure you don’t end up in the hospital due to your risky nature!

Foodie(n.)  Passionate about food. A real food enthusiast-> i.e. Y.Lo Epicure!

Go ahead look it up we dare you! Disclosure: It may only be found in the present day Urban Dictionary.

While this word may not exist in any antiquated Webster’s dictionary, it takes on a great meaning in the catering world. Anyone who has ever worked in the food industry could tell you in grave detail exactly what it means to be a foodie.  It’s all relative of course. Let us explain. Food may be the common ground and universal language between a server in a restaurant and a food truck guy. Sure, both may share similar spaces, experiences, lingo and customers, but as far as what their culture entails in the day to day; they may as well be day and night. The following list describes the idiosyncrasies, the phenomena’s if you will, of the catering world to which only those who have worked in this area may understand; those who have not will find humor, if nothing else.

You Know You Are A Caterer When…

  • Your lighter is your best friend when it comes to lighting chaffers, without it you feel naked.
  •   You have become a strategist in your ability to accurately pack a car with limited space- looks like all that Tetris has finally paid off!
  •  A cart can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Stack it too high and it can become a death wish, but it’s a blessing when you don’t have enough hands, arms, feet or other means of carrying a plethora of catering materials and food.
  •    You become a jukebox eight ball with all the time you spend in the car listening to music. So much so, everyone tries to recruit you for their music trivia because you will ALWAYS win!
  •   Time never seems to be on your side, but somehow you still manage to be on time.
  •     A large portion of your paycheck goes to a monthly gym membership because the Head Chef will never let you starve- you’re belly is always full and euphoric.
  • You have become an expert driver navigating your way down alley ways, into loading bays and busy, traffic ridden streets.
  • Your car becomes an instant aroma magnet with all the various meals that have been transported in it.
  •    You have a distinct eye for detail, and improvisation is your middle name.
  • You can turn any space into an eye popping venue with curb appeal to the max!
  • Your two year old car has more mileage on it than a 10 year old Semi- Truck that has been well traveled.
  • You’ve shined more chafers than a shoe shiner has shined shoes at the airport.
  • You often argue with a taxi cab driver because with your extensive driving record you know the fastest route and shortest distance to any destination.
  • Shopping trips to the grocery stores on steroids- Sysco, Restaurant Depot etc.- are made so often every staff member, even the inventory guys in the back, know your name and more about you than some of your closest friends
  • Insurance means having all the extra necessities (we mean utensils, plates, napkins etc.) to be prepared for a rainy day. It’s best to overcompensate. There’s no such thing as going overboard.
  • Corporate 9-5? Forget about it. Your schedule is based upon when orders come in and deliveries go out. One day a cake walk, the next could be a long and painful journey.

To sum it up- everything that takes place on the show Party Down is synonymous with what a caterer experiences in everyday catering scene (with a few exceptions, of course).

She Went To Y.Lo!

The famous saying “food is the way to a man’s heart” can take another meaning; when the mouth to please goetiffany-wedding-cake-11s from one to a whole party. Before the “something borrowed, something blue, and something new” love rendezvous comes, weeks (and maybe even months or years) of meticulous planning. Brides go to extreme efforts to nail down the specifics that will make or break their special day. We’re talking photographer, venue, and the icing on the cake (literally the food), it’s no wonder couples everywhere are taking their time to peruse on through the extensive list of caterers floating around. When it comes to feeding the guests after they’ve had to suffer through a drawn out ceremony-we’re only kidding!- it is important to deliver the food to get them in the mood and the energy to dance the night away! With so many caterers, menu options, and budgets in mind, finding the perfect caterer can seem like an on-going, endless search.

Let your fear stop here as we suppress all the stress that comes with picking the perfect meal for YOUR BIG DAY! Sure, we strongly encourage test driving multiple caters.  Who passes up the opportunity for a free lunch anyhow? Y.Lo offers complimentary tastings so our clients can “try before they buy.”

Additionally, many caterers take care of just the food and nothing else… which inevitably means more homework and hard work on your part. Here at Y.Lo we strive to make planning your wedding as painless as possible!  From the flowers, set-up, the bar, a photo booth, and of course the food you name it we can tackle it for you! What are some of the more popular menu choices we’ve come across in our time as caterers you ask?  Well, most couples go with two entrees in addition to a few appetizers, a mixed salad, and rolls, for variety. We suggest our tasty Honey Mustard Chicken with Grilled Asparagus & Grilled Beef Tenderloin with a tangy horseradish to pair with! We must not forget the few family members and friends who are on strict dietary restrictions. To satisfy the vegetarians in the crowd, we recommend our hearty stuffed Mellow Portobellos.  The even more rare gluten free, dairy free, or vegan guests will take comfort in seeing they have been thought of like everyone else.

Any way you slice it, the main course, is the most important component of a wedding next to the “I Do’s.” Pick a catering company that is dedicated to making any wedding the talk of the century! Before wedding bells rings, feel free to give Y.Lo a ring to plan your wedding!


Somewhere between the daunting daily grind for dollar signs, the strong, gripping bind with technological devices, the magnetically drawn glued eyes to the boob tube, and the social media time warp trap among other things, we’ve managed to lose sight of what’s most important- eating a meal together as a family. Since we are creatures of habit and like to stick to routine eating a meal away from the table has become quite the norm. The ability to sit down together as a family and enjoy a meal has become quite the chore in the average American household. It has more or less vanished and become a thing of the past in society today.  With the convenience of fast food, the ever-popular TV dinner, or the duty calls downfall of a work-aholic, it’s no wonder sharing a meal as a family has become nearly extinct.

