Jay Fox's Dining Guide
FOX: HOW GOOD ARE DENVER’S BEST WOMEN CHEFS?
The 9th 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. On Monday evening, May 6, 2013, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Temple Emanuel (51 Grape Street, Denver), the 16 most talented, most wonderful, most enchanting female chefs will prepare a dish or maybe two, to demonstrate their culinary 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.
Check in starts at 6:00 p.m., with time to peruse the silent auction items. Dinner will start promptly at 6:15 p.m. 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. You will not have to listen to a lengthy program. Yeah, there’s a program, but you can eat until you drop — as long as you don’t dilly-dally. You’ll be out the door by 8:30 p.m., guaranteed.
Let’s get right to the goodie list. At press time, these are the chefs and their menus representing 17 of Denver’s finest: Note that restaurant hours listed are always subject to change without notice.
Bistro Vendome – Dana Rodriguez
Open for dinner every night and also for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The fare is classic French cuisine using local seasonal ingredients. Get ready for spring and summer cuz the outdoor patio will open soon. The food is superb. Very Very. Chef Rodriguez will prepare steak tartare topped with a fried quail egg on a grilled baguette. Oh my.
Café Options (WOW) – Craig Dixon (he’s a guy)
Open Monday thru Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Serves American fare for breakfast and lunch. Everything is made from scratch including house-roasted meats and hand-crafted sangies. There is a full service coffee bar. Chef Dixon will serve their popular Colorado Lamb with goat cheese, hummus (ugh!) and cucumber. He will also serve leek and goat cheese mini quiche. Hold dat hummus. Y’all know that hummus is a cross between hominy and pummus… LOL. Sure tickles me.
DBar Desserts – Lisa Bailey
Open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday thru Thursday and ‘til midnite on Friday and Saturday. They serve lite meals and plated desserts. Best chocolate chip cookie in town. Chef Bailey will offer her Verinne of Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries. Check out their ever-expanding menu. With spring here most any day their lovely patio will give them more sorely needed seating.
Elway’s Cherry Creek – Aniedra Nichols
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 serving steaks and other fine fare. The burger is yummy. Chef Nichols will prepare house-made Italian beef bratwurst, with giardiniera, celery salt aioli.
Gateaux (French Bakery) – Kathleen Kenny Davia
Hours are Tuesday thru Friday 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. closed Sunday and Monday. Chef Davia was formerly with the Brown Palace Hotel; you don’t come with better credentials that that. Chef Davia will serve tea cookies, funfetti cake mini pastries and cheesecake truffles. Mmmmmm… Two desserts I love are truffles and cheesecake. What happens when you combine them? Ecstasy.
Grand Hyatt – Sandra Adams
This four-star hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in its inviting restaurant, 1876. Chef Adams will prepare pineapple ginger semifreddo and caramel chocolate shortbread.
Jax Fish House – Sheila Lucero
They now serve lunch Mon. – Fri. and dinner nightly from 4 p.m., specializing in fresh seafood at its very finest. Best calamari in town. Chef Lucero will prepare smoked E&J Farm trout with pickled spring onions, quinoa, asparagus and watercress crema.
Jonesy’s Eat Bar – Alex White
This relatively new neighborhood eatery, self-described as a “gastropub” or an upscale pub with better food. They serve dinner and Sunday brunch. Chef White will prepare her famous Spring Lamb Shepherd’s Pie. I’ll be first in line.
Panzano – Elise Wiggins
Since the restaurant serves the Hotel Monaco, it’s open for most meals daily. Check their website for specific times and days. They serve contemporary northern Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. Sunday brunch is extra special here. Chef Wiggins will prepare Pasta Al Forno in a mornay sauce and herby pomodoro. Gonna blow your mind.
Parallel 17 and Street Kitchen – Mary Nguyen
Both restaurants are open for lunch Monday thru Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner nitely. Serving traditional and modern Vietnamese fare with a French influence. From Parallel 17, Chef will prepare Haiga rice Arancini with shiitake mushrooms and a smoked tomato cream sauce.
10111 Inverness Main Street, Englewood, 303-799-9800
From Street Kitchen Chef Nguyen will prepare spicy tuna rolls with tempura fried scallions wrapped with avocado, jalapenos, and vegetable and cucumber avocado rolls wrapped with salmon. Ooh la la.
Project Angel Heart – Summer Polson & Rasha Husseini Trujillo
The fine folks from one of my two favorite local charities that serve thousands of meals to those in need are showing their culinary talents. Chefs will serve duck tostada with a cilantro pesto.
Rioja & Euclid Hall – Jennifer Jasinski
Rioja offers lunch Wednesday thru Friday, dinner daily and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Rioja serves Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Jasinski will once again prepare her phenomenal spring pea risotto with truffle and parmigiano. They will also prepare Gabe’s chroni chicken sausage in endive leaf. Oh, my. I don’t know how I’ll survive the nite.
Just before press time it was announced that Ms. Jasinski is a finalist for the Best Chef - Southwest at the James Beard Foundation dinner in New York. Those awards will be held on the same nite as this event, so she will not be in attendance. But her spring pea risotto certainly will. And that’s a very good thing. G luvs the stuff. Wish Jenn well in New York.
Root Down & Linger – Samm Sherman
2030 W. 30th Avenue, Denver
These upscale Highland eateries serve great grub. Linger serves “street food,” vibrant, social, humble and diverse. Tastes perty good too. Last visit we had probably the best server in Denver. They’re open for lunch and dinner. Root Down is a dinner only eatery serving fine fare nightly. Chef Sherman will prepare spring roll with pickled veggies, citrus, fresh herbs and rice. Don’t know why she ain’t doing a burger?
WaterCourse Foods – Rachel Kesley
For the past 15 years WaterCourse Foods and WaterCourse Foods Bakery enjoyed local, national and international acclaim for its lovingly prepared vegetarian comfort food and sumptuous baked goods. Chef Kesley will prepare vegan pot sticker spoons with ginger ponzu sauce and crispy lotus.
WOW Café – Jeff Koch
WOW (Work Options for Women) operates the programs that you are supporting tonight. They also operate the WOW Café for employees of the building. They serve a limited breakfast and lunch. It is not open to the public, but they do welcome folks to come and see the students in action. The chefs will prepare seared rare Ahi wonton with Asian slaw and wasabi aioli.
The cost of a ticket is still $125 per person. For more information, call 720-944-1913 or visit WOW on line at www.workoptions.org. Check out the list of employer partners and patronize those employers. Please.
An important final note. Those of you with allergies need to check with the chef at each table to go over any ingredients you may be allergic to. Ask the server to check with the chef or better yet, talk to the chef yourself. If in doubt, be safe and don’t eat anything you’re not comfortable with.
Jay Fox always pays tribute to women chefs at this event, which is truly worth supporting. Contact our dining columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.