Jennifer Jasinski to be inducted into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame
Jennifer Jasinski, a pioneer of the Denver food scene who helped make Mile High City a culinary destination, will be inducted into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame in October.
She will be honored with other winners of the MenuMasters award at a party by Nation’s Restaurant News sponsored by Ventura Foods on the evening of October 4 at Mile High Station in Denver. She is also working with the RRN to develop the menu for the evening.
The Hall of Fame honors chefs who have dedicated their careers to promoting culinary excellence in American dining.
“I am honored and honored to be inducted into the NRN MenuMasters Hall of Fame,” said Jasinski. “Joining the amazing list of chefs including my mentor Wolfgang Puck, José Andrés, Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud and others is super cool. I can’t wait to collaborate with the NRN team on a Colorado menu for the MenuMasters celebration – especially since it’s happening right here in my hometown of Denver. “
Jeremiah Towar, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, Jacques Pépin and Paul Prudhomme were also inducted into the Hall of Fame, established in 1998.
Jasinski is the head of Creative Concepts, which operates Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia restaurants in Denver as well as Ultreia Paella Catering.
“I am so happy that we are finally inducting Jen into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame,” said Bret Thorn, NRN’s chief food and beverage editor. “She has been a tremendous champion of great food and fun restaurants, and a brilliant mentor to other chefs. She is also a source of knowledge on sustainable development and takes all the responsibilities of modern chefs seriously.
Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Jasinski studied cooking at Santa Barbara City College and then at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY Her first cooking concert was at the Rainbow Room in New York, but she soon returned to the Southern California and soon under Puck’s wing, working closely with him since the only restaurants he had at the time were Spago in Beverly Hills and Chinese on Main. She stayed with him for 11 years as he expanded before spreading her own wings and landing in Denver at a Kimpton Restaurants property, the Hotel Monaco, where she was the executive chef of a restaurant. Italian, Panzano.
Critically acclaimed there, she opened Rioja with her business partner Beth Gruitch in 2004.
They then opened their other restaurants, most recently Ultreia, which debuted at the end of 2017.
The places are regularly ranked among the best restaurants in the local press, and Jasinski herself has won “Chef of the Year” and similar awards from Denver Magazine, Denver Post, eater.com and 5280 Magazine. as well as the Hospitality Restaurant. La Rioja was inducted into the RRN Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 2013, Jasinski became the first chef in Denver to win the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southwest.
Other accolades include the 2007 Jean Yancey Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners Outstanding Women in Business Awards presented by the Denver Business Journal, Colorado Chef of the Year 2004 and Western Regional Chef of the Year 2005 by the American Culinary Federation and the 2014 Pig Princess at Cochon 555 Denver stop.
Click on here for more information on the MenuMasters celebration.