Penny Parker’s On The Town: Benemann has ties that bind

In my opinion, CBS4 news anchor Jim Benemann has the best ties on TV.

And with Father’s Day – the tribute to ties – just days away, I asked Benemann about his necktie knowledge. Oddly, he says he has never received a tie on Dad’s Day, but his kids have given him a snappy pocket square or two.

“Thanks for noticing the ties,” Benemann told me. ”I’d guess I have about a hundred of them. And to keep the traffic moving I made a promise to myself to throw out the same number of the new ones I buy. If not I’d have hundreds and most would be collecting dust in the closet.

“I pick them out myself and gravitate towards vivid colors or rich-looking conservative colors and patterns. I will say it’s easier being an anchorman than an anchorwoman. The guys just have to wear a conservative suit and dress it up with a great tie and you’re ready to roll. I think viewers are much more critical of the women’s attire. And in general women’s fashion changes more quickly and dramatically than men’s.  Now where’s that navy suit??”

Check out Benemann’s ties that bind viewers to CBS4 week nights.

Mark your calendars

Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill is bringing its Cultivate Food, Ideas & Music Festival Oct. 6 to the Meadow at City Park. The free one-day festival will include cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, live music, food artisans and other activities emphasizing fresh and affordable food made with sustainable ingredients.

“These events give our customers an opportunity to experience Chipotle in a new way and to learn something about issues in food, develop a deeper appreciation for farmers and food artisans who are changing food culture for the better, and enjoy some great music,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle.

Celeb chefs conducting food demos are Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef All-Stars and owner of Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta; Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, owners of Animal and Son of a Gun in Los Angeles; and Amanda Freitag from Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef America.

Other chefs joining the Denver event are Michael Chiarello, TV chef and owner of Chiarello Family Vineyards in Napa Valley and Boulder’s Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca Food and Wine. For more information, go to

A taste of Italy

Denver-based chef Jenna Johansen is a foodie rock star. She’s still a partner in Dish! restaurant in Edwards, but is spending most of her time in the metro-area to be a personal chef and fiancee to Mark DeNittis, the chef at salumi purveyor Il Mondo Vecchio.

Johansen’s most recent claim to fame is as a contestant on Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates, an Amazing Race meets Top Chef show airing Wednesday nights.

You can meet the worldly chef from 6 to 8 p.m. June 24 during the Heart of Italy evening – a five-course Italian dining experience – for $99 per person not including tax and tip at Pizza Republica, 5375 Landmark Place, Greenwood Village.

Each of the five courses is paired with wine. For reservations, call 720-489-5156 or go to

A horse of course

Horse lovers and admirers are invited to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, 5530 E. Highway 86, Franktown, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to take a guided tour, enjoy food and refreshments and see horses available for adoption.

The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center is not a sanctuary or a rescue facility and does not accept owner-relinquished horses. It is for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have been removed from owners by law enforcement authorities. For more information, go to or call 303-751-5772.

Eavesdropping on a man at the Denver Botanic Gardens: “I’m going to get a bobblehead made of myself.”

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