Master chefs focus on Colorado fare at Denver reunion
with Paul Stanley and Sean McCarthy from the Colorado Culinary Academy.
Forget what they say about too many cooks spoiling the broth.When 25 of the country’s 68 certified master chefs came to Denver last weekend for a two-part reunion hosted by the American Culinary Federation Colorado Chefs Association, food that tasted as good as it looked was in plentiful supply.
The reunion opened with a $75-a-ticket garden party at the Governor’s Mansion where culinary professionals from throughout the metro area used Colorado vegetables, fruit, lamb and beef to prepare dishes designed to impress a crowd with decidedly sophisticated palates.
Morningstar of Littleton executive chef Greg Sever, for example, placed grilled scallops atop thin slices of Rocky Ford cantaloupe while Christopher Moore, executive chef at The Club at Ravenna, with help from apprentices Rick Bourland and Conner Brodeur, received plenty of compliments for his cherry-scented Colorado lamb barbacoa piled atop roasted Olathe Sweet sweet corn pancakes and accompanied by a dollop of Palisade peach and cherry chutney.
Mary M. Broere from Chef on the Spot offered Asian short rib sliders paired with mango slaw; bacon lovers were drawn to a station where Mary Ennamorato from Rocky Mountain Provisions handed out Boar’s Head bacon pops drizzled with candied Mexican hot chocolate or a white chocolate and smoked paprika ganache.Centennial resident Bill Franklin, president of the American Master Chefs’ Order and Nestle’s corporate executive chef, received a big round of applause when he thanked those who prepared the evening’s feast by noting, “Food tastes so much better when the ingredients are local.”
Colorado’s certified master chefs in attendance were Ed Janos, David Kellaway, Dieter Kiessling, John Johnstone and Franklin. They achieved their status after passing a rigorous eight-day exam.
Joan Brewster, executive director of the American Culinary Federation Colorado Chefs Association, joined Franklin in welcoming such distinguished guests as Fred Batchelor, a past president of the Colorado Chefs Association and the last chef to preside at the Denver Dry Goods Tea Room before it closed in 1987. He went on to spend 25 years as executive chef at the Springwood Retirement Campus in Arvada before moving to Texas to join his son in starting a food truck that sells deep-fried Cajun turkey.
Others enjoying the al fresco gathering were Diane Mulligan, former news director at 7News who is now president of M & C Communications; Mulligan’s husband, Joseph Baghadjian, and their son, Marc; executive coach Kendall Colman; Denise Mickelsen, acquisitions editor for cooking, baking and gardening at Craftsy; McKenna Wecker, who is soon to begin her journalism studies at San Diego State University; and Michael Schultz, whose family started Schultz’s Gourmet, a line of seasonings, hot sauces and snacks found at such outlets as Whole Foods, Costco and Kroger stores.
The reunion, in its third year, concluded the following night with a dinner for the visiting dignitaries at The Fort in Morrison. Proceeds from the garden party were to be split between the American Master Chefs’ Order educational programs and the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund.