Food lust from last night's Women Cook! event benefiting Work Options for Women

Last night, a platoon of Denver's top female chefs (and a few of their male counterparts) gathered at Temple Emanuel for Women Cook! Dining for a Difference, a yearly benefit that supports Work Options for Women, a local nonprofit that battles homelessness and poverty by giving underserved women the skills and confidence to gain employment in the food-service industry -- and its success rate is impressively high: According to executive director Catherine Henry, WOW's job placement rate so far this this year is a staggering 85 percent.

And the women who cooked at last night's event were true warriors, unleashing delicious bites that made us hungry for more. A romp though our food photo essay will make you hungry, too.

Sake-cured salmon hand rolls with daikon salad from WOW Cafe's Stephanie Mitro English pea risotto with fresh mint, shitake mushrooms and dill salad from Jennifer Jasinksi, exec chef-owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall Colorado lamb burger with goat cheese, cucumber rounds and hummus, along with asparagus quiche with Gruyere from Cafe Option and chef Craig Dixon Green garlic panna cotta with a spring vegetable fricassée from Crickett Burns at the Squeaky Bean Tea cookies from Kathleen Kenny Davia at Gateaux Grilled slices of New York strip mounded on Parmesan-polenta crackers crowned with arugula pesto and sun-dried tomatoes from Aniedra Nichols at Elway's Cherry Creek. Corriander-rubbed tuna carpaccio from Mary Nguyen at Parallel 17 and Street Kitchen Asian Bistro Lemon dessert from Duo and Olivea pastry chef Yasmin Lozada Hissom

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