Cafe Society

FEDDY Awards honor Denver's most philanthropic chef and Denver's best food event

"I'm really, really passionate about food, and we have so many food events in Denver that fly under the radar that I wanted to create a way to capture people who might want to be in the know about those events."

That's the premise behind Food Events in Denver, a Facebook page created by Jeremy Kossler, who happens to be the same guy who put together the Denver Burger Battle last month, a kick-ass party that pitted several Denver restaurants against one another in a highly spirited contest to see which burger reigned supreme.

And now, Kossler, who actually sells plastic for a living, has added another project to his increasing workload: the FEDDY Awards.

"We have some fantastic food events here, and the people who plan them put in a tremendous amount of time to make sure they're successful -- they do a helluva job -- so I wanted to do something to reward those people," says Kossler, who now has a separate Facebook page strictly devoted to the FEDDY Awards, an acronym for Food Events in Denver.

Fans of the Facebook page can vote on which food soiree they think is the best, and while Kossler included his own Burger Battle shindig in the pool, he cast the net wide, giving shout-outs to Westword's own Dish; Affair on the Square; Taste of the Nation; Denver Food and Wine Classic; LoDo Bites, Women Cook! Dinner for a Difference; Hot Rocks Griller Challenge; and Do at the Zoo.

But while Kossler is clearly a fan of food jubilees, it's the chefs, he stresses, who really deserve the accolades, which is why he's handing out a separate FEDDY Award to Denver's most philanthropic kitchen magician. "These guys -- the chefs -- do most of the events for free, and there's an awful lot that goes into it besides cooking, and I want them to be recognized for their efforts," says Kossler.

The nominated chefs include: Matt Selby (Vesta Dipping Grill); Brandon Biederman (Steuben's); Alex Seidel (Fruition); Tyler Wiard (Elway's Cherry Creek); Troy Guard (TAG); Jamey Fader (Big Red F and Lola); James Rugile (Venue); and Max Mackissock (Squeaky Bean). Wait, what? No female chefs? Both Sheila Lucero (Jax Fish House) and Elise Wiggins (Panzano) contribute a shitload of time to charitable events. "I should have talked to you first before compiling the list," admits Kossler, after I scolded him. Still: the roster is nothing to sneer at, and any one of those chefs deserves to win.

Win what, exactly? Kossler isn't sure at this point what kind of actual prize he'll award to the winners, but as someone who's full of ideas, it's bound to be something worth savoring.

To vote on your favorite event and/or chef, go to the 2010 FEDDY Awards Facebook page.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson