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The James Beard Foundation whittled down its long list. Only two from Colorado made the final cut. Congratulations to Frasca Food & Wine for their Best Wine Service nomination and also to Ryan Hardy, chef at LA Montagna in the Little Nell, Aspen. Even though it’s disappointing that more Colorado chefs didn’t make the short list it is amazing to look at our state and the talented chefs and restaurants we have here.

Did you know that there are a good number of area chefs that have worked in New York, France and California with some very famous names? Jeff Musat at Black Pearl worked at Gramercy Tavern. John Davidson, chef/owner of the Crushery also worked at Gramercy Tavern and at Daniel. Lachlan Patterson, chef/owner of Frasca Food & Wine worked at the French Laundry as did Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey.

Frank Bonanno, chef/owner of Bones, Luca D’Italia, Mizuna and Osteria Marco staged at the French Laundry and at Boulud. Nelson Perkins from Colt and Grey staged with Dan Barber at Blue Hill. Darren Pusateri, chef at Izakaya Den worked at DB Bistro – Daniel’s Bistro in NYC. Wayne Conwell at Sushi Sasa worked with Morimoto. Jeff Osaka was the personal chef for Steven Spielberg for four years. Nathan Miller, pastry chef at the Kitchen worked with Johnny Iuzzini at Jeans George. Jen Jasinksi, chef at Rioja worked with Wolfgang Puck. Hugo Matheson chef/owner at the Kitchen worked at River Café and also with Jamie Oliver. Radek Cerny, chef at L’Atelier, worked with French great Paul Bocuse. Carrie Aili, sous chef at Table 6 worked with Nate Appleman when he was still at A16 in San Francisco. John Broening worked with Guy Savoy in Paris.

So even though we only have two on the James Beard short list, we can still be proud of the culinary talent in Colorado. Come May 3rd, you know I will be cheering for Frasca and for Chef Hardy!