COLORADO NEWS

Colorado chefs named best in the nation by James Beard Awards

Jun 11, 2024, 5:27 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2024, 3:39 pm

Credit: James Beard Foundation

Colorado chefs named best in the nation by James Beard Awards.

Last night in Chicago, Colorado chefs Erika and Kelly Whitaker, along with Matt Vawter of Rootstalk in Breckenridge, were honored with James Beard Awards.

These awards are like the Oscars of the food industry and winning one is a huge achievement. It can instantly make a restaurant the hottest spot in town.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 10: (L-R) Kelly Whitaker and Erika Whitaker attend the 2024 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards at Lyric Opera Of Chicago on June 10, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation)

The Whitakers, who are also the co-founders of ID Est Hospitality Group, which includes The Wolf’s Tailor, Hey Kiddo, BRUTØ in Denver, and Basta in Boulder, won the award for outstanding restaurateur.

All of their restaurants are top notch and worth your time checking out.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 10: Matt Vawter accepts the Best Chef Mountain award onstage during the 2024 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards at Lyric Opera Of Chicago on June 10, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation)

Vawter, on the other hand, was named the best chef in the mountain region, which covers Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. This is a huge honor and accomplishment.

From their website: Rootstalk seeks to provide “Elevated, Everyday Dining” to the local community as well as out of town visitors. The cuisine is ingredient focused, technique driven and deeply committed to quality at all levels.

They add, “the name Rootstalk refers to rhizomes which are all connected via a complex underground root system. The name was inspired by the large stands of Aspen trees surrounding the community of Breckenridge.”

Spanish Octopus at Rootstalk. (Credit: Jim Lawson)

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Rootstalk and can tell you this is one of finest meals you will have. The menu changes frequently, but if you ever have the chance to order the Spanish Octopus, do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Rootstalk also offers a seasonal 7 course tasting menu which you can see here.

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A cut above the rest: Denver steakhouse makes list of top 101 in the world

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