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Frasca Food and Wine is once again a finalist for Outstanding Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Frasca

2017 Is Already A Big Year For Denver Dining

Colorado's exciting dining scene makes national news with two James Beard award finalists, a major food gathering, a certain television show, and local events to celebrate it all.

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Colorado is poised and ready for the national culinary stage, as recent events have made clear: For starters, Denver is hosting the first annual Slow Food Nations conference this summer (July 14 -16), which means that the eyes of the food industry—restaurants, purveyors, growers, scientists, educators—will be focused on us.

Word broke on March 22 that Bravo’s Top Chef is filming season 15 in the Centennial State, traveling from Denver and Boulder to Telluride over the course of the competition. Which local chefs will take part, and which lucky Coloradans will appear in an episode as walk-ons? Hopes are a mile high.

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steve-redzikowski
Steven Redzikowski of Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth is a finalist for the Best Chef, Southwest category. Photo courtesy of Justin Lee

And on March 15, Colorado made it on the James Beard Foundation awards finalist list…twice! Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine for Outstanding Restaurant and Steven Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth and Denver’s Acorn and Brider for Best Chef, Southwest. It’s no surprise, as both Frasca and Redzikowski have been elevating our dining scene for years. The winners will be announced at a gala in Chicago on May 1, but they make Colorado proud whether they take home the medallion or not.

There’s no better time to visit these local treasures, and here are two upcoming events that provide the delicious opportunity to do so.

Frasca: Guest Chef Dinner with Nancy Silverton

On April 26, iconic LA baker, restaurateur, author, and Beard award winner Nancy Silverton will be the guest chef at Frasca. You may know her as the former chef-owner of Campanile and La Brea Bakery, or from her recent episode in season three of Netflix’s Chef’s Table, or maybe you’ve had the joy of eating at one of her current restaurants, Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Chi Spacca. A meal prepared by Silverton is a rare treat, but owner Bobby Stuckey says it best: “As a waiter in the early 90’s, I would save up money to eat at Campanile with my little brother. This has been a dream of mine for more than 20 years. Nancy has done so much for the American dining scene, and to have her in our home is amazing.” Reservations begin at 5:00 p.m. and the price is $175 per person, including a tasting menu, wine flight, and signed copy of Silverton’s latest cookbook, Mozza at Home. Call 303-442-6966 to secure your seat.

Oak at Fourteenth: Winemaker Open House

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Wine lists can be intimidating, but Oak at Fourteenth aims to offset that by hosting a winemaker party on April 10. In the private Acorn Room, you’ll be treated to an intimate meet-and-greet with the producers of Scar of the Sea, Keep Wines, and Whitcraft Winery (all represented on Oak’s wine list), to learn about their craft straight from the source. Chef-owner Steve Redzikowski will pair hors d’oeuvres with the wines throughout the evening. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event ends at 10:00 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person (or $50 at the door); call 303-444-3622 to reserve your seat.

Denise Mickelsen, Food Editor

Denise Mickelsen oversees all of 5280’s food-related coverage, and feels damn lucky to do so. Follow her on Instagram @DeniseMickelsen.

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