Throughout February, Eater ran a series of pay-it-forward notes of appreciation from peer to peer in Denver's food industry. The Spread The Love posts were launched by 5280 Magazine restaurant critic Stacey Brugeman who praised chef Mary Nguyen of Olive & Finch. From that post forward, fifteen other posts followed recognizing just as many chefs and restaurateurs.
In March, Spread the Love became a monthly series and the last of those receiving the praise, chef Mike Wiest, spoke of Matt Vawter of Fruition. And now it's Vawter's turn to pass on the love.
I had the pleasure of first meeting Lon Symensma, before ChoLon's opening, at a Memorial Day barbeque at Fruition Farms. As a cook in Denver, I was excited to have such an acclaimed chef making Denver his home, another piece to the puzzle for Denver's evolving culinary scene. I admired his desire to immerse himself in the Denver culinary culture. Before ChoLon opened, Lon toured me around his 16th Street space with a unique enthusiasm for food and the restaurant space that you don't see from every chef. This just made me more excited to eat once the restaurant was open.
Lon's attention to detail and consistency at ChoLon in both food and service is some of the best in the city. I have dined at Cholon at least fifteen times since they have opened their doors, the first time being their third service. The food has not only been excellent, but the items that I have enjoyed several times are always unvarying in their execution.
I also have had the pleasure of working with Lon at several events over the years, Cochon 555, GABF, Aspen FOOD & WINE, and others. Every time, I am reminded of his abilities as a cook, attention to the small things, and passion for great food. It has been a privilege to get to get to know Lon over the last few years, and I am fortunate to have him as a friend and colleague. Lon and his team continue to provide a superior product for Denver diners, and continue to push the Denver dining scene.
Come back in May to read chef Symensma's nod to another local chef.
· February Love: Restaurant Critic Stacey Brugeman on Olive & Finch [EDen]
· Chef Mary Nguyen on Marco's Coal Fired Pizza [EDen]
· February Is For Lovers: Chef Mark Dym on TAG [EDen]
· Chef Troy Guard on Twelve Restaurant and Jeff Osaka [EDen]
· Chef Jeff Osaka on Beast +Bottle [EDen]
· Paul Reilly of Beast + Bottle on Fuel Cafe's Bob Blair [EDen]
· Bob Blair of Fuel Cafe on Potager's Chef and Owner Teri Rippeto [EDen]
· Potager's Teri Rippeto on Rob and Karin Lawler of the Truffle [EDen]
· Karin Lawler of the Truffle Table on Brian Laird of Sarto's [EDen]
· Brian Laird of the Upcoming Sarto's on Darrel Truett of Barolo Grill [EDen]
· Alex Seidel of Fruition on Keegan Gerhard of D Bar [EDen]
· Keegan Gerhard of D Bar on Chef Jamey Fader [EDen]
· Chef Jamey Fader on Dave Query of the Big Red F Group [EDen]
· Dave Query of the Big Red F on Restaurateur Cliff Young [EDen]
· Longtime Denver Restaurateur Cliff Young Talks About Chef Mike Weist
· Matt Vawter Will Make the Cover of Food & Wine [EDen]