Paul C. Reilly
Paul C. Reilly grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley and has been working in kitchens since he was fourteen. Paul is the executive chef and proprietor of three concepts in Denver, Colorado along with his two business partners, Aileen Reilly and JP Taylor, Jr.
beast + bottle opened in 2013, and has since become Denver’s premier farm-to-table experience serving relentlessly local, American fare. Coperta, celebrating the food and wine of Rome and southern Italy, opened in 2016. Both restaurants are no strangers to accolades and have been featured in numerous top of the city lists. In 2019, Paul opened Pizzeria Coperta serving scratch-made thin-crust pies. Later that year, Paul was the consulting chef for the New Belgium Brewery sports pub at Denver International Airport.
Paul is an ambassador of the good food movement working closely with Boulder County Farmers Markets, Good Food 100, Slow Food USA, and JBF Smart Catch. He is a James Beard Foundation Scholarship Winner and an alumnus of the James Beard Boot Camp for Policy and Change.
Paul lives in Morrison, Colorado with his wife Shannon and their three children. When not cooking at his award-winning restaurants, he enjoys skiing, baseball, travel, and cooking outdoors at home.
Sheila joined the opening crew of Jax Fish House in Denver and rose through the ranks to become Chef de Cuisine in 2002. In 2009, she became the Executive Chef of Jax Fish House and has since helped open additional Jax locations in Fort Collins, Glendale, and Kansas City. Recently, she has taken on the role of the Culinary Director of the Big Red F restaurant group.
Under her guidance, Jax has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch among other sustainable seafood certification organizations to share important news in the ever-changing world within our oceans. Sheila also serves on their Blue Ribbon Task Force, working with other chefs from around the country to learn and share the very latest information on the state of our global fish stocks. In June 2019, she was invited to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress and lobby for several key environmental policies that are up for renewal.
photo credit: Westword
Born in Hawaii and raised between there and San Diego, Troy Guard spent much of his youth in either the ocean or the kitchen. As a passionate young chef, Guard took much joy in preparing special meals for his family. As he worked his way through college and the culinary ranks, Guard trained at all five of San Diego's LA Costa Resort’s prestigious restaurants before landing under the tutelage of his career-long mentor, Chef Roy Yamaguchi.
Putting down roots in Denver, CO, Troy opened his first restaurant, TAG, in 2009 where it now serves as the flagship restaurant in his diverse restaurant portfolio. In just nine years, Guard and his family have built their own “Ohana” with 14 restaurants under the TAG Restaurant Group – a family driven by hospitality and creativity while supplying opportunity and building culinary foundation for our team.
Head chef at Teocalli Cocina, Julio Gaspar, has been cooking traditional Mexican dishes since his childhood in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. He learned his craft in his family's restaurant, where he and his mother cooked the day's fresh catch right out of the ocean. He went on to refine his skills in top restaurants on both US coasts, finally settling in the Denver area to share his gifts most recently as Chef de Cocina at Lola.
Born in Los Angeles, where the food is as diverse as the city’s culture, chef and visionary Jeff Osaka has always been fascinated by the restaurant industry and has garnered praise from critics and peers alike for his indelible contributions to the culinary world.
Throughout his 25 years of experience, Osaka has worked as a private consultant, cooking and catering for some of the most notable names in Hollywood (including Steven Spielberg) and alongside Chefs Bradley Ogden at One Market and Wolfgang Puck at Chinois Las Vegas. While at Chinois, Chef Osaka refined his cooking technique to deftly implement Puck’s concept of marrying Asian cuisine with French influences. Following his time in Las Vegas, Osaka moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he, alongside friend and Wine Director Ken Fredrickson M.S., opened Restaurant Terroir in 1998 which was followed by Asian-influenced Koshu in 2000.
In November of 2008, Osaka brought his experience and passion to Denver, Colo. where he opened twelve, a restaurant intensely inspired by the changing seasons as the restaurant’s entire menu changed every month. By the time twelve closed in August 2014, Osaka had featured more than 70 different menus and 1,000 different dishes during the restaurant’s highly successful six-year reign.
