Feast in Cahoots – The Uchi Garden Series is Back for Its Best Year Yet

Uchi Garden Series

Considering how much Uchi has integrated itself with the neighborhood, it can be easy to forget that the Japanese-ish fine dining institution originated in Austin.

Uchi is a good neighbor. It opened its doors in the fall of 2018. By the summer of 2019, it had already instituted its Garden Series, consisting of multiple collaborative events, each a multi-course meal served in the Altius Farms garden behind the restaurant.

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This year, executive chef Andres Araujo hand-selected some of the area’s finest locations to participate in the ongoing program. “We try to do new restaurants every year,” he said. This year has already seen partnerships with James Beard Award winner Tony Messina, Hai Hospitality vice president of culinary Jack Yoss and New York by way of next door, Death and Co.

Upcoming events include an evening with culinary director Jeffrey Webb on August 31, another with Bruto on September 7, and a closing night with the Hotel Jerome on September 28.

READ: What to Expect at Uchi’s Garden Series

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“It’s a completely different experience from the rest of the menu,” said Araujo, who has been with Uchi for two and half years. “We start with what’s in the garden.”

The menus, which can push up to ten courses, are tirelessly developed by both teams. “We try to collaborate on every single dish,” says Araujo, noting that he favors that to simply going back to back.

In the case of Death and Co., which took place on July 27, Uchi did food, with cocktails, sake and a vermouth course being brilliantly paired by Death and Co.’s maestros. “It was really interesting and fun to write drinks with the knowledge that the food was going to be in good hands,” said Death and Co.’s lead bartender Jack Stevenson, who was onsite for the event’s duration, building and pouring beverages.

The result included a welcome cocktail that combined ube, sake and absinthe and a highball with Toki, Mistral Nobel pisco, verjus, raspberry-vanilla lactic syrup, Don Ciccio Finochietto liqueur, white balsamic vinegar and soda water. “One of the things that Death and Co. is known for is split-basing spirits,” added Bar Manager Jake Powell. Combined with dishes like akami crudo with Palisade peaches, multiple nigiri courses and wild boar with wasabi glaze, the nearly three-hour feast left all 60 guests utterly spellbound.

Despite the massive talent of everyone involved, the Garden Series still manages to bring out the best in its collaborators. The whole experience never fails to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Uchi is located at 2500 Lawrence St. #200, Denver. It is open every day from 4 – 10 p.m.

Tickets to the August 31 event can be purchased here.

All photography courtesy of Hai Hospitality.

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