Jay Fox's Dining Guide

How good are Denver's best women chefs?

The 6th Annual WomenCook! Dining for a Difference Work Options for Women

COME ONE, COME ALL, to a tasting of the finest food your tum-tums will ever get an opportunity to receive. If you haven’t been before, you’d best hope it’s not too late to buy a seat, or better yet a table. On Monday evening, May 3, 2010, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, at Temple Emanuel (51 Grape Street, Denver), the most bestest, most wonderful, most enchanting female chefs will prepare a dish or maybe two, to demonstrate their skills at the same time raising lotsa money so that the Work Options for Women (WOW) program can continue helping low-income women gain the skills and confidence necessary to move out of the cycle of poverty and into a life of long-term independence and self-sufficiency. WOW operates a culinary training program coupled with a job placement program so that these women can find meaningful employment in the food service industry.

Gloria Neal, CBS4 News reporter will be the emcee. 500 of Denver’s hungriest will fill the auditorium.

Check in starts at 6:00 pm, with time to look at the silent auction items. Dinner will start promptly at 6:15 pm. Concurrent with the dinner there will be a silent auction, featuring a variety of food-related goods and services. The money raised will go directly toward training students, finding housing, and assisting with other life necessities.

If you go, you’ll meet the best women chefs in town and you’ll get to taste their best offerings. I’m sorry to report that there will be no sangies or buggers. And you will not have a list to a lengthy program. Yeah, there is a program, but you are all guaranteed to eat until you drop — as long as you don’t dilly dally, but you will be out the door by 8:30 pm, guaranteed.

Let’s get right to the goodie list. As of press time, these are the chefs and their menus:

Black Pearl — Kate Horton
(1529 S. Pearl Street, Denver, 303-777-0500; www.blackpearldenver.com)

- Open for lunch Monday thru Saturday and dinner every nite.
- Mediterranean fare with a flair.
- Chef Horton will prepare creamed leek tart and truffled arugula.

• Café Options (WOW) — Craig Dixon
(1650 Curtis Street, Denver, 303-573-0733; www.cafeoptions.com)

- Open Monday thru Friday, 6:30 am to 3 pm.
- Serves American fare for breakfast and lunch. Everything is made from scratch including house-roasted meats and hand-crafted sangies. Full service coffee bar.
- Chef Dixon will serve Colorado lamb moussaka and Café Options Caprese

• DBar Desserts — Lisa Bailey
(1475 East 17th Avenue, Denver, 303-861-4710; www.dbardesserts.com)

- Open 11 am to 10 pm, Monday thru Thursday and ‘til midnite on Friday and Saturday.
- They serve lite meals and of course plated desserts.
- Chef Bailey will offer chocolate passion fruit cloud and verrine de crème et fruit

• Duo & Olivea — Yasmin Lozada-Hissom and Los Cabos II — Francesca Ruiz

Restaurant Duo: (2413 West 32nd Avenue, Denver, 3033-477-4141 www.duodenver.com)
Olivea: (719 East 17th Avenue, Denver, 303-861-5050; www.olivearestaurant.com)
Los Cabos II: (1525 Champa Street, Denver, 303-595-3232; www.loscabosii.com)

- Duo & Olivea serve weekend brunch and dinner nitely; Los Cabos serves lunch daily and dinner every nite except Sunday.
- Duo & Olivea share the same executive staff. Duo serves contemporary America fare and Olivea serves Mediterranean and French fare.
- Los Cabos II serves the unique fare of Peru. It is described as “some of the strangest, most delicious stuff in the world, a mish-mash of centuries of cultural influences thrown together onto on a plate.” I’m ready to go exploring.
- Jointly, the chefs will prepare Seco de Cordero (lamb and cilantro stew); Spring vegetable quinotto; and picarones with fig honey.

• Elway’s Cherry Creek — Aneidra Nicols
(2500 East 1st Avenue, Denver, 303-399-5353; www.elways.com)

- Serving lunch and dinner seven days.
- Co-owned by former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway. This is the see and be seen of Cherry Creek. Steaks and other fare. The bugger is yummy.
- Chef Nichols will prepare Falafel meatballs with cucumber-dill aioli. I luvva meataballs, but made with falafel? OK, it’s a great cause so I’ll try ‘em.

