1 0 Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

Penny Parker On The Town: Sonia Riggs named eventual Colorado Restaurant Association chief cheese

September 30, 2013

“Girl” power.

Sonia Riggs, formerly the executive director of the American Institute of Architects Colorado, is the heir apparent to eventually take over Pete Meersman‘s chief cheese job with the Colorado Restaurant Association as Meersman prepares for his departure.

CRA chairman of the board Rich Yoke appointed a search committee to advertise, screen, interview and select someone to serve as the new CRA chief operating officer, a position that will transition into the president and chief executive officer when Meersman, who has led the CRA for 30-plus years, leaves the association Nov. 1, 2014.

As of that date, Meersman will become the CRA’s chief strategy officer by serving on various affiliated boards and working on special projects until November 2019.

“Sonia will officially begin work at CRA on Nov. 20,” Meersman said in a mass e-mail. “She will be at CRA building on occasion before then for other meetings.

“Sonia’s professional references raved about her when I talked to them. (All four AIA references not only praised her, but they asked me not to hire her because they wanted her to stay there.) I spent a morning last talking with Sonia in person. She has a great personality and sense of humor. She will fit in well with our very talented staff.”

Congratulations to Riggs, and I look forward to meeting you!

Sonia Riggs will take over for Pete Meersman as CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association.

Sonia Riggs will take over for Pete Meersman as president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association when Meersman leaves the group in 2014.


A really big “shoe”

Jeff Shoemaker, who has been a prominent proponent and supporter of the Platte River Redevelopment, will be performing George Gershwin‘s Rhapsody in Blue as part of a benefit concert supporting Up Close and Musical, a local nonprofit that raises funds to provide free concerts to area elementary schools performed by members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

For the Oct. 5 concert, Shoemaker will be accompanied by CSO musicians under the guidance of conductor Eric Bertoluzzi. The event is being held in honor and memory of Shoemaker’s parents, Penny and Joe Shoemaker, who were co-founders of the Helen Marie Black Music Education Fund dedicated to engaging young people throughout the metro area in the world of music.

Doors to Hampden Hall (on the second floor of the Englewood Civic Center at Hampden and South Jason) open at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and free for students under 18 and available at www.englewoodarts.org.

Juicy Lucy or Larry

Sullivan’s, where I enjoyed dining recently, is honoring breast cancer research by donating a portion of sales in October from the restaurant’s new $39 prix fixe menu.

The premium 8-ounce hand-cut filet is paired with your choice of a starter, soup or salad, garlic horseradish mashed potatoes and Bordelaise sauce.

Sullivan’s is located at 1745 Wazee St. and the phone number for reservations is 303-295-2664.

“Orange” you glad for a deal?

Denver hotel The Curtis – a Doubletree by Hilton has an “orange crush” on the Denver Broncos.

According to spokeswoman Julie Dunn, “We’re mad about Manning, wild about Welker and delighted over Decker. that’s why we’re inviting hardcore fans to join us in rooting on the Broncos this fall with a stay at Denver’s only pop culture-themes hotel, and then to come back and do it all again in December.”

Here’s the “Booking Broncos” breakdown:

Rates start at $129 per night when you book your football stay at the Curtis on Oct. 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oct. 26 or 27 vs. the Washington Redskins (and former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan) or Nov. 16 or 17 vs. the (4 and 0) Kansas City Chiefs.

And the rest of the story … say “Play it again, Peyton” and earn a second visit to the Curtis for $83 per night – in honor of Welker – plus $18 valet parking with homage to Manning on Dec. 7 or 8 vs. the Tennessee Titans or on Dec. 12 against the San Diego Chargers.

To take advantage of the Curtis Orange Crush offer, call Scott at 720-889-4747. For more information on the Curtis, go to www.thecurtis.com or call 800-525-6651.

And, speaking of the Curtis…

The third annual Denver Public Safety Luncheon, presented by Columbine Health Plan, will be held from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Oct. 9 at the aforementioned Curtis Hotel.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the heads of the public safety departments for the city will each give a brief talk on something “new or unique” that people might not know about public safety.

