Chef Christopher Cina is jumping for Jax

Christopher Cina, who's done hard time in galleys all over the metro area, including the Fourth Story, Aubergine Cafe, Tuscany, Zenith and Twig's Wine Bar and Pickles Deli in Tipsy's, a Goliath-size liquor store in Littleton, and is now manning the stoves at the Timberline Grill, a steak house at the Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, is two weeks away from coming down the mountain and back to Denver.

Sunday, June 13, will be Cina's last day cooking in the gambling town before he joins the crew at Jax Fish House-Denver, 1539 17th Street. "I really enjoyed the people that I met and had the privilege of working with at the Timberline Grill, but it's a much different atmosphere from what I'm used to," says Cina, who will become the chef de cuisine under Jax-Denver and -Boulder executive chef Sheila Lucero.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back into a kitchen where the first priority is food, and I'm really fortunate to now be working with chefs like Sheila and Jamey Fader," continues Cina. "Food," he says, "is what Jax and all the Big Red F restaurants have always been about."

Dave Query, president of Big Red F, says that he and Fader, the group's culinary director, have been in touch with Cina in the past, trying to work out a good fit. "Jamey and Chris are really good friends, and I've certainly talked to Chris a lot in the past about getting him on board. I knew that I wanted to scoop this guy up," says Query. "I'm just so happy to have him on board. He's super, super talented."

Look for Cina to start cooking in the kitchen of Jax in mid-June.

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