Jenna Johansen, a local celebrity chef who has appeared on Bravo's TV show Around the World in 80 Plates, has taken on a new challenge: she will serve as Innovation Chef for Epicurean Catering. This is a new position not only for Johansen, but also for Epicurean, a three-decade old company led by Larry DiPasquale. In this new role, the chef will create new menus, craft special offerings for events, and assist in continuously revamping the food selections available to the public.
Johansen has participated in many special events in recent months, including a pop-up dinner series at Studio F and a Scandinavian dinner highlighting Denmark at Trillium. She has, however, been away from a permanent stove since she left Dish, the Edwards restaurant she co-owned with Pollyanna Forster, to film Around the World in 80 Plates. Before Dish, Johansen worked in many capacities in places ranging from the Rio Grande in Boulder to Pappadeaux and Zino in Edwards.
When she applied for the position with Epicurean, Johansen had to put together a resume. "I did not have a resume and I had to tell Larry that," she says. "I thought of it as a list of things I have done with my career and put it all on paper. It was interesting, particularly because this was really the first time I formally applied for a job in twelve years," she adds. The new position, which Johansen starts tomorrow, is part in the kitchen, part in the office. "I've never had a real office," shares Johansen. "There was always an office off the kitchen where I worked, but now I have a real office and I had to wonder what to wear. I always wore my chef's coat but this will be a bit different," she adds.
To say that Johansen is excited hardly does justice to how she feels. She cannot wait to put her mark on the Epicurean brand, be back in the kitchen, and begin this new chapter of her career.