Clearly, 24 hours in a day isn’t enough to conquer everything on our plate, but it shouldn’t ever prevent us from sharing our plates together either! When we miss out on this essential event regularly, our ties can loosen and our foundation can crumble resulting in a less than perfect family unit. This is an earnest mistake we are all guilty of, but don’t just take our word for it.

            According to Spark People, an online article emporium, “The Family who eats together stays together (The Benefits of Eating Together…”).  Here are eight reasons why:

1.)    Communication is the key in any relationship and the ability to sit down and share, reflect, connect- what have you- helps us strengthen the bond that a family should encompass. Additionally, spending this time together fosters a growing love and sense of belonging that each family member is entitled to.

2.)    Appropriate mannerisms, table etiquette, and social skills are all established and refined through eating together.

3.)   Expanding your taste buds by encouraging your children to try new things will in the long run make them more open minded to stepping out of their comfort zone!

4.)    Meals that have been prepared at home are more nutritionally based than those not. The food pyramid becomes more prevalent and utilized in the home and strays away from the countless calories, high fat, sugar-loaded foods that do more harm than good for our bodies.

5.) Becoming self sufficient and independent is a crucial part of growing up for a child. Learning how to prepare meals, cook, clean etc. leads to a more independent and responsible child who can take those skills as they become a teenager and then an adult.

6.) Eating together at least 5-6 times a week can prevent harmful and destructive behaviors like smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use so often seen in pre-teens and teenagers. When schedules become even more complicated eating together helps to maintain the growth a family needs to be successful.

7.)  Young children and teenagers academic performance is shown to be much higher in those families that eat together at least four times a week than those who only eat together a mere one to two times a week.

8.)    Eating out can be costly- two to four more times than those meals prepared at home, in fact.

With these cases in point, it is now more important than ever to bring the family back to the kitchen table. After all, sharing time at the dinner time can help each member find their own unique identity, alleviate day-to-day conflicts and hiccups, and build everlasting traditions and memories for years to come!  So, let the dinner bell override the ringtone, the fine china replace the plastic bag, a home-cooked meal substitute an overpriced take out.

Spending this time together as a family is a crucial component to establishing a strong, unbreakable bond, and while taking the time to prepare the meal may too facilitate a deeper relationship it isn’t always realistic. Between afternoon sports activities and enough errands to make you insane, making and preparing a meal may be the last thing you are thinking about. That’s where Y.Lo comes into play! We offer meal plans for two or more people straight from our menu, or your own customized, that come ready to be devoured after simply being reheated. So, while making a home-cooked meal may not always be feasible, sharing a meal together as a family can be as easy as a phone call to your favorite caterer.

Replace the loud buzz and city lights with a smoky campfire, some classic sing-a longs and ghost stories. Trade a fast food heart attack-in-a-sack for slow cooked weenie roast and childhood classic S’more sandwich. Finally, exchange an excuse to be a couch potato for an extreme hike that rewards you with a breathtaking view!  Your escape from reality for a weekend get-away is only a short drive away my friend! When an expensive vacation to a destination spot seems out of reach and a budget stretch, plan a weekend camping trip with the family or perhaps some close buds! 

What destinations are the top choices for Coloradoans alike this summer? Well, for the family friendly camping extravaganza some destination spots and good eats for the campsite the Y.Lo Crew recommends the following:
Event Specialist Michelle Pool: Twin Lakes National Park in Leadville Colorado: Dubbed as “the most charming summer mountain Resort… a historical hub between Aspen and Leadville during the Gold Rush Days.” “Nothing beats the classic S’more sandwich!”great-sand-dunes_2098_600x450
Catering Coordinator Mandi Pacer: Great Sand Dunes National Monument located in Mosca, Colorado and Gunnison Colorado for a wildlife experience second to none:The Sand Dunes are considered the tallest dunes in North America and are engulfed by a diverse landscape that includes wetlands, grasslands, and forests. A hidden gem and a must see! “A short trip away and you feel like you have traveled to the other side of the world… Egypt almost.” “A child-hood favorite is hot dogs and Swiss cake rolls as we’d pack them away for any hiking and/or ATV ride adventure we set out on for the day!”
Chef Yolanda Nelson: Royal Gorge & surrounding Buena Vista: “The ability to camp right by the Colorado River for free is the main perk to camping in this area!” “With a good group of friends and a campfire with steak, corn, and baked potatoes is the perfect meal… you can even use whatever remaining potatoes for breakfast hash browns.”
Sous Chef Drea Rodriguez: Horseshoe Pass near Dillon Lake: “The lake is monstrous and offers many fun activities like wakeboarding and boating to name a few.” “Nothing beats a BBQ pit with all the fix-ins on the side like coleslaw, macaroni salad, and mashed potatoes…whatever floats your boat!”
Catering Extraordinaire and IT Guy Dax Altenburg: Paradise Divide Crested Butte: “The Rocky overpass allows for the real outdoorsy, off-roading fun unlike anywhere else!” “I like a nice breakfast spread with all the yummy rise and shines- bacon, eggs, potatoes!”
Owner Lisa Altenburg: Montezuma Pass: “The town of Montezuma is very cool, it is a quiet spot, lots of little lakes.” “I love to have Frito pie it’s definitely a crowd pleaser and comfort food for me!”’

**Now that you have an extensive list of travel spots you can pack your bags, gather the folks, pick up your already prepared meals from your favorite caterer Y.Lo Epicure and head up the mountain! **