The 2012 crop of FIVE chefs and bar stars includes a powerhouse of big names

Thenewfive.jpg
The 2012 members of FIVE: Hosea Rosenberg, Jonathan Greschler, Jessica Scott, Samir Mohammad, Tyler Wiard, James Lee and Jenna Johansen.
If you've been wondering how Leigh Sullivan is doing since her departure from TAG last year, the answer is "better than ever."

Sullivan, who, in 2008 founded FIVE, an uber-talented ring of local chefs that cook here, there and everywhere, including the James Beard House, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and at several charity benefits, just relaunched her own company, Leigh Sullivan Enterprises, which provides marketing, brand management and public-relations consulting to the hospitality industry. "Since October of last year, we've opened Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge, consulted on two other restaurants and have a slew of PR clients ranging from the medical field to Mark DeNittis, who owns Il Mondo Vecchio," says brand manager Brian Melton, a former TAG employee who, along with Travis Plakke and Andrew Parr, also ex-TAG alums, is again working with Sullivan.

"It's funny. The day Leigh told me she was leaving TAG, I told her that no matter what, we'd be working together again, and it would happen before we knew it. Two months later, it came true, and I find that pretty compelling," Melton tells me.

"I wish I had had a company like this in Denver when I was opening my restaurants," says Sullivan. "We're offering the chance for entrepreneurs to open a restaurant without a lot of hassles, and for current restaurateurs to polish those areas where they might need a little help."

But while Sullivan and her crew are busy with new clients, she's still fiercely loyal to FIVE, which just happens to be celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and there's a new crop (and one male graduate) of chefs and bartenders comprising this year's lineup: Tyler Wiard (the graduate and executive chef of Elway's Cherry Creek); Top Chef season-five winner and owner of Blackbelly Catering, Hosea Rosenberg; Samir Mohammad, executive chef of the Village Cork; Jenna Johansen, co-owner of Dish in Edwards and Il Mondo Vecchio Mercato-Salumeria, which will open within the next few months; Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge pastry chef Jessica Scott; sommelier Jonathan Greschler, who's the face behind the bar at Fuel Cafe; and cocktail composer James Lee, formerly of the Bitter Bar in Boulder, who's joined with Rosenberg to launch Blackbelly Catering.

"I'm extremely excited about this particular group of chefs," says Sullivan. "This year we have some national star power, a great beverage team and two women, and we've incorporated an alumni program to keep some of the amazing chefs, like Tyler, who have helped to build the brand."

FIVE will cook again at the Beard House later this fall, represent Colorado at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in June and take part in the Denver Food and Wine Classic. And to celebrate its five-year milestone, Sullivan's company will host a huge feast in August, inclusive of all past FIVE chefs, as well as mixologists and five bands. A FIVE cookbook is also on the front burner, as is a pop-up dinner during EatDenver's Harvest Week.

"I really believe that 2012 will be FIVE's most successful endeavor yet, and with my team behind me, we're pulling out all the stops," says Sullivan. "Our FIVE chefs exemplify the passion, creativity and purpose that has become the staple of Denver dining."


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15 comments
Kaylee1756
Kaylee1756

So I guess "FIVE" really means "Seven", so great they can count. Classy group of self-proclaimed "denver premier chefs" in which many just have past ties with Leigh, so she apparently likes to hook up anyone who can hold a knife with a big endorsement and over- exposed group as this. I've dined at Crave, it's not that good. Found a strip of wax paper in a cake pop I bought there. When I asked the cashier about it she simply said "it's probably from the lining" and didn't refund me. Oh really?? I'm glad that the majority of Denver doesn't take "FIVE" all that seriously.

otter
otter

I've had the pleasure of working with Jon Greschler at several Denver restaurants and he is one of the most passionate and professional individuals I've ever worked with.  Instead of focusing on mathematics, maybe we should be looking at the addition of a mixologist and a sommelier to FIVE as proof of the evolution in Denver's dining scene.  Also I heard his apple fans are pretty good.

offdisc
offdisc

"Sullivan's company will host a huge feast in August, inclusive of all past FIVE chefs," ---  My bet is that TAG's invite will end up "lost in the mail".

jsn
jsn

BORING...What is the population of Denver? God, let me see some fresh faces on these posts! 

NoThankYou
NoThankYou

With the exception of Tyler, FIVE looks to me like nothing more than a collaboration of Colorado service industry professionals who can't hold a steady job at 1 restaurant for more than 3 months. 

Too bad my interest in this self-righteous touting of supposed talent won't even last that long...

Ron
Ron

Shocked that Jensen & Lon were not included but Jessica who is only 21 and has only lived in Colorado for a year made it

Goldensdemon
Goldensdemon

Forget Tag, I catered a wedding for a couple that works there and they did not tip my staff a dime. They should know better.

Briana Selstad
Briana Selstad

Chefs *who, not chefs *that... Journalism standards going down the toilet, I see...

GFTW
GFTW

Isn't five, like, um, supposed to mean five?

denver chef
denver chef

LOL! Do your research! Two Chefs own there own companies . Crave just opened! and Samir has been at the cork for 2 years!

Gorbachef67
Gorbachef67

Its not "making the cut" it's accepting the invitation ....

Stan
Stan

Lesson learned: One-word, mono-syllabic names for bars and/or restaurants usually mean both patrons and staff are douchebags.   Tag is an excellent example of this phenomenon.

Jon S
Jon S

Two points against your comment:

1. "That" in the sentence refers to "ring of local chefs", which is a group. It is a perfectly acceptable use according to the "who vs. that" rule.

2. The "who vs. that" rule doesn't actually exist anyway. According to Merriam-Webster : "The notion that "that" should not be used to refer to persons is without foundation; such use is entirely standard."

So stop dredging up fake rules your uninformed high school English teacher threw out there and enjoy the actual content of the post.

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