Fans of the restaurant scene in any region are likely to try to stay up to date with news and happenings in their area. For many individuals, this may mean going to new restaurants whenever possible and reading reviews of eateries around them to determine their next venue for eating out. Whether you harbor a casual interest in restaurant culture are are a student currently enrolled in Boulder culinary schools, you’ll definitely want to take a look at Colorado FIVE – an annual celebration of the culinary talent and innovation in the region. FIVE is the creation of Leigh Sullivan, a Colorado entrepreneur with an interest in offering some of the area’s most accomplished chefs greater public exposure. According to Denver Westword, the lineup has recently been announced for this year’s event, and it features some of the most impressive cooking talent from the entire state.
Each year, the event (which has formerly been known as the Denver FIVE), takes several of the most accomplished or up-and-coming culinary professionals from a number of Colorado cities and offers them the opportunity of a lifetime. Specifically, FIVE offers each of its selected chefs free publicity for a special dinner put on at the establishment at which they work. Sullivan uses her public relations expertise to draw in crowds of the most prolific food critics and enthusiasts around to sample a special menu designed by each chef. Following the multi-day tour of the five restaurants, the chefs travel as a group to the storied James Beard House in New York City, the headquarters of one of the most important food critics associations in the entire world. There, the chefs put on a dinner for esteemed guests displaying their culinary talents.
This year’s lineup
For the 2015 incarnation of FIVE, each of the chefs will put on a dinner at their own restaurant before heading to the Aspen Food and Wine Classic en route to New York City. According to Westword, this year’s group includes Kevin Grossi, Enrique Socarras, Noah French, John DePierro and Aniedra Nichols. While the first four individuals are being honored with a FIVE selection for the first time, Nichols is making an appearance on the list for the second time. Each of the chefs comes from a different background, ranging from masters of Mexican cuisine to Japanese chefs. Also being featured in 2015 are Aaron Foreman, a widely celebrated sommelier, and Gerard Collier, a bar manager from Pinche Taqueria.
Though this year’s roster is predominantly male, FIVE made history last year in 2014 when the entire lineup of selected chefs were female. That year saw Nichols?’ first appearance as a FIVE chef. She was joined by four other female culinary experts: Elise Wiggins, Jenna Johansen, Nadine Donovan and Carrie Shores. In speaking with Westword, Sullivan indicated that Nichols?’ return to the lineup presented an interesting opportunity for her to act as a leader to the four newcomers.
“The other chefs are new to the process, so Aneidra is there to give guidance,” said Sullivan.