The Talent: Featured Chefs

Check out the amazing local Chef talent!

Chef Jason Blankenship,
Olio
Executive Chef
Olio is a small art gallery, wine bar & restaurant featuring local artists and farm to table cuisine.  Jason Blankenship has been a chef for over 20 years, primarily in Houston, Texas. He opened Olio in Mancos 4 years ago to take advantage of the abundant local ingredients. Chef Jason will be featured at the Olio Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Jean-Pierre Bleger,
Jean-Pierre Bakery & Wine Bar
Executive Chef/Owner
Jean-Pierre arrived in the United States to work in Texas, where he opened his first bakery in 1969. He finally found peace and balance in life by moving to Durango, “After 20 years in the rat race, I’d had enough.” In 1990, when prices were still reasonable, he bought and renovated a former Chrysler dealership. It’s now prime real estate, but Bleger has no worries about a landlord increasing his rent. Best of all, from the moment Jean-Pierre’s opened it was a hit.  Housed in a corner portion of the building is the bakery, cafe and wine bar. When the spirit strikes, Bleger will knock out a tune or two on the 19th-century grand piano. Rebecca, Bleger’s wife of 35 years, buys the wine. He bakes the pastries, 25 bread varieties, and whatever seasonal specialties strike his fancy. – Denver Post, archives

Jean-Pierre will be featured at the Jean-Pierre Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Aaron Bornheim,

Brew Pub & KitchenAaron Bornheim
Executive Chef
Aaron will be featured at the Brew Pub & Kitchen Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.

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Chef Cliff Bornheim,
Ore House Restaurant
cliff
Executive Chef
Chef Cliff will be featured at the Ore House Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday. Full Bio

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Chef Sean Clark,
Steamworks Brewing Co. & El Moro Spirits and Tavern
Executive Chef
Sean ClarkSean will be at the Steamworks Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Chris Crowl,
EolusChris Crowl
Executive Chef & Owner
Chris will be hosting the Eolus Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Dave Cuntz,
Carver Brewing Co.
Executive Chef
Dave - CarversRaised in Denver, Chef Dave has tested and tasted the culinary arts and culture of food around our country and internationally. After completing his BA in Fine Arts at Fort Lewis College, he spent seven months in Chambery, France, at the University of Savoie, where he became familiarized with French cooking and traditions. At the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, Chef Dave Furthered his Knowledge of Fine Eatery, Later, as the Executive Chef at Equus Restaurant, Cuntz was recognized as one of Louisville, Kentucky’s top chefs. In 2005, Chef Dave returned to Durango with his wife and two children and they have since called it home. Over the years, Chef Dave’s talents have been showcased both locally and nationally in contests, magazine features, publications, and television broadcasts. After seven years of managing at the Strater Hotel and its three restaurant venues, Chef Dave is proud to be Executive Chef at Carver Brewing Company. Chef Dave will be featured at the Carver Brewing Co. Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Charley Curtis,
El Moro Spirits and Tavern
ChefCharles Curtis
Charley has been a Chef at El Moro since 2013 and will be featured at the Friday wine dinner “Haute Wines: French and Fancy”, and at the El Moro Spirits and Tavern Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Alison Dance,Red Scarf Shots DWE 2011 389
Cyprus Café & ENO
Executive Chef & Owner
Alison will be featured at the Cyprus Café/eno Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
Read more about Chef Alison
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Chef Neal Drysdale,

Fifth Street Eatery
Executive Chef & Owner
Inspired by the Southern roots of nationally recognized Chef Neal Drysdale, Fifth Street Eatery offers real-deal Southern Cuisine in Durango, CO. Chef Neal will be featured at the Friday “Winemaker Dinner: Kendall-Jackson”, and at the Fifth Street Eatery Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.

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Chef Kyrin Heiter,Kyrin Heiter
Cyprus Café & ENO
Chef
Kyrin will be featured at the Cyprus Café/eno Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
Read more about Chef Kyrin
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Chef Ryan Lowe,
Ore HouseRyan Lowe

Executive Chef & Owner
Chef Ryan will be featured at the Ore House Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
Full Bio

 

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 Chef Michael Lutfy,
Chimayo Stone Fired Kitchen
Executive Chef & Owner
Michael Lufty
Chef Michael will be featured at the Chimayo Stone Fired Kitchen Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chuck Norton,
Hwy 3 Roadhouse & Oyster BarNorton at the Roadhouse 003
Executive Chef & Owner
Chuck will be featured at the Highway 3 Roadhouse & Oyster Bar Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.
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Chef Arnold Safari,
Mahogany Grille
Executive Chef
Chef Safari was born in Kenya but lives in Durango, CO with his family.

He is a member of the Kenya culinary team and he took part in the chef’s Olympics in Erfurt Germany in 2004. Chef Safari earned a culinary degree from Umea University in Sweden and a Diploma in food production from Kenya Utalii Collage. Chef Safari will be featured at the Friday wine dinner “Big Grapes, Small Plates”, and at the Mahogany Grille Restaurant Showcase Table during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.

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Carley Snider,
Animas Chocolate Co.
Owner
Carley will be displaying her award-winning chocolates at the VIP Welcome reception on Thursday and at Saturday’s Grand Tasting as she partners with Vin Market.
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Feeling sentimental? Wanna see the talent from previous years? 
2014 SPECIAL GUESTS

Restaurant & Chef Photo Gallery: 

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