Eight of Denver’s top chefs took over the James Beard House in New York on September 21, 2011, to provide a showcase of Denver’s growing reputation as a center for fine dining. Each of the chefs prepared one of the specialties of their restaurant for 75 top food writers, media, meeting planners and guests. Many of the dishes featured Colorado specialties including famed Alamosa striped bass; Olathe sweet corn tamale; roasted leg of lamb from the Ewe Bet Ranch; sheep’s milk Ricotta beignet from Fruition Farms; Haystack goat cheesecake; and Western Slope peach brandy.
Cooking at the Beard House is considered a top honor for chefs. After James Beard’s death in 1985, a group of his friends and colleagues led by cooking school founder Peter Kump heeded a call from Julia Child to do something with Beard’s house. While he was alive, Beard always welcomed students, authors, chefs, and other food and beverage professionals into his Greenwich Village home—his kitchen was truly at the heart of America’s burgeoning 20th century food scene. On November 5, 1986, the James Beard Foundation officially opened the James Beard House “to provide a center for the culinary arts and to continue to foster the interest James Beard inspired in all aspects of food, its preparation presentation, and of course, enjoyment.”