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October 14, 2008 - FACES presents "The Grapes Against Wrath"

What: Cook-off fundraiser

Where: Roth Distributing

When: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Time: 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $85 per person

Beneficiary: Family Advocacy, Care, Education, Support


EMCEE: Keegan Gerhard

Executive Director: Debora Judish

Committee Members: Jeff Keil, Rick Lang, Nathan Moore, Christine Jones & Debora Judish

President(s): Susan Noble

Sponsors: Barolo Grill - Chef Brian Laird, City Bakery - Chef Michael Bortz, D-Bar - Chef Keegan Gerhard, Elway's - Chef Tyler Waird, Fruition - Chef Alex Seidel, Lola's- Chef Jamey Fader, Panzano's - Chef Elise Wiggins, Solera - Chef Goose, Strings - Chef Aaron Whitcomb and Vesta Dipping Grill - Chef Matt Selby.

Event Coordinator: Christine Jones

Board of Directors: Teresa Kerrigan, Jeff Keil, Ann Cooper, Jeff Ehlinger, Rick Lang, Chad McDonnell, Nathan Moore, Ed Swapp, & Debora Judish

Blacktie Photos by: Lizzy Holmgren

 Jeff Keil, left, Rick Lang and Nathan Moore- board members and event committee members of FACES
Jeff Keil, left, Rick Lang and Nathan Moore- board members and event committee members of FACES

On the evening of October 14th friends of FACES, the Family Advocacy, Care, Education, Support organization, gathered at the Roth Distributing Building in Aurora for a night of amazing food and a cook-off competition between some of Denver's best restaurants.

The fundraiser aimed to raise money for the agency, which was established in 1974 when the Home Visitation Program was developed to provide parenting education, support and advocacy services for the prevention of child abuse, neglect and family violence to families in the metro Denver Community.

As guests arrived at the building, each person was greeted with a smile, and escorted to the many different booths, serving wine and spirits, hors d'oeuvres and tasty desserts; all made by Denver's best. Chef Brian Laird of Barolo Grill served a dried mushroom salad. Chef Michael Bortz of City Bakery served pear amaretto tarts, chocolate and peanut butter brownies, rasberry and apricot bars. Chef Keegan Gerhard, also the emcee of the cook-off, brought with him chocolate peanut butter bars from his pastry shop, D-Bar Desserts. Chef Tyler Wiard, of Elway's in Cherry Creek, served up deviled eggs, American caviar, and lamb tacos. Chef Alex Seidel of Fruition served pigs in a blanket, while Chef Jamey Fader of Lola's created delicious black plum and chipotle braised short rib tostadas- a favorite of the night! Chef Elise Wiggins of Panzano created pistachio crusted mini lamb raviolis with mint salsa, and across from her was Chef Goose Sorensen of Solera, with assorted cheeses.

Finally, the two chefs who faced off in the 35 minute cook-off were Aaron Whitcomb of Strings and Matt Selby of Vesta Dipping Grill, and Steuben's. After most of the smaller portions were consumed, guests sat in hungry anticipation as Keegan Gerhard, joined by the Gabby Gourmet, emceed the cook-off which challenged the two chefs to create three separate dishes with three mystery ingredients. The ingredients chosen were lamb, japanese eggplant and italian gnocci. A half an hour later, and $650 in donations for two seats at the sampling table, Chef Arron Whitcomb was named the winner; although from where I was sitting, all six dishes looked and smelled to die for.

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