The first Denver Public Safety Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to retired Denver Police Division Chief Jerry Kennedy, who made headlines when he was a police captain as the recipient of a Lincoln Mark IV courtesy of Elvis Presley, the King of rock ‘n’ roll.

The goal of the event is to inform the business community and other interested parties on public safety in Denver. Net proceeds benefit six Denver charities that focus on public safety: the Friends of the Denver Fire Department, Denver Health, the Denver Justice Council, Crime Stoppers, the Denver Police Foundation and the Denver Sheriff’s Foundation.

Sponsor tables are $1,500 and individual tickets are $175 or $100 for those attendees under 35 years old. To register, go to http://ezregister.com/events/7818.

Angels with a heart

I can’t throw enough praise on Project Angel Heart, the nonprofit organization that provides healthy meals to ailing men, women and children in the Denver area and Colorado Springs, which has been named Top Company of the Year in the Nonprofit Category by ColoradoBiz Magazine.

The 26th annual Top Company Awards took place earlier this month at The Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Project Angel Heart was selected, in part, for the successful completion of a $7.1 million capital campaign and subsequent move to a larger home in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood, as well as for the depth of support the organization received from donors and volunteers.

If you care to help out Project Angel Heart, you can make a donation at www.projectangelheart.org.

Major makeover

Colt & Gray, one of my favorite Denver fine dining (but unstuffy) establishments, reopened Friday night after an astonishing turn-around time for a remake of one week.

The interior has been reworked to add roughly 30 much-needed seats considering how popular the place is. The bar has also been reconfigured to incorporate with the main dining room rather than looking like a separate entity.

Colt & Gray is still working on the build-out of its sister speakeasy Ste. Ellie and charcuterie dispensary Viande, which should be ready to rock in roughly six weeks.

More details at: http://denver.eater.com/archives/2013/09/26/renovation-report-colt-gray.php.

Eavesdropping on CBS4’s sports anchor Vic Lombardi on Facebook: “I can honestly say the NFL Red Zone has changed my life. My family hates me more than ever. Thanks, NFL.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: NFL catches flak from Broncos fans over Joe Flacco banners

August 28, 2013

The giant Joe Flacco photo hanging outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High (next to Peyton Manning‘s same-size photo) is creating a load of flak in Broncos Country.

What’s worse is that the Baltimore Ravens quarterback’s mug decorates much of downtown on banners that seem to be reproducing like rabbits. Make it stop, say fans on various websites and Facebook pages.

Flacco’s name and image are still sensitive subjects since the 2012 Super Bowl winners booted the Broncos out of the running when the Ravens beat the Broncos in double overtime during the playoffs last season. Flacco’s “Mile High Miracle” pass in the waning seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime. It still hurts.

But the agreement to plaster Flacco’s face all over the Mile High City was sealed between the NFL and the Broncos when the pro football honchos offered our city the coveted NFL season opener.

“The NFL equally promotes both teams as part of its annual Kickoff Game, and we are working closely with the league regarding our compliance to NFL guidelines for exterior signage and other promotional efforts for the game,” said Patrick Smyth, the Broncos executive director of media relations. “This is why fans may notice some promotional art outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High and around town that features both teams.”

That explanation is of little comfort to fans outraged by what they deem a “desecration” of our football field and downtown.

They took out their frustrations Tuesday all over websites, social media and on sports radio shows. One frustrated fan went so far as to craft a petition to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The petition was posted on Sports Illustrated Audibles:  http://nfl.si.com/2013/08/27/joe-flacco-banner-mile-high-denver-broncos/. It reads:

To: Roger Goodell, @nflcommish, National Football League

Take the Joe Flacco signage off my Mile High Stadium! Broncos Nation will not endure this detestable and audacious act. Who in their right mind thought that we would just let this fly?! We stand united against your unbearable Joe Flacco signage.

Sincerely, [Your name]

CBS4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi, a Denver-area native, went berserk, and crossed the line between objective reporting and acting on his passion for his hometown team. Lombardi was recorded on www.tout.com (ever heard of it?) vandalizing Flacco banners along the 16th Street Mall (http://www.tout.com/m/v3kkob?ref=tw3dl5di).

