The shuffle continues in the Denver dining scene with a few changes worth noting: Central Bistro & Bar has a new pastry chef, the Coral Room welcomed two new chefs into its kitchen, Jeremy Kittelson got an official promotion, and the St. Regis in Aspen brought on a new chef to lead the hotel's restaurants.
Danielle St. John is now the pastry chef at Central Bistro & Bar. She previously worked at D-Bar and Bittersweet. In her new position, she already created seasonal sweets like the already-popular sage macerated blackberries with almond frangipane and amaretto ice-cream. Fans of the Nutella waffle with banana butterscotch and pretzel ice cream should not worry - that item remains on the menu.
The Coral Room hired Joe Rensch as its new executive chef. Having earned his culinary degree from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Rensch most recently worked as executive chef at Three Tomatoes Catering. Prior to that he spent time in some of the best kitchens in Maui with chef James McDonald of PacificO and at Denver's own Sushi Den. Seth Gray, the opening chef from the Universal who parted with that restaurant in a rocky way, is now Coral Room's brunch sous chef. Before the Universal, Gray spent time in the kitchen at Mizuna, Bones, and Jax Fish House.
Last week, in a press release, Root Down announced the promotion of Jeremy Kittelson to executive chef. This was not breaking news for those who knew that Kittelson joined the Root Down team over a year ago, but a good promotion for a chef with an impressive background. Kittelson has worked under some of the country's most notable chefs including Paul Kahan, Vincent Guerithault and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He studied at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and received his degree in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts, Science and Restaurant Management. Prior to Root Down, Kittelson was the opening executive chef and partner for Ambria as well as executive chef of the Westin Riverfront & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain and Restaurant Avondale.
At the St. Regis in Aspen, chef David Viviano replaced executive chef Thomas Riordan. In his new role, chef Viviano oversees all of the resort's food and beverage operations, including new authentic Italian restaurant, Trecento Quindici Decano, as well as banquet, catering and in-room dining. His experience includes serving as executive sous chef at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit and chef de cuisine at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan. A highlight of his career includes being a part of the team at Jardinière in San Francisco when the restaurant received a James Beard nomination.
· Gerard Strong Takes Over As Executive Chef at Central Bistro and Bar [EDen]
· The Universal Parts Ways With Chef Gray [EDen]
· Jeremy Kittelson Joined the Kitchen at RootDown [EDen]
· Jeremy Kittelson Out, Gabe Balenzuela In [EDen]