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THEY’VE GOT
THE CHOPS

2020 Festival Talent

Chef


Alex Seidel

Chef/Owner of Mercantile Dining and Fruition Restaurant in Denver, Colorado

2018 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest

2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 2015 and 2017 Semifinalist, Best Chefs in America

2010 Food & Wine Mag Best New Chef

Chef


Kelly Whitaker

Chef/Owner of Dry Storage and Basta in Boulder, Colorado, and Wolf’s Tailor in Denver, Colorado

2019 Bon Appetit named The Wolf’s Tailor one of American’s 10 Best New Restaurants on it’s “Hot 10” List

2019 James Beard nomination for Best Chef: Southwest

2016 Denver Eater Chef of the Year (twice earned this recognition)

2016 #2 on “Denver’s 25 Best Restaurants” for Basta

Chef/Farmer


Taylor Drew

Owner of LoHi SteakBar and Forever West Farms

Chef


Tajahi Cooke

Chef/Owner of Ms. Betty’s Cooking in Denver, Colorado

2019 5280 Magazine nomination Top of the Town”

An active member and ambassador for The Emily Griffith Quickstart Culinary Program

Chef


Eric Skokan

Chef/Owner of Black Cat Bistro and Provisions and Black Cat Organic Farm in Boulder, Colorado

2017 James Beard nomination for Best Chef: Southwest

2014 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Award for Best American Cookbook: Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm

Chef


Daniel Asher

Executive Chef/Partner: River and Woods | Ash’Kara | Mother Tongue | Working Title | Tributary Food Hall

Certified Raw Foods Chef from the Living Light Culinary Institute in California

Chef/Founder: EcoChef Culinary

Co-chair for the Chefs Collaborative Colorado Chapter

2018 Fine Dining Chef of the Year – United Fresh Produce Association

Chef


Dana Rodriguez

Executive Chef / Owner of Work & Class in Denver, Colorado

Chef


Jeff Osaka

Owner of Osaka Ramen, Sushi-Rama, and Empire Lounge & Restaurant

2014 James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef: Southwest

Co-Founder of Denver Central Market

Butcher


Laura Posiak

Owner of LAURA The Butcher in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Facilitates butchery education and curriculum at Colorado Mountain College

Developer of ethical and sustainable meat consumption programs

Chef


Patrick Ayres

Chef at Destination Hospitality in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Executive Sous Chef at the James Beard Award-winning Canlis Restaurant from 2010 until 2013

Restauranteur


Beth Gruitch

Co-Owner/Restauranteur of Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia in Denver, Colorado

Restaurant recipient of AAA 4 Stars

Wine Spectator Award

5280 Magazine Top of the Town

Chef


Joe Campbell

Executive Chef of Mambo, and Co-Founder/Executive Chef of Bésame in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Chef


Kevin Nashan

Chef/Owner of Sidney Street Cafe, and Peacemaker Lobster & Crab in St Louis, Missouri

2017 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Midwest

2014, 2016 Finalist James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Midwest

Five-time James Beard Foundation Semi-Finalist

Chef


Paul C Reilly

Chef/Owner of Beast + Bottle, and Pizzeria Coperta in Denver, Colorado

James Beard Foundation Scholarship Winner

Ambassador of Good Food Movement

Chef


Paul Anders

Chef/Partner of Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard in Vail, Colorado

Chef


Nick Winden

Executive Chef at Laundry Kitchen & Cocktails and Creekside Cafe in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Chef


Kent Hall

Executive Chef / Owner, Taco Cabo in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Chef


Todd Adkins

Executive Chef of E3 Chophouse in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Chef


Biju Thomas

Owner of Biju’s Little Curry Shop in Denver, Colorado

Chef


Luke Rogers

Industry Chef of the Year for Texas 2019

Iron Fork Chef Competition “Dallas versus Houston, Menu of Menu’s Battle” Winner

Chef


Lon Symensma

Founder of ChoLon Restaurant Concepts which includes, ChoLon, Cho 77 and Le Roux

Sommelier


Erik Segelbaum

Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40 Tastemaker

Food & Wine Magazine 2019 Sommelier of the Year

Master Sommelier


Brett Zimmerman

Owner of Boulder Wine Merchant and Chief Wine Officer for Integrated Beverage Group in Denver, Colorado

Master Sommelier


Sean Razee

Master Sommelier (MS) – February 2008

Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma (DipWSET) – July 2011

Certified Sake Professional (CSP) – July 2012

Wine Maker


Jon Schlegel

Co-Founder Snooze A.M. Eatery and Founder of Attimo Wines in Denver, Colorado

Mixologist


Mark Sanford

Beverage Director for Truffle Pig and Carl’s Tavern in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

1st Place, Peoples Choice, Knob Creek “Repeal Day” Old Fashioned Competition in Denver, CO 2017

Finalist in Tuaca’s Colorado’s “Bartender’s Cup”

Regional Semi-Finalist Herradura Tequila’s “Bar Legends” Competition

Regional Semi-Finalist in HeavenHill Distilleries “Bartender of the Year” Competition

Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer


BJ Miller

Gold Medalist from the 2000 Sydney Olympics 4×100 Medley Relay

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