Popular Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski, owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall, was chosen Best Chef Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in a New York City ceremony recently. Considered the “Oscars for chefs,” this is the first Best Chef award for a Denver chef in the history of the Beard Foundation. Presented the medal by chef Rick Bayless and Beard Foundation trustee John Washko, Jasinski said, “I’m really happily surprised!” and later added, “They drape the medal around my neck but these awards are about the people that do the work every day for the nine years Rioja has been open.” Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder received the Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program. The Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America and are presented each spring at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.
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