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Amanda M. Faison (at right) at 5280 Dines, the magazine's annual celebration of the restaurant scene. —Photo by Adam Larkey

To Denver, With Love

After 20 years, food editor Amanda M. Faison says farewell. 

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In December 1996, I walked through the doors of 5280, then located on the top floor of a tiny brownstone off of Colfax and Pennsylvania. I was there to interview for the marketing assistant position (a job I had no business applying for; my degree was in professional writing and my dream was, like most English majors, to become a writer). I wore a houndstooth suit and tried to appear organized and qualified, enthusiastic and eager. I’m quite sure that Dan Brogan, founder, editor, and publisher of the magazine, saw right through my act.

And yet, he took a chance on me, as he has done every day since… assigning me a cover story on my first day on the job, and quickly promoting me to editorial assistant and then assistant editor. Through the years, I rose through the ranks of associate editor, managing editor, senior editor, senior editor/food editor, and finally, in 2011 solely food editor. Along the way, we started a magazine called Mile High Weddings and Dan appointed me as editor. Then in 2015, we published 5280: The Cookbook, another project he entrusted me to take on. The cookbook is now in its second printing.

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It was through 5280 that I found my voice, my place, and ultimately my niche—the food scene—in this city. I learned Denver and its streets, its people, and its restaurants, through the lens of the magazine. I figured out who I was via the stories I chased and the people I met. 5280 has built me, just as I have built it.

Being the food editor is a dream job. But it’s not just the dining out that I love. The dinner table sits at the vast intersection of community, culture, heritage, belief, and tradition. Food is a powerful force that brings people together. That’s why we dine out together. I am thankful to have held a job that requires me to sit at this junction of people and place, flavor and memory. I am grateful for having had the chance to ask questions, meet people, and taste new flavors and histories every single day.

But after 20 years, the time has come for me to step beyond the confines of the magazine. In August, my husband and I moved our family to the mountains and, starting tomorrow, I’m embarking on a full-time freelance career.

In many ways, I’m not going anywhere. You’ll still read my byline in this magazine and in many others. I’ll continue to write about food (maybe more stories like this), and I plan on exploring other subjects too, with more pieces like this. That’s the type of writing I’d like to revisit and stretch into. So this isn’t good-bye, it’s see you soon.

Please keep in touch, Denver, and thank you for filling my cup all these years. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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