He used a Sharpie to draw mustaches on Flacco’s face, and then resorted to masking tape plastered across the offending banners.

“If you’re a Denver native, this is a crock of crap,” Lombardi told former Bronco Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee on The Drive radio show Tuesday afternoon on 104.3 The Fan. “The NFL is pushing us around. The mayor (Michael Hancock) is a big Broncos fan. He can’t be happy about this … come on!”

Lombardi’s boss, CBS4 news director Tim Wieland, said he was well aware of the sports anchor’s antics through posts on Twitter.

“If you know Vic, you know that he likes to get involved in the reporting,” Wieland said. “In this case, Vic’s intent was to have a little fun with a subject that’s clearly irritating to many Broncos fans.” But condoning vandalism? Really?

Even “Big Al” Williams couldn’t get on board with Lombardi’s actions.

“This is a bunch of nothing,” Williams said. “That stadium will be filled with 85 percent Broncos fans.” NBC is televising the season opener at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5 on 9News.

The Joe Flacco banner at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is drawing the ire of Broncos fans. (Sports Authority Field photo)

The Joe Flacco banner at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is drawing the ire of Broncos fans. (Sports Authority Field photo)


Fossil Trace GC gets top 10 nod in Forbes

Fossil Trace Golf Course in Golden is listed among the “10 most unusual U.S. golf courses,” according to “Forbes” magazine contributor Larry Olmsted.

The writer raves about course designer Jim Engh, calling him “one of my favorite golf architects and way underrated by the general public, though the industry holds him in high acclaim.”

Olmstead also notes Fossil Creek’s preservation of rustic mining equipment and the history lesson the course provides with prehistoric dinosaur tracks through holes 11 to 15 left some 64 million years ago. “Triceratops footprints have been well-marked next to the 12th green so golfers can take a look, and more fossils, plaster footprint casts, and ancient history are in the clubhouse,” Olmstead notes.

He forgets the great views the course offers from every direction, especially from holes No. 1 and 10, and the commune next to the 16th tee box.

Read about all 10 courses and Fossil Trace here.

The approach to No. 12 at Fossil Trace Golf Course with an old mining crane in the background. (Fossil Trace photo)

The approach to No. 12 at Fossil Trace Golf Course with an old mining crane in the background. (Fossil Trace photo)


PGA Tour is on the (golf) ball

The PGA Tour is not run by a slew of stooges.

Witness the television commercial already out touting the 2014 BMW Championships, part of the FedEx Cup playoff tournament series that will be played at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village.

The advertisement features four of Denver’s best-known sports figures, from the Broncos: John Elway, Peyton Manning and John Lynch and ex-Denver Nuggets star Chauncey Billups (now with the Detroit Pistons but a Denver resident and native).

So Todd Helton and Joe Sakic are chopped liver?

The BMW Championship is the next to the last tournament of the FedEx Cup series that narrows the field to the final 30 that play at The TOUR Championship the following week. Next year’s BMW Championship will be played Sept. 4-7 at Cherry Hills. Tickets are already available online for the 2014 BMW Championship.

Check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEeVNzcrYZU.

Steuben’s has something to crow about

Steuben’s, the feel-good restaurant at 523 E. 17th Ave., was recently selected as one of America’s best chicken and waffles spot by Travel + Leisure magazine.

“Despite being mile-high, there’s a down-home essence at Steuben’s, from the old diner décor to the super-friendly staff,” the article says. “And chicken and waffles don’t get more classic than chef Brandon Biederman’s version. The meat is brined in buttermilk and seasoning for a day, then dredged in seasoned flour and fried to order. The waffles are traditional Belgian, served with a red-eye gravy made from Jim Beam bourbon, coffee and bacon. Afterward, waddle next door to sister restaurant Ace, with plenty of Ping-Pong tables.”

Check out the story at http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-chicken-and-waffles/7.

