Reader: Even a homeless man knows to thank you for a quarter

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The Denver Five will return to the James Beard House next month, strutting their stuff for food fans in New York City.

The featured chefs make undeniably good food...but how will they behave?

Says yumadum:


Leigh Sullivan is trying to do a cool thing with Denver 5, but she's only got so much to work with with these chefs. The chefs are ungracious and lame. I've been to a couple events and dishes have ranged from mediocre to terrible. I'm not the type who cares to hobnob with the chefs, but some patrons buy tix as a means to support budding local chefs and interact with them in a friendly, casual environment. These ungrateful chefs are nowhere to be found at these events - not even passing around the front of house for a generic "How's the food?". (The only chef I've seen ask about the food promptly stormed off when a patron politely said she didn't love his dish). Pass Hosea in the halls three times and he can't be bothered to look up from his smartphone to nod at you for your $40 ticket... even a homeless man on the street knows to say "Bless You" for your quarter. I'm not expecting constant chatter, but how about just a bit of charm when you put out your coffers to cover your Beard NYC hotel?

Ow! Have you been to a Denver Five event? What was your experience? Share your thoughts below, or join the conversation already under way here.



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2 comments
jenna25
jenna25

This is Jenna Johansen, and I would like to personally apologize that you felt your experience to be lackluster at our Fuel event!!!

I can only speak for myself, but I am not sure how you have missed me at the events we have held. At the Village cork event, I not only cooked 2 courses in the kitchen, I delivered food to every single table in the house. At my Two Bear Farms event, we cooked at a table out in the open and I spoke to every single table and thanked everyone I could. I always stay to mingle.

At this particular event, I was parked behind 2 simmering lobster pots in a closed kitchen for literally hours, gingerly checking to ensure hot, perfectly cooked lobster and corn in small batches for the guests. It was not our intention to re-heat anything or to allow the food to get cold, so I certainly sacrificed my "play" time with the guests for my station in the kitchen, but that was for quality of the food. The food at these events is always a priority!

Feel free to vent to me as well and you can reach me at jenna@jennajohansen.com anytime.

This is a group created to raise money for local organizations and all chefs donate out time to each event. I certainly don't take these lightly and I understand that each guest at our events chooses to spend their money there. I, for one, am NOT ungrateful.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

I went to an event with a previous incarnation of the Five and the majority of the group were gracious and open - totally willing to answer my idiot questions without condescension. Mark DeNittis, Enrique Socarras, and Bryan Dayton stood out as passionate, generous, and friendly. 

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