James Beard Is Throwing a Weekend Long Party to Celebrate Denver’s Food Scene

When it comes to the James Beard Foundation there’s no such thing as biting off more than you can chew. The non-profit organization announced today that their Taste America Series is coming to Denver for the first time on May 14 – 16, 2020. Featuring over a dozen of Dever’s most buzzed-about chefs and mixologists as well as celebrity chefs, including an array of James Beard Award recipients and nominees,  the series will focus on food and thought-provoking conversation surrounding a mission of promoting a better food world.

The weekend will launch on May 14 with Raising the Bar, a cocktail party with the spotlight on sustainability at the Maven Hotel. The event will have bites courtesy of James Beard nominee Javier Plascencia (Lola Coastal Mexican), Alberto Hernandez of James Beard Award-winning Frasca Food and Wine, and Carrie Baird of Rose’s Classic Americana. Meanwhile, mixologists CC Chaput and Steven Waters of Denver’s Run For The Roses will handle cocktails.

Friday, May 15, Taste America will continue with a Gala Benefit Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Denver and feature a menu created by James Beard award-winning Ashley Christiansen. Mercantile Dining’s Alex Seidel and Host Chef Michael Poompan of Ritz-Carlton fame will top a lineup of other local culinary talents celebrating American cooking at its finest. The list includes James Beard Award semi-finalists Frank Bonnano (Mizuna), Carolina Glover (Annette) and Dana Rodriguez (Work & Class, Super Mega Bien), plus Toshi & Yasu Kizaki (Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, Ototo), and Paul C. & Aileen Reilly (Beast + Bottle, Coperta), and a dessert reception highlighting the outstanding creations of James Beard Award semi-finalist Jeb Breakell (The Wolf’s Tailor), Kathleen Davia (Gateaux Bakery) and Mary Nguyen (Olive and Finch). Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction that includes unique experiences, vacations and culinary delights.

The James Beard Foundation has also partnered with Food Recovery Network for the Taste America Series, meaning that all the surplus food from the events will be donated to hunger-fighting non-profits to support food insecurity in the city.

This announcement comes a day after El Taco De Mexico was awarded their America’s Classics honor. However, it seems the new recipient along with Denver’s more humble food establishments are missing from the lineup. But according to the organization, a cooking demo may occur on May 16 and chefs and locations are still to be determined. Stay tuned for more details.

Tickets for the 2020 Tase America Series will be available here.