Now for the rest of the story: Steuben’s only serves the chicken and waffles for brunch on Saturday and Sunday and as the Sunday dinner special. You can order Steuben’s popular fried chicken (with mashed potatoes gravy and a biscuit) any day of the week.

Another 9th Door

The Beauvallon building on Ninth and Lincoln has been a revolving door for restaurants since it opened. But that doesn’t seem to bother Bill Kennedy, owner of The 9th Door, 1808 Blake St., who will open another outpost in the eatery-challenged building.

The Spanish tapas restaurant is slated to open in October, according to a story on Westword.com. Check out the details:


Eavesdropping on a woman discussing the Flacco banners: “What if the Yankees put up a 40- foot picture of Big Papi (Red Sox slugger David Ortiz)? That would never happen.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: Denver’s Punch Bowl Social among top 10 swankiest, tastiest, booziest bowling alleys in America

August 7, 2013

Thrillist.com, a digital lifestyle website for men with local features on 21 cities (including Denver), rated its top 10 swankiest, tastiest, booziest bowling alleys in America and our fair city’s Punch Bowl Social was named to the list.

Punch Bowl Social, located in the hot SoBo district, is a hip eater-tainment establishment at 65 Broadway and offers great eats, drinks, bowling and more.

Here’s what Thrilllist had to say about Punch Bowl Social:

“Combining every great old-man game (bowling, shuffleboard, telling dirty jokes to 22-year-old girls) and young-man game (arcade games, karaoke, telling dirty jokes to 72-year-old girls) under one gigantic roof, this enormous man cave rocks gastropub-style food (think buffalo meatloaf & duck pastrami) in addition to craft cocktails from multiple bars, including a rotating selection of punch served up in huge bowls (see, it’s not just a clever name).”

Punch Bowl SOcial on Broadway was named one the top 10 swankiest and booziest bowling alleys in America by Thrillist.com (Punch Bowl Social photo)

Punch Bowl Social on Broadway was named one of the top 10 “swankiest, tastiest and booziest bowling alleys in America” by Thrillist.com (Punch Bowl Social photo)


A Denver public library … on wheels

Denver Public Library is coming to you … on a specially made tricycle.

DPL has developed a new service — DPL Connect — a pedal-powered mobile library and wi-fi hotspot.

DPL Connect launches its inaugural ride on Wednesday, August 7 on the 16th Street Mall. The trike provides free wireless internet access and will be stocked with a rotating collection of books tailored to the bike’s location (i.e. cookbooks and urban farming for farmer’s markets, bike repair and Denver maps for bike trails, etc).

The librarian riding DPL Connect also can provide traditional library services, including help with digital downloads (eBooks, audio books, and digital magazines), reading suggestions, assisting with research and registering new customers for library cards.

Here’s a schedule for DPL Connect in the upcoming weeks:

August 7, 4:30-6:30 p.m. | 16th Street Mall Garden Block (between Curtis and Champa)

August 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. | Civic Center Eats (among the food trucks – Broadway & 14th Street)

August 11, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m | VIVA Streets (Berkeley Regis Neighborhood – Tennyson St. & W 46th Ave.)

September 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Tour de Fat (City Park)

September 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Bike-in Movie series at Civic Center Park

The DPL Connect pedal-powered mobile library. (Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library’s Facebook page)


‘Football On Your Phone’ rap by the Mannings

You’ve probably already seen the Mannings — Denver Broncos QB Peyton and his younger brother, the Giants’ Eli — in the “rap video” promoting DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket for NFL game coverage.

But just in case you were under a rock on Tuesday, here’s the link the Manning brothers’ “Football On Your Phone” rap.

Personally, I think Eli got a lot of the better lines and the Mannings’ dad, Archie, makes a cameo on the video that was filmed in New Orleans, the Mannings’ hometown.

Peyton, left, and Eli Manning performed an outlandish 'rap video' to promote DirecTV's Sunday Ticket. (Photo by DirecTV)

Peyton, left, and Eli Manning performed an outlandish ‘rap video’ to promote DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket. (Photo by DirecTV)


Trader Joe’s to add a third store in Colorado

One Trader Joe’s coming to Colorado was fantastic news for this California girl. Two put me over the moon, especially since it was announced No. 2 would be located on 8th and Colorado near my Capitol Hill abode.

