The Good Food 100 Restaurants annual survey opened yesterday, offering chefs and food service providers across the country the opportunity to show how much of their 2017 spending went to “good food” purveyors, or those who produce sustainable—preferably local—meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, grains, and more. Colorado restaurants dominated last year’s survey and the resulting ranked list (which awards two to six links, not stars, representing the links in the food chain). We’re sure this year’s survey will further prove that Centennial State chefs are committed to sourcing food that’s good for diners, producers, and the planet.

“Last year, Colorado [restaurants] led the way when it came to being transparent with their purchasing practices,” says Sara Brito, co-founder and president of the Good Food Media Network. In fact, the Centennial State had more survey participants than any other: 35 local restaurants and food service companies took the survey, making up 39 percent of the total participants. Those businesses spent $8.7 million on good food purchases in 2016, resulting in a $17.3 million economic impact. Brito hopes that “Colorado, and Denver restaurants in particular, will continue to show strong participation and demonstrate that Colorado is truly a leader in the good food movement.”

Brito’s wish is already coming true, as local chefs have begun preparing their purchasing records to demonstrate their commitment to responsible food sourcing. Urban Farmer’s chef Chris Starkus is taking the survey for the first time: “I’m very excited to participate,” Starkus says, “and proud of how and where we source our ingredients.” Daniel Asher, chef and partner of River and Woods in Boulder, earned a top rating of six links on last year’s Good Food 100 Restaurants list. “The Good Food 100 is a great way to peek inside the walk-in coolers and pantries of restaurants nationwide,” Asher says. “This [survey] is a way for those restaurants that are doing it right and leading the charge to reform our food system to get some recognition. I’m excited to see how that will unfold this year and honored to be a part of the program.”

Brito also hopes that more restaurants participate this year, “continuing to build on the positive momentum created since [the survey] launched. Our goal is to have 150 restaurants and food service businesses participate in 2018.” We’ll report back in May, when the survey closes, on Colorado’s contribution to this important initiative.

(Disclosure: 5280 contributing editor Amanda M. Faison is the Good Food Media Network’s editorial director.)

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.