Category Archives: Chef

Three Local Chefs Named Beard Semi-Finalists

Redzikowski, Seidel & Skokan on 2017 list.

The James Beard Foundation released its list of semi-finalists for its 2017 James Beard Award. Three Colorado chefs — all from the Front Range — are in the running for Best Chef, Southwest recognition:

  • Steve Redzikowski. Acorn, Denver. He also is with Oak on Fourteenth in Boulder.
  • Alex Seidel. Mercantile, Denver. Also, Denver’s Fruition, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
  • Eric Skokan. Black Cat. Also, Bramble & Hare, just next door in Boulder.

Also, Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine was nominated as an Outstanding Restaurant. Not the first time, I believe.

New Denver FIVE List Unveiled

Leigh Sullivan’s selection of “five more.”

A decade ago, Denver restaurant consultant Leigh Sullivan established Denver FIVE (which now appears to be FIVE Colorado) to showcase the culinary talent in the Mile High City. Now in its 10th season, the list has been expanded to include a beverage team. Also, the culinary team includes an alumnus from a past season.

Denver FIVE (or Colorado FIVE). No names were provided, but I do know that the woman in the middle is Samm Sherman. Perhaps you recognize some of the others.

2017 FIVE Culinary Team

New Chef at Devil’s Thumb Ranch

Veteran chef joins luxurious Colorado high-country ranch and spa resort.

Back in September, the team at Devil’s Thumb Ranch was in shock when chef Evan Treadwell died suddenly in a boating accident. There’s a new executive chef now –Joshua Bettis, an 18-year veteran with other award-winning hotels, resorts and restaurants on his resume. At DTR near Tabernash, he is in now charge of all food and beverage operations, including the Ranch House Restaurant, Heck’s Tavern and Hallowed Grounds coffee shop, catering and banquet operations and sister restaurants, Volario’s Family Ristorante and Caffé Giocondo, both in nearby Winter Park. You might say that he has a full plate.

Joshua Bettis.

Bettis, a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, previously served as executive chef for The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., and held executive sous-chef positions at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Ariz.; the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson . He was the opening executive chef for the French Bistro in Tucson, part of the Metro Restaurants Group and in Ireland, was chef de partie at Killarney Park Hoteland as executive sous-chef at Ballygarry House Hotel, both in County Kerry.

Free Food & Fitness at Brider

FIT36, a Denver fitness studio, takes over Brider, star chef Steven Redzikowski’s hot new fast-casual rotisserie restaurant on Sunday, January 22, 9:30 a.m. to 12  p.m. to offer a FREE 36-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout led by leading local trainers. Afterwards, FREE brunch is served. While the workout and food are complimentary, guests are encouraged to donate of $20, which goes to LiveWell Colorado, an organization that works to combat Colorado’s obesity issues. All participants will also receive a FREE week of classes at one of FIT36’s Denver studios. Click here to sign up. Brider is at 1644 Platte Street, Denver;  303-455-3084.

Masterpiece Deli Named Leading Sandwich Shop

Thrillist.com’s best in the country includes Denver staple.

Thrillist.com assembled a selection of “The 33 best Sandwich Shops in the Country,” and right there is Masterpiece Deli, of which the site’s senior editor Andy Kryza wrote:

Denver, Colorado

Justin Brunson, the chef behind Masterpiece Deli, also owns one of Denver’s most important restaurants (the acclaimed Old Major), and his culinary talents are equally showcased at this humble deli. One of the major feats of this Mile High shop is its versatility. The menu features a mouthwatering 12-hour-braised beef brisket smothered in a rich Taleggio fondue and served on a baguette. And damn it if Masterpiece’s bland-as-hell-sounding roasted vegetable sandwich isn’t one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat, too. The flavors of the fresh zucchini, wild mushrooms, and piquillo peppers mesh gloriously with the hummus, a zesty tomato tapenade, and aged provolone on a baguette. Though the Cubano — loaded with Black Forest ham and brined mojo pork and glued together with melted Swiss — might be enough to tempt even the president of PETA over to the dark side.

The original is in LoHi, where it was a pioneering good-food presence. There’s a second Masterpiece Deli in Uptown and a related eatery,  Masterpiece Kitchen, in Lowry.

Colorado Chef-Designed Chef Coat

Tom Coohill raises the bar for professional kitchenwear.

Tom Coohill, chef/owner of his namesake LoDo restaurant, is a notable local chef and also an avid outdoorsman. Chefs’ whites haven’t changed much in a very long time, while outdoor clothing keeps evolving with new materials and new styles.

Tom Coohill in his IKONIC CHEF coat.
Tom Coohill in his IKONIC CHEF coat.

IKONIC CHEF is a Denver apparel company that is committed to design, performance and function for today’s best kitchens, and if you like the latest and greatest in appliances and gadgets in your home kitchen. check out this high-function apparel that uses IKCoolThread.

IKONIC sought out leaders in fabric technology and designers of performance gear to produce breakthrough chef wear to address the challenges of modern kitchen environments. The result: a system that they say “has been tested, optimized, and proven to keep chefs clean and cool under pressure.” The coat doesn’t come cheap ($169, plus $39 for an optional gray T-shirt), but staying cool and comfortable in the heat of the professional kitchen: priceless. FoMoInfo: info@ikonicchef.com or 720-925-2716.

Cochon 555 Tour Returning to Denver

Heritage pigs the spotlight of annual culinary tour.

Cochon555Cochon 555, which returns to Denver on March 19, features a roster of local chefs and sommeliers but stars heritage pigs. This cutting-edge culinary festival is nationally known for its signature nose-to-tail pig cooking competition with the expanded Heritage BBQ theme. The innovative flavors on offer include the Somm Smackdown, featuring wine/pork matching, and Punch Kings, where top barkeeps face off with cocktail punches. There will be 1,500-plus pounds of heritage breed pork plus a Heritage Rum Cart; Ramen Bar; Farmstead Cheeses; a Pop-Up Butcher Shop for Charity; Smoked Old Fashioneds, and fab artisanal wines.

The event is scheduled for 4 to 7:30 p.m. The chefs and somms are still to be announced, but the location has been firmed up as the Curtis Hotel. VIP tickets are $200 each and general admission is $125. Some of the proceeds go to charity. Click here to purchase — or just check out the great footage of past events to get an idea of the excitement.