Now, the California-based specialty grocery store I grew up on is adding a third store in Greenwood Village.

The Denver Post reported Trader Joe’s has signed a lease at the Cherry Hills Marketplace at 5901 S. University Blvd. on the corner of East Orchard Road.The first two stores — in Denver and on Boulder’s Twenty Ninth Street mall are scheduled to open in 2014 as will the Greenwood Village store.

Chipotle coming to a Farmers’ Market near you

Chipotle Mexican Grill is already on every corner in Denver – or so it seems – but now the Colorado-bred chain is  participating in National Farmers’ Market Week.

Chipotle will conduct salsa-making demonstrations, give scavenger-hunt activity books to the kids and encourage shoppers to buy locally from their community farmers’ markets with $10 currency tokens that are redeemable for food at that market location).

Shoppers also will receive buy-one-get-one deals they can redeem at any Colorado Chipotle location. The coupon is valid for a burrito, burrito bowl or order of tacos.

Here are the markets Chipotle will visit this week (they’ve already hit the Broomfield and Lowry Farmers Markets): Aspen Grove Farmers Market, Wednesday, August 7; Highland Farmers Market, Southwest Plaza Farmers Market, Colorado Farm and Art Market and Larimer County Farmers Market, all on Saturday, August 10.

Eavesdropping on 9News’ Facebook page:

9News executive producer to Kim Christiansen: “A study for the fire-eating Kim, ‘Your love of spicy foods means you’re a risk-taker!'”

Kim: “I love it except the fact I would never bungee jump, sky dive, etc . Too scary.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Seawell sails into 100

August 6, 2012

So what would it take for Judi Wolf and Cleo Parker Robinson to perform on stage together? Donald Seawell’s 100th birthday.

On Aug. 1, those of us who were lucky enough to be invited to such an illustrious affair inside of his namesake ballroom, witnessed several testimonials to Seawell, free run 6 femmes who’s made an indelible mark on this city’s theatrical heritage.

But the most entertaining moment came when Wolf and Parker Robinson kicked up their heels in their version of “My Heart Belongs to Donald”.

But as it should be, Seawell had the last word. “This has been a fabulous evening. When I’m asked what it’s like to be 100, I say it’s fun. If I could get more evenings like this, I’d live another 100 years.”

More Sabor

Sabor, the annual food fest to support the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was a great success at the Denver Botanic Gardens last week.

Restaurants came out to supply best bites while supporting the Chamber. The nearly sold-out affair was muy caliente y sabroso. Que bueno!


The right hand will know what the left hand is doing when Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, 1317 14th St., joins hands with Left Hand Brewing Co. at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 for a left-handed dinner and beer fest celebrating National Left-Handers Day.

Guests should expect left-handed surprises throughout the event. Right-handed participants are welcome as well. Euclid Hall chef de cuisine Jorel Pierce has prepared a multi-course menu paired with favorites from Left Hand.

Menu and reservations: www.euclidhall.com or 303-595-4255.

Ain’t it grand?

The Grand Hyatt Denver’s general manager Greg Leonard recently announced the opening of Pub 17, the hotel’s new restaurant on the corner of 17th and Welton.

The new pub aims to capture the mood and flavor of the Mile High City by providing neighborhood microbrews, regional wine and fun food fare.

Pub 17 prides itself for serving a bounty of locally grown produce, artisan cheeses and premium meats. Menu items include the Mile High Reuben or chef de cuisine Jay Leandro’s interpretation of mac and cheese.

Other menu stand-outs include a Western-style herb roasted bone marrow. Every signature dish complements a list of local microbrews. Reservations: 303-295-1117 or www.pub17denver.com.

Burger boys

This month’s edition of Food Network magazine free run 6 v2 femmes includes a bit called “You can eat like a football player,” restaurants are kicking off football season with dishes named after NFL players.

Two of my favorite QBs get the nod with Drew Brees’ Breesy Beef Mac and Peyton Burger.