• Gateaux (French Bakery) — Kathleen Kenny Davia
(1160 Speer Blvd, Denver, 303-376-0070; www.gateauxpastries.com)

- Open Tuesday thru Friday 6:30 am to 5 pm and Saturday 7 am to 4 pm. Closed Sunday.
- Both Chef Davia and Chef Brad High are formerly of the Brown Palace Hotel. You can’t get better credentials that that.
- Chef Davia will serve coconut cream cupcakes; red velvet petit fours; and assorted tea cookies.

• Hyatt — Sandra Adams
(1750 Welton Street, Denver, 303-295-1234; www.granddenver.hyatt.com)

- This four-star hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in its inviting restaurant,1876.
- Chef Adams will prepare a variety of p?t de crème push-pops.

• Jax Fish House — Sheila Lucero
(1539 17th Street, Denver, 303-292-5767; www.jaxfishhousedenver.com)

- Dinner is served nightly.
- Seafood at its very finest.
- Chef Lucero will prepare peppercorn crusted ahi tuna, avocado and grapefruit.

• Los Cabos — Francesca Ruiz (See above)

• Panzano — Elise Wiggins
(1717 Champa Street, Denver, 303-296-3525; www.panzano-denver.com)

- Since Panzano serves the Hotel Monaco, it is open for most all meals daily. Check their website for specific times and days.
- Serving contemporary northern Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere.
- Chef Wiggins will serve grilled lamb sausage with mint pesto, goat cheese, cannellini bean puree and curried pinenuts. She will also serve beef pate, cornichons, parsley salad and garlic crostinis.

• Parallel 17 — Mary Nguyen
(1600 East 17th Avenue, Denver, 303-399-0988; www.parallel17.com)

- Open for lunch Monday thru Friday 11:30 am to 3 pm and dinner nitely.
- Serving traditional and modern Vietnamese fare with a French influence.
- Chef Nguyen will prepare duck confit imperial rolls, pear and annatto reduction, lemon ginger confit, spicy micro green salad.

• Rioja & Bistro Vendome — Jennifer Jasinski

Rioja: (1431 Larimer Street, Denver, 303-825-2588; www.riojadenver.com)
Bistro Vendome: (1420 Larimer Street, Denver, 303-825-3232; www.bistrovendome.com)

- Rioja serves lunch Wednesday thru Friday, dinner daily and brunch on Saturday & Sunday.
- Bistro Vendome serves dinner daily and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
- Rioja serves Mediterranean cuisine and Bistro Vendome serves French cuisine.
- Chef Jasinski will once again prepare her phenomenal spring pea risotto with porcini nage and crisp spring garlic. She will also prepare house cured dill and apple salmon profiterole with caper crème fraiche and cucumber.

• WOW Federal Blvd — Michael Benson
(1200 Federal Blvd, Denver, 720-944-1920; www.workoptions.org)

- WOW (Work Options for Women) operates the programs that you are supporting tonight. They also operate the WOW Café for the employees of the building. They serve a very limited breakfast and lunch. It is not open to the public, but they do welcome folks to come and see the students in action. Y’all should visit the WOW program.
- Chef Benson will prepare watermelon napoleon with a lemon cucumber and red onion salad, topped with feta cheese. He will also prepare a veal roulade with spring fava beans and fig gastrique.

Whew! That was several hundred mouthsful, so if I gotta typo in there somewhere, sorry in advance. Too many fancy food words that I don’t have a clue what they are so how would I know how to spell them? And if I don’t know how to spell a word, how can I look it up in the dictionary? Them dictionary writers never thought about that, did they? I need a DUMB book (Disorganized Unorganized Misguided Book). I’m sure there’s something like that on the web.

The cost of a ticket is $125 per person. For more information, call Dan Mondragon at 720-944-1920 or visit WOW on line at www.workoptions.org. Check out the list of employer partners and patronize those employers.

Jay Fox can be reached at Jay@JayFoxcpa.com.