"There are a bazillion farmers' markets out there, but I don't know of any that are doing a chef dinner at the end," says Leigh Sullivan, whose restaurant consulting company, LSE, has partnered with HobNob Events and the Downtown Denver Partnership to create chef-driven dinners as part of downtown Denver's new Skyline Market, an urban farmers' market that sprouts every Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Skyline Park, just off the 16th Street Mall, on Arapahoe Street.
See also: - Boulder Farmers' Market, week four: Strawberries, and seven things not to do - Boulder Farmers' Market, week two: From duck eggs to salmon - What to expect when the Boulder County Farmers' Market returns tomorrow
The market, which will continue through August 30, is a "true farm-fresh, park-to-table experience," insists Sullivan, noting that, in addition to featuring artisanal products, chef demonstrations and a beer-and-wine garden, "it's a place to take a break from the day and enjoy a variety of lunch options, shop for dinner, hang out with friends for happy hour and listen to live music, or have an amazing dinner made by equally amazing local chefs, all under Colorado's bright blue sky."
The chef dinners, which are blissfully small -- only ten people -- are communal and created from ingredients plucked from the market. "There's an adorable table right out there in the middle of beautiful downtown Denver, and you look over and there's Matty Selby, Brian Laird, Elise Wiggins, George Eder or Sean Yontz cooking your dinner -- it's pretty damn cool," says Sullivan.
Each chef will prepare three courses, paired with wine or beer, for $50 per person, and the upcoming dinners, which start at 6 p.m. (happy hour begins at 5 p.m.), are as follows:
June 28: Brian Laird (exec chef of the forthcoming Sarto's) July 5th: Jensen Cummings (exec chef, Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery) July 12: Elise Wiggins (exec chef, Panzano) July 19th: Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge July 26th: Jean-Luc Voegele (exec chef, the Westin) August 2nd: George Eder (exec chef, Pizzeria Republica) August 9th: Elise Wiggins August 16th: Ryan DiFranco (exec chef, DiFranco's) August 23rd: Sean Yontz (former exec chef, El Diablo) August 30th: Ian Kleinman (Inventing Room)
To purchase tickets, go to parktotabledinner.eventbrite.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.