The Breesy Beefy Mac  is a fave rave for the New Orleans Saints QB who eats the ground beef and macaroni before every game. A chef at the Ritz-Carlton apparently added a version with béarnaise sauce, andouille sausage and ground beef to the menu.

On Manning’s behalf, locally based Smashburger announced that Colorado locations would serve an off-the-menu Peyton Burger topped with orange hot sauce and blue cheese in honor of Broncos’ colors.

Say yes to the address

The Palm in the Westin Tabor Center has secured back its free valet for lunch and dinner. That’s good news to those of us who drive to the steak place and bristle at paying to park.

The On the Town family recently had an amazing dinner at the restaurant located at 16th and Lawrence. Reservations: www.thepalm.com/denver.

Eavesdropping on a husband and a wife: “When we met it was love at first sight?”

“For you?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Suites caterer makes it even sweeter for Peyton Manning

Real Broncos fans are revving up for this season with the new shot in the arm of Peyton Manning, who has the potential to bring pizzaz back to our football team.

Epicurean Catering (www.epicureancatering.com), the exclusive food purveyor to suite holders at Sports Authority Field, are setting their palates and culinary prowess around the building excitement of Peyton playing for the home team.

“We’ve sold out the suites and club level,” said Adam Hammond, executive chef and general manger for Epicurean. “There’s so much excitement with Peyton. We are bringing in disposable roshe run hyp qs products to be green. It’s a big standard we hold ourselves to.”

Epicurean hosted invited guests from the Broncos organization and the press to taste new menu offerings available to suite holders at Sports Authority Field this year. Most meals are themed to the opposing team such as gumbo when The Saints Come Marching In, or ribs when Kansas City invades our space.

The themed packages include two starters, two salads, two proteins, vegetable and starch, one carved item and two desserts. Epicurean prefers to offer individual desserts to cut down on waste. “We are trying to focus on a 100-mile menu,” said Stephanie Blackford, Epicurean communications director.

To achieve that goal, Epicurean is working with Alan Preblud, executive director of the company We Don’t Waste (www.wedontwaste.org). The company collects unused food from various purveyors in an effort to recycle to those in need.

“We provided over 40,000 meals last season which is 120,000 servings.,” Preblud said. “In two years the stadium has provided 10,000 meals and 30,000 servings.”

Hammond said that the Manning factor has already affected suite sales. “We’re trying to bring it up a level. Suite holders get excited for the season.”

Help local chef win Bravo fan favorite

Chef Jenna Johansen, Denver’s contestant on Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates” (think “Amazing Race” meets “Top Chef”) may have been booted from the cunning culinary competition, but she can still win “fan favorite” with help from her fans by voting online.

“I would really appreciate every single vote that comes my way to swing the fan favorite vote to the cheerful chef who speaks all the languages,” Johansen said in an e-mail. “This may seem like a silly and small thing to ask for, but your five minutes weekly for the next few weeks until the winner is announced means the world to me. (PS you want to watch the finale!!!)”

There are two ways to vote, and here are the rules: You can vote 10 times EACH WEEK by texting “Jenna” to 27286 (BRAVO),  or you can vote 40 times EACH WEEK at http://www.bravotv.com/live-vote/around-the-world-in-80-plates/vote. Voting resets each Wednesday night until 2 p.m. Mountain Time July 25.

The winning Fan Favorite gets $10,000.

“I really, really, really want to win. I cannot do it without a lot of help!,” said Johansen, who owns Dish in Edwards but lives in Denver with fiance charcuterie king Mark DeNittis. “I sincerely appreciate any and all votes you send my way. Please send this information to anyone you think may be interested in helping Team Jenna win…Thanks for supporting the Colorado girl!”

Shake, shake, shake

Larkburger, the Vail Valley-based burger joint with a roshe run nm br handful of locations around the state, and its ice cream partner Boulder Ice Cream, is shaking up July – National Ice Cream Month – with its Shake it Up promotion where on Saturdays and Sundays this month a 12-ounce shake will sell for $2 – a $1.50 discount.

