Local restaurants plan fundraiser for former Denver chef Drew Inman, who's battling cancer

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Drew Inman and his girlfriend, Rebecca Weitzman, both of whom cooked in Denver.

On Tuesday, February 19, several Denver restaurants -- Mizuna, Luca d'Italia, Bones, Osteria Marco, Russell's Smokehouse, Green Russell, Lou's Food Bar, Vesper Lounge, Barolo Grill and Potager -- will contribute a portion of their sales to Drew Inman, a former Denver chef, now in New York, who's battling terminal cancer. Inman, who's just 41-years-old, left Denver behind in 2008 to join his partner, Rebecca Weitzman, who also cooked in several notable Denver kitchens.

"When Drew went to New York, he left behind culinary footprints in some of Denver's finest kitchens," says Frank Bonanno, adding that although Inman hasn't lived in Denver for the past five years, "memories of his ease in the kitchen and his passion for the art of cooking remain with a number of Denver restaurants," including Mizuna, Luca d'Italia, Barolo Grill, Potager and Fruition, all restaurants where Inman cooked.

In fact, Inman, who was one of the opening chefs of Mizuna, along with Weitzman, worked with Bonanno for four years. "Drew was here when the Denver restaurant scene first started exploding, and he's one of those guys that everyone loves. He gets along with everyone, he's calm and even keel and he has amazing culinary skills," adds Bonano.

The multiple-restaurant fundraiser, he says, will go toward Inman's mounting medical bills, prescriptions and day-to-day necessities, as well as to the Lung Cancer Alliance. "We all want to raise money for him and his growing medical expenses, and we're all pulling for him," says Bonanno, who will be joined by Elway's Cherry Creek chef Tyler Wiard and Blake Edmunds, chef de cuisine of Squeaky Bean, both of whom will share the kitchens at Luca and Mizuna on Tuesday night.

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