Female food-and-beverage voices are being heard loud and clear in recent months, and on April 25, there’s going to be a dinner to celebrate those voices, and talents. The first-annual Female Food and Beverage All Stars Dinner will take place on Wednesday at Old Major. A cast of seven chefs will participate in the event: MaKayla Defebio and Sarah Khosravani (Old Major) are preparing the amuse bouches and main course; Caroline Glover (Annette), Dana Rodriguez (Work & Class and the soon-to-come Super Mega Bien), Kodi Simkins (formerly of Frasca Food and Wine), and Aniedra Nichols (Tammen’s Fish Market) will be in charge of the appetizer, salad, pasta, and fish courses, respectively. “I am so excited to be in the kitchen with all these ladies,” says Glover. “I haven’t had a chance to work with any of them, but have heard nothing but amazing things about what they are doing in the culinary field. Can’t wait to work and learn alongside some of Denver’s best.”
Diners can expect springtime highlights including pea ravioli en brodo (in broth) with braised ham hock and charred spring onions, and grilled octopus salad with pickled lemon. Old Major alum Nadine Donovan (currently pastry chef at Vesta, Ace Eat Serve, and Steuben’s) will end the evening with a crème fraîche cheesecake with graham cracker tuille, strawberry-rhubarb preserves, and rosé cotton candy (surely the most ingenious cotton candy flavor ever created). Cocktails and wine pairings will be curated by Heather Haas (RiNo Yacht Club), Angela Neri (SF Hospitality Group), and Mary Sullivan (Old Major).
Justin Brunson, the chef-owner of the five year old LoHi restaurant, brought the women together for the event. “I’m glad to have some of my super talented female peers cook in my kitchen and get to know each other all the while raising money for a great charity,” Brunson says. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the James Beard Foundation Women In Culinary Leadership Program, a program that gives women with a background in hospitality or the culinary arts a chance to work with industry pros and build in-depth skills.“ Cooking is a big responsibility and helping these ladies at is for everyone’s benefit,” says Rodriguez. “We are teaching them how to care about this industry, how to educate cooks, and how to find the best sources for what we put in people bellies. This [the event] is our way to give back to community.”
If you go: Wednesday, April 25, 6-9 p.m., 3316 Tejon St. Tickets are $55 per person with optional wine pairings for an additional $25. Reserve your seats by calling Old Major at 720-420-0622.
Bonus: There’s another sure-to-be-fantastic female-centric dining event on April 25: Chef Carrie Baird is staging a takeover of Pizzeria Locale Boulder (1730 Pearl St., Boulder 303-442-3003). Baird is the chef and a partner at Bar Dough, and recently gained fame as a contestant on season 15 of Bravo’s Top Chef. For one night only, she will showcase the skills that got her into the final four of the popular show with à la carte dishes such as Spanish octopus with yellow eye bean ribollita and roasted broccolini with gouda fonduta, plus pizzas like the Spicy Clam (chile oil, surf clam, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, chopped parsley) and Signore Bianco (stracciatella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, creamed leek, red onion, green olive, Fresno chile, fennel). Reservations and walk-ins are available starting at 4:30 p.m.