Denver's top female chefs cooked up a storm last night at Temple Emanuel, the stamping grounds for WomenCook, an annual benefit for Work Options for Women, a local non-profit that provides hands-on cooking instruction to disadvantaged women who have hopes of working in the food industry.
Hundreds of foodniks turned out to support WOW, and while chef Jennifer Jasinski, who owns Rioja, Euclid Hall and Bistro Vendome, is always one of the female empresses who commands the longest lines, she was in New York City last night hobnobbing with celebrity chefs at the James Beard Foundation Awards, for which she was nominated as a finalist in the Best Chef Southwest category. She didn't win (some dude from Austin did), but her cohorts were there, including Dana Rodriguez, the chef of Bistro Vendome, who created a lovely puff pastry tart harboring foie gras mousse.
I could have eaten all of those, but everything the chefs created were delicious, and we've got the photos to prove it. Flip the page for the food porn.
Meatball trio -- beef meatballs Bourguignon, chicken lemongrass meatballs and lamb and mint keftedes -- from WOW Cafe chef Paul Schutt and female instructors. WOW Cafe chef Paul Schutt and his sidekick. Red beet, greens and herbed goat cheese salad from chef Rachel Kesley of WaterCourse Foods. Bruschetta with a fava bean spread and micro radishes paired with a sweet pea bisque from Ronda Banks, exec chef of Gaetano's. Tropical verrine with passion fruit panna cotta, coconut cream and mango chutney from D Bar Desserts pastry chef Lisa Bailey. Beef brisket, kimchi and sambal mayonnaise lettuce wrap from chef Aniedra Nichols of Elway's Cherry Creek. Duck confit tacos topped with mango salsa and queso fresco from Project Angel Heart chefs Summer Polson & Ashly Quibodeaux. Panzano chef Elise Wiggins is currently eating her way through Italy, but her star pinch hitters, sous chef Denise Kodaira and exec sous chef Federico Fassola, turned out rabbit gnocchi with marinated slow-roasted tomatoes, fines herbs, leeks, Gorgonzola , mushrooms and shallots. Ahi tuna with cucumber, tabbouleh, tamarind and vinaigrette from Jax executive chef Sheila Lucero. Chef Sandra Adams, from the Grand Hyatt, served an apricot and pistachio tart with apricot chutney. Craig Dixon, the chef of Cafe Options, which is WOW's downtown restaurant, wowed guests with Colorado lamb burgers smeared with hummus and goat cheese and topped with sliced cucumbers. Five-spice braised lamb ratatouille straddling polenta from Parallel Seventeen and Street Kitchen Asian Bistro chef Mary Nguyen. Nguyen also served a second dish of yellowtail tartare and housemade sweet potato chips. Gateaux pastry chef Kathleen Kenny Davia Gateaux served bite-sized squares of carrot cake and chocolate lollipops... ...and frosted tea cookies for a sweet finale.