Elise Wiggins struts "Summer Local Week" at Panzano

Elise Wiggins struts "Summer Local Week" at Panzano
Lori Midson

You've heard it all before: the local, sustainable, organic, farm-to-table, eco-conscious culinary buzzword chant that chefs, foodniks and food writers dispense to ballyhoo the food movement of the moment. Some chefs are professionally rehearsed in the hyperbole, despite the fact that a peek in their walk-ins raises skeptical eyebrows -- and the commercial delivery trucks parked in their alleyways point to bulk warehouses rather than dedicated locavore farms.

But there are other chefs -- kitchen kingpins like Elise Wiggins, the exec chef of Panzano -- who practice what they preach, and beginning today and continuing through Sunday, July 31, Wiggins is swaggering "Summer Local Week," seven days of eating dedicated to celebrating the state's food riches. She's created a four-course menu, available at both lunch and dinner, that utilizes nearly 100 percent local ingredients, and her dishes are all designed to be paired with Colorado wines, beers and cocktails.

In addition to her local-centric tasting menu, Wiggins plans to roast a Triple M Bar Ranch Colorado lamb on the Panzano patio during the day, while simultaneously giving out tastes of Rocky Ford melon sorbet. Best of all, five percent of sales from the tasting menu will be donated to the Denver chapter of Dress for Success.

And speaking of that tasting menu, here's the lineup:

First Course

Pan-seared scallop with grilled local corn, prosciutto and basil Pairing: Infinite Monkey Theorem Semillon

Second Course

Grilled Caesar salad Pairing: Avery White Rascal

Third Course

Whole roasted rosemary Colorado lamb, gnocchi, walnuts, mint pesto, dried pomegranate and goat cheese Pairing: Guy Drew Syrah

Dessert Course

Rocky Ford melon sorbetti Pairing: Infinite Monkey Theorem Black Muscat

The tasting dinner -- food only -- is $25 per person at lunch and $39 at dinner; with pairings, lunch is $38 and dinner is $52. To make reservations, call 303-296-3525.

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