Taste of Taste of the Nation

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Looking around the Westin ballroom Sunday night, I was overwhelmed by one thought: Restaurateurs in Denver are unbelievably generous. Two dozen chefs had volunteered their time, and their supplies, and their sous chefs, to cook up a storm at the 21st annual Taste of the Nation Share Our Strength benefit to combat childhood hunger.

Unbelievably generous, and unbelievably patient, since they had to put up with "celebrity" sous chefs such as myself.

Best moments: hearing bona fide celebrities Hazel Miller and Jake Schroeder singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" together -- the first time these two have done so; taking a bite of the lamb that Vesta Dipping Grill/Steuben's chef Matt Selby had prepared for our table (by then, I'd wisely gotten out of the kitchen); stealing a plate of Rioja chef/owner Jennifer Jasinski's amazing pea risotto.

Worst moments: Biting into the mysterious juniper marshmallow prepared by a chef who shall go nameless; watching the room go dark as Senator Gary Hart was praising SOS, which was started by Bill Shore, one of his aides back in the '80s.

But all in all, doing good never tasted so good. -- Patricia Calhoun

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.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.