In 2014, Chef Jeff Osaka received a James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest semifinalist nomination. In 2015, Chef Osaka opened Osaka Ramen, his interpretation of a traditional ramen shop as well as Sushi-Rama, a conveyor-belt sushi concept, both located in the heart of the RiNo Arts District. In fall 2016, Osaka, alongside business partner Ken Wolf, introduced Denver Central Market, and later that year, Chef brought back his critically-acclaimed twelve concept with 12@Madison in the Congress Park neighborhood (which sadly shuttered in May 2020 in the midst of COVID-19). In 2018, Sushi-Rama expanded with locations in DTC, Lone Tree, and Denver International Airport and a fifth location opened in April 2019 in Aurora, Colorado. In Summer 2019, Chef Osaka took over operations and revamped The Empire Lounge & Restaurant in Louisville, Colo., a main street favorite for classic American fare.
Jamey Fader was born and raised in the Washington D.C. metro area. After receiving a degree in journalism from Western Virginia University, he realized his passion was in the kitchen, not behind a desk.
To pioneer his culinary career, Fader moved out west and has been a part of Denver's food scene since the early '90s. Since then he has served as head chef and owner of Lola Mexican Costal restaurant and culinary director for the Big Red F restaurant group, overseeing some of Colorado's finest kitchens.
Fader is now the chef for Marczyk Fine Foods and is enjoying a new challenge in a different side of the food and beverages industry.
When he is not wielding a knife and apron, you can find Fader on mountain runs, supporting various local charities, snowboarding the backcountry, and enjoying family time.
Born in 1973 in Wisconsin, Seidel began his culinary career at 14, serving as sous chef at Racine’s Main Street Bistro by age 20. He attended culinary school at Western Culinary Institute in Portland,
Oregon, finishing at the top of his class.
Alex Seidel is chef-owner of Fruition Restaurant, Mercantile dining & provision, Füdmill, and Chook. Alex, Fruition, and Mercantile have been fortunate to find themselves featured as Chef of the Year and Best Restaurant rankings in numerous local and national magazines and guides including Denver Magazine, 5280, Bon Appetite, Gayot, and Zagat, and alumni from the restaurants have gone on to receive similar honors. Seidel himself has been the recipient of many accolades, including Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef in 2010, Chef of the Year titles from local media including Denver Magazine and 5280. Seidel was awarded the 2018 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South West. In addition to his restaurants, Seidel owns Fruition Farms Creamery, Colorado’s first artisan sheep’s milk creamery, located in Larkspur,
Seidel participates in numerous off-site events for both charitable and fine dining experiences. He very much enjoys furthering the culture of cuisine all the while staying down to earth and
championing such causes as food advocacy, mindfulness when it comes to eating habits and waste. Becoming a chef and a business owner has allowed him to hone his very impressive skills
while controlling the ingredients and the sourcing of his provisions.
Keegan Gerhard & Lisa Bailey
Keegan Gerhard is the Chef and Owner of D Bar Restaurant in Denver, CO. Gerhard, named one of the nation’s top 10 pastry chefs of 2002 and 2004 by both Chocolatier and Pastry Arts & Design magazines, brings an enthusiastic yet controlled approach to pastries. Chef Keegan has been featured on shows such as the Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of America,” CNN, HGTV, DIY and most notably as Host and Head Judge of over 200 episodes of Food Network's Food Network Challenge and Last Cake Standing series. Throughout his career, Gerhard has traveled extensively in pursuit of more experience, knowledge and inspiration. Gerhard served as technical advisor to Team USA for the 2001 Pastry World Cup where they brought home the gold medal and has also been invited to participate in 9 different James Beard Dinners. In 2012, chef Keegan was honored with a Doctorate of Culinary Arts by Johnson & Wales University.
Sometimes what defines a person is not always obvious. Not the case with Lisa Bailey. She is a Texan through and through- born and raised in Brazoria, TX. Being from the south it is no surprise that food and hospitality are her greatest passions! Lisa’s love of cooking was inspired at an early age by episodes of “Julia Child” and “Great Chefs of The West” . Visits with her grandmother in southern Louisiana just affirmed her love of copper pots, KitchenAid mixers and the refined southern cuisine that her grandmother prepared so effortlessly. At age 12, Lisa wrote a poem entitled “ A Chef Is What I Want To Be” and her future became clear. After graduating high school, Lisa won the Anne Criswell scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Houston. During school Lisa had the opportunity to work in the pristine kitchens of the Houston Country Club and Four Seasons Hotel Houston where her love of pastry was ignited. In 2003 she continued her career as pastry chef for John Harris at “Lilette Restaurant” in New Orleans . After New Orleans, Lisa once again joined the team at the Four Seasons Las Vegas before becoming the opening pastry chef