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Being a chef is about making people happy, satisfying cravings and sharing your talent to feed and nourish others.  So when a good friend of the culinary community needed some help, check out how our Denver chefs stepped up to the plate.

Moose Koons is a single dad raising a great 6th grader named Gavin.  Gavin has severe dyslexia, and attends Denver Academy because it’s the best school in the metro area for the treatment of dyslexia.

Gavin’s tuition is $22,500 a year, and, while our community is all the richer thanks to Moose following his dream of helping out local breweries, distilleries, farmers and a brand new soda company, Moose isn’t quite ‘all the richer’ just yet.

On Tuesday, August 31st at 6pm, Benny Kaplan, chef/owner of Shazz is opening his restaurant at 44th and Lowell to host a benefit dinner to bridge the gap between Gavin and Moose’s dreams and a shortfall in this year’s tuition.  Only about $5,000 is needed.

In addition to Benny Kaplan, Bob Blair from Fuel Cafe will be serving up some scrumptious apps, Brendon Doyle from Jonesy’s EatBar is making homemade gnocchi, Matt Selby from Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben’s is doing the main entree with duck breast, and D bar’s Keegan Gerhard is fixing dessert. Local wineries and distillers will be on hand to keep us diners “watered”.


  • Tuesday, August 31st
  • Cocktails and passed appetizers will begin at 6pm.
  • Dinner will begin at 7pm sharp so that we can get Gavin to bed by 9:30 to be up for school the next day!
  • Only 50 seats are available, I’m predicting they will go fast. A $75 dollars donation toward the dinner is suggested, although feel free to contribute more if you are so inclined.

Please call Shazz for reservations at 303-477-1407.

If you can’t make it and would still like to contribute, please send checks to Chris Koons, 7271 Teller St., Arvada, CO 80003. Please write Denver Academy tuition on the memo line.