Jasinski, Rowell, Winston, Layman and one of the Bortz bakers took top honors in 2010
The general announcement of Denver Magazine’s 2010 Chef of the year will appear in the October issue, but the names were named, the awards handed out and the applause clapped yesterday evening at a ceremony at Denver’s landmark Union Station on a mezzanine high above the waiting room.
The nomination and selection process is long and involves culinarians, sommeliers, farmers and other purveyors to the top restaurants in the Mile High City. The nominees are narrowed down to three finalists in each category, and the Denver Magazine’s senior food editor Stacey Brugeman does deep research into each before the magazine selects the winners. It is not a popularity contest or a people’s choice process. It’s pros nominating and voting for pros for their professional skills, consistency, innovation and contributions to Denver.
The festivities started with a cocktail reception featuring items prepared by last year’s winners. So there were (below) rabbit pâté from 2009 Chef of the Year Alex Seidel of Fruition and diver scallops by 2009 Specialty Chef Justin Brunson of Masterpiece Delicatessen. I ate but didn’t get a decent photograph of the heirloom tomato canapé by 2009 Rising Star Chef James Rugile of Venue. I neither got a chance to try or photograph the gin-based South Park Cocktail by Sean Kenyon of Steuben’s and Vesta Dipping Grill. Yasmin Lozada-Hissom of Duo and Olivéa, 2009 Baker of the Year, sent each 2010 guest home with a three-pack of macaroons.
The 2010 finalists with winners in boldface in the list below the picture.
Chef of the Year Finalists
Jeff Osaka, Twelve Restaurant
Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall
Tyler Wiard, Elway’s
Rising Star Finalists
Brad Rowell, Colt & Gray
Chris MacGillivray, Olivéa
Sergio Romero, Argyll
Specialty Chef: Street Cart Finalists
Chad Clevenger, The Porker
David Bravdica, Brava! Pizzeria della Strada
Mike Winston, Gastro Cart
Kevin Burke, Colt & Gray
Randy Layman, Vesta Dipping Grill
Sean Kenyon, Steuben’s Food Service
Baker Finalists: Savories, Not Pastries
Gregory Bortz, The Denver Bread Company
Jeff Cleary, Grateful Bread Company
Michael Bortz, City Bakery
Note: Greg and Michael are not related.
Congratulations to all. Next year, folks, you’ll be doing the cooking while the 2011 finalists wait for the names of the award-winners to be announced.