Several years ago chef/restaurateur Troy Guard became involved with Taste of the NFL, an organization that benefits Feeding America and other organizations that fight hunger and homelessness, participating in pre-Super Bowl events in Scottsdale and New Orleans. Now he's bringing the concept to Denver in the form of Taste of the Broncos on June 16, which will raise money for Food Bank of the Rockies.
Guard initially wanted to combine food from his restaurants — TAG, Sugarmill, Los Chingones, TAG Burger Bar, Guard and Grace and Bubu — with appearances from Broncos players for the fundraiser, but soon realized that the event would be a great showcase for Denver's restaurant scene. So he reached out to friends and colleagues around the city and rounded up nearly thirty restaurants (see the Taste of the Broncos website for a complete list), which will serve unique bites in the stadium's Noble Energy Sports Legends Mall, alongside Broncos players, cheerleaders and Miles the mascot.
While tickets aren't cheap, they're going fast. VIP passes at $300 each have already sold out, but $200 general admission tickets are still available and can be purchased online from the Denver Broncos website. Food will be presented at multiple booths in the form of a "gourmet tailgate"; live bluegrass music and the Colorado Symphony's first-ever appearance on the stadium field will also be part of the entertainment.
And this isn't just a chance to meet rookies and un-drafted free agents; fan favorites Peyton Manning, Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Emmanuel Sanders, Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib will also be in attendance.
Guard and the Broncos held a recent practice run at the team's Dove Valley headquarters to warm up for the big event. Mark Dym, owner of Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza, gave pizza-making tips to linebacker Von Miller; Guard explained the reasoning behind marinating meats to sack specialist DeMarcus Ware; Sugarmill pastry chef Kelly McGeehan helped safety Omar Bolden decorate cupcakes; and Old Major chef/owner Justin Brunson grilled up hanger steaks with offensive guard Louis Vasquez. While most of the players admitted they didn't have much cooking experience, they all showed promise as budding line cooks.
Scroll down for a few more photos of what to expect at the big event on June 16.