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Westword has a new Cafe critic

And the wait is over. On September 6, we'll publish the first review by our new Cafe critic: Gretchen Kurtz, the latest in a list of distinguished Westword restaurant reviewers that stretches back three decades and includes Laura Shunk, Jason Sheehan, Kyle Wagner and John Kessler.

Most recently, Kurtz was the restaurant critic for the now-defunct Denver Magazine; before that, she spent years writing restaurant roundups, chef profiles and a monthly food column for 5280, as well as "Cheap Eats" reviews for the Denver Post. A graduate of Princeton University, before moving to Denver she lived for ten years in New York, where she freelanced for the New York Times as a frequent "Quick Bite" contributor, reviewing restaurants and writing full-length features.

Kurtz isn't just comfortable at the keyboard. She knows her way around the kitchen, having logged thousands of hours developing and testing recipes, not to mention cooking for pleasure. She received culinary training at New York's Institute of Culinary Education and with chef/cookbook author Sara Foster. She's also a veteran blogger, having started SeedtoSpoon.com, a healthy-lifestyle blog devoted to cooking with local and seasonal ingredients.

Her primary role with Westword, though, will be producing an honest, informative and definitely opinionated restaurant review for the weekly Cafe section -- and then applying that same honesty to our annual Best of Denver issue.

If you have suggestions for places you'd like Kurtz to visit, send them to gretchen.kurtz@westword.com. Fair warning: She will not be typing restaurant event listings or covering openings, so if you have restaurant-related news, continue to send it to cafe@westword.com.

And watch for words of wisdom for our new critic from our previous reviewers, who have many interesting memories of covering the Denver dining scene.