The discount is good at all Larkburger locations (www.larkburger.com). There’s also a contest for a chance to win milkshakes for a year, a Boulder Ice Cream (www.bouldericecream.com) t-shirt and 24 pints of ice cream. Full contest details at www.larkburger.com.

Eavesdropping on a woman watching two other woman at Elway’s Cherry Creek’s concert on the patio: “Did they call each other and say let’s wear our shortest shorts?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Roughly 900 unmasked guests attended Club Mask

May 14, 2012

Club Mask, the event formerly known as The Mask Project, rocked the Cherry Creek Shopping Center Saturday night in the name of raising beaucoup bucks for Denver Hospice.

Various sponsors footed the bill for a variety of clubs sprinkled throughout the large venue which included a viewing area for masks in center court near the elevators.

Food tables, supplied by Occasions catering, were spread free run 6 v2 femmes throughout the shopping center, and bars offered speciality cocktails or wine with the most stocked bar being King Soopers Ice Bar garnished with strange looking mascots that looked like the grocery-chain’s produce section had swallowed their bodies.

Party peeps mingled throughout the tony evening that raised a lot of dough through ticket sales and bidding on ceramic masks crafted by artists for local and national celebrities.

Before bidding had closed on Sunday, the top 10 bids were going to: New Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for $3,510; gal about town Terri L. Fisher at $1,070, Broncos QB who left us for the New York Jets Tim Tebow (his mask in Broncos colors no less) for $7,010, businesswoman Deborah Williams at $780, fused glass designer Ellen Beller at $415, County singer Faith Hill at $660, interior decorator Andrea Rector for $460 for her interpretation of Denver’s iconic Blue Bear, Denver Fire Department for $720, Hall of Famer and restaurateur John Elway for $560 and singer Paul Simon at $400.

But bidding on many masks didn’t close until 8 p.m. Sunday night. The event, that takes place every other year, also raises big bucks for Denver Hospice, an intensely worthy cause.

Attendees included dapper David Alexander with mom Sue Simos, co-chairs Jennifer Alvarado Geller and Jeff Geller, Jamie Anglich, Anthony Aragon and David Westman, Edie and Mort Marks, Norm and Sunny Brownstein with law-firm partner Steve Farber, Cherry Creek Shopping Center boss Nick LeMasters with family, Colorado Restaurant Association honchos Pete Meersman and Mary Mino, sports radio guru Les Shapiro and wife Paula, event co-chairs Gail and George Johnson, David Mandarich, Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown and wife Suzanne, Hospice heroes Lynn Bronikowski, Linda Goto, Keri Christiansen, Andy Levy and a cast of hundreds.

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Four Seasons changes

Four Seasons Resort Vail has added new team members to its tribe including Jim Guttau (pronounced as in Utah) as director of public relations. I have worked with Guttau on several restaurant and club openings since he ran his own Denver PR firm for seven years.

Jolinda Cohavi is joining Four Seasons Resort Vail after her stint at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Calinas where she served five years as director of marketing.

JoAnn Freberg joins Four Seasons Vail as the conference services manager by way of Maui, Hawaii, having worked for Four Seasons Resort Maul since 2002.

And Melissa Moll is the business development sales manager representing Four Seasons Resort Vail and also Four Seasons Hotel Denver from Olympic Valley, Calif.


Denver oil and gas man and mega supporter of the Denver Center for the  Performing Arts Roger Hutson bought two major sponsorships for the Book of Mormon gala under WOJS – Wives of Joseph Smith LLC.

A friend of his has invited the Mayor of South Park, the location for the animated series started by Colorado natives, to the event where each of the six tables WOJS purchased are required to be named match supreme prem after an episode from the irreverent show. Sneak peek: One table is called the Casa Bonita Cliff Divers.

Mom’s Day

How was yours? Mine was stellar. Card from our two doggies McCaffrey (named after Broncos No. 87 Eddie McCaffrey) and Georgie (named after former Kansas City Royal George Brett):  “Mom, I love you – this much (giant ear/wing span indicative of McCaffrey the dog).

From my son, On the Town Junior in front of a mic: “Ahem…test…test…test…Roses are tough, violets don’t quit. When it comes to being a mom, you should really know your…love, thoughtfulness and kindness make your truly amazing!

And from Mr. On the Town: “To My wife – it’s your day to sit back, relax, and let me do everything…the wrong way.”

Eavesdropping on me: “Hope you all had a fab-0 Mother’s Day!”

My Facebook page has moved. Be sure to like it! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Local chef takes her talent to TV

May 9, 2012

Jenna Johansen, owner of Dish restaurant in Edwards, is one of 12 “chef-testants” to compete on Around the World in 80 Plates, an Amazing Race meets Top Chef meets Survivor series starting at 8 tonight (Colorado time) on Bravo.

The new series, hosted by TV chef personalities Cat Cora and Curtis Stone, pits 12 contenders in a race around the world while whipping up dishes using local ingredients.

Johansen, who’s now teaching cooking classes, consulting and preparing pop-up dinners in Denver, got the gig on the recommendation of Kelly Liken, owner of the Vail restaurant bearing her name, who was a Top Chef competitor in season seven of the wildly popular Bravo series.

“I’m a big Top Chef fan anyway, but Kelly is my best friend and thought this would be perfect for me,” Johansen said. “It’s team work for a large portion of the challenge, nike cortez femmes but after the team work you’re responsible for your own performance in the kitchen. At the end of the day when you’re finished with the team work and you’re on the losing team, one of the members get voted off.”

The competition starts in London where the contestants take over an independently owned restaurant and cook dishes to satisfy the eatery owners.

“It’s not necessarily a popularity contest,” said Johansen, who is contractually bound not to give away any of the episodes’ results. “If you’re a good strategist you might want to keep the worst chefs on your team. It depends on how you look at it. You have to be good working on a team, working for yourself and have a strong personality to stand up for yourself at the end of the day if you’re on the bottom team.”

Johansen say she’s not sure what culinary route the show will take her on, but for now she says she’s happy to be based in Denver with her fiance Mark DeNittis, owner of the wholesale salumi operation Il Mondo Vecchio. DeNittis and business partners will open the retail store Il Mondo Vecchio Mercato-Salumeria on South Pearl Street in Washington Park.

She is guest chefing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Studio F, the demo portion of Red Star Deli in the old Mise en Place cooking school at 1801 Wynkoop. Johansen will cook a five-course meal paired with wine and cocktails. Reservations: studioflodo.com.

Mask mania

While Broncos quarterbacks past and present John Elway, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning will never face off on the grid iron, they still can compete in The Mask Project online auction at the maskproject.org, a benefit for The Denver Hospice.

After the sports figures’ masks got national nods from FoxSports, Yahoo Sports and MSN.com, the bidding heated up to the point that as of Wednesday afternoon, the high bid on Tebow’s mask was $1,710, followed by Manning’s mask at $1,300 and John Elway’s at $500.

All three masks are decorated in Broncos blue and orange. The Mask Project party takes place from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, but the mask auction continues through Sunday. For tickets to the party or to bid on a mask, go to themaskproject.org.

Chef shift

Elway’s Cherry Creek top toque Tyler Wiard will be the guest chef June 7 during Chefs 180, a fundraiser for Cafe 180, the pay-what-you-will restaurant at 3315 S. Broadway, Englewood.

The evening starts with appetizers and cocktails at 7, followed by dinner. Tickets at blacktie-colorado.com.

Eavesdropping on a man and a woman going through the revolving door at Elway’s Cherry Creek: “No way I’m going to try and fit in there with you.”

(After she gives him the skunk eye) “What did I say that was wrong?”

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Letterman is a Broncos fan

April 25, 2012

Late Show host David Letterman told guest Rob Lowe tonight that he will be a Broncos fan when the football season starts. He said he will remain an Indianapolis Colts fan, an Eli Manning fan – with the two-time Super Bowl winning New York Giants – and a Broncos fan since the Denver team acquired starting quarterback and former Colts QB Peyton Manning.

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