Join Denver chefs on Sunday to support Avenue Grill manager Shelly McCandless, whose young son is battling cancer


Cash McCandless is a spunky seven-year-old who loves Jimmy Fallon, knock-knock jokes and root beer milk, says his mom, Shelly McCandless, the longtime manager of Avenue Grill in Uptown. But in 2012, after playing games with his grandma, Cash woke up in Children's Hospital after suffering a seizure.

In late November of 2012, doctors discovered a mass on his brain, which was successfully removed with surgery. Six months later, Cash's tumor had resurfaced and metastasized to his spine. The seven-year-old was diagnosed with grade 2 ganglioglioma, a rare type of tumor and stage 4 cancer.

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Jen and Josh Wolkon, Vesta Dipping Grill honored by Urban Peak

Jen and Josh Wolkon at Vesta Dipping Grill.
Restaurateurs are some of the most generous people in metro Denver, frequently volunteering their time, staff and space for a good cause. But you'd have to go far to find a couple who've dished up more donations than Jen and Josh Wolkon, owners of Vesta Dipping Grill, Steuben's and Ace.

See also: Denver's fifty most essential restaurants, #50 -- Vesta Dipping Grill

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2014 Local Food Summit kicks off at 10 a.m. today


Billed as "Denver's largest gathering of local food producers, manufacturers, growers, retailers and restaurateurs," the 2014 Local Food Summit, hosted by the Mile High Business Alliance, in partnership with the City of Denver, kicks off this morning at 10 a.m. at the McNichols Civic Center Building with a full day of food-intensive panel discussions and workshops.

See also: Contest alert! Win two free tickets to the DSTILL Showcase

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Jon Mendoza, former chef of Uncle, hosting a pop-up at Corner House to benefit Project Angel Heart


A few weeks ago, when I spoke to Jon Mendoza, he had just been let go from Uncle, Tommy Lee's noodle shop in Highland. But while Mendoza, who was Uncle's chef, vented his frustrations about getting the boot, he also made it very clear that his departure from Uncle would give him the freedom to concentrate on his Bad Apple pop-up dinners, which he introduced in January -- and it didn't take Mendoza long to solidify the location of his next pop-up, which will be Sunday, March 9 at the Corner House.

See also: Jon Mendoza, chef of Uncle, gets booted from the kitchen -- and will focus on pop-ups

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Project Angel Heart: Five million meals served

McBoat Photography
Photo courtesy of McBoat Photography
Lanny Dick has been volunteering with Project Angel Heart for over two decades. He was there in 1991 when the non-profit served its first meals, he worked with Bargreen Ellingson to build the new kitchen where Project Angel Heart now is based, and yesterday he put the finishing touches on the 5,000,000th meal served. In honor of the first meal -- Racines donated lasagna for a dozen -- the menu was again lasagna.

See also: Project Angel Heart breaks new ground

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Dirt Coffee Bar truck will steer a course to help those with autism

A new coffee and pastry truck will be rolling out this year that will not only serve drinks and other goodies, but also help those affected by autism spectrum disorders. Dirt Coffee Bar is a project of Garden Autism Services of Colorado, an organization that provides a wide variety of services to help individuals and families affected by ASD. The mission of Dirt, according to its website, is "to empower the autism community by providing young adults with the opportunity to grow personally, cultivate professional skills, and earn an income -- all while serving great coffee to the community."

See also: Agape Roasting Projects makes good coffee for good causes

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Agape Roasting Projects makes good coffee for good causes

It all started with coffee beans. Brad Baltz started roasting those in his home for fun and flavor; since then, his love for coffee has grown exponentially -- as has his love for helping those in need. Baltz and his wife, Jen, decided to marry their passions for coffee and charity work and created Agape Roasting Project, a not-for-profit. "Great coffee. Greater purpose" -- that's Agape's motto, and "that's how we want people to see us," says Baltz.

See also: Brown Water Coffee roasts good beans for a good cause

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Cafe 180 brings its charitable approach to a kiosk on the 16th Street Mall


Cafe 180, a donation-based, pay-as-you-go restaurant in Englewood that's been paying it forward, feeding anyone and everyone, independent of their financial situation, for the past three years, is bringing its charitable philosophies to a kiosk on the 16th Street Mall. Starting today, the kiosk, located near the D&F Clock Tower, at 16th and Arapahoe, will serve box lunches between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

See also: Cafe 180 exec chef Dirk Holmberg on alcoholism, being homeless and finding shelter in the kitchen

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Good food, good cause: Don't miss Project Angel Heart's A Taste for Life


Tonight, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center (650 15th Street), nearly forty restaurants will come together under one roof to celebrate A Taste for Life, an annual benefit for Project Angel Heart, a Denver nonprofit that provides nutritious meals -- no cost attached -- to people within the Denver community suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

See also: The world according to Project Angel Heart's Jon Emanuel: Chicago restaurants rule, Tool is cool, and goat meat is fuel

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Help the GrowHaus flourish by contributing to its crowdfunding campaign

Lori Midson

In February of this year, the GrowHaus, a nonprofit urban farm and education center that supplies food at affordable prices to the underserved Elyria-Swansea neighborhood,
launched a program called Mercado de al lado -- it means "your market next door" -- that supplies residents with a "basic" food box, or a "family" food box of fresh, seasonal and organic produce and fruit, plus eggs, grains, bread and more. The "family" boxes are $20 a week and the "basic" box is sold for $12, and local companies, including Bluepoint Bakery and High Plains Food Co-Op, donate many of the items, while all the leafy salad greens are plucked straight from the beds inside the GrowHaus.

And while the program is off to a great start -- the GrowHaus is selling about thirty boxes each week -- additional financial assistance from all of us could significantly help to increase their food distribution. "With a little extra capital, we could be doing a lot more," says Adam Brock, founder of the Growhaus.

See also: Adam Brock, founder of the GrowHaus, on permaculture, food boxes and modern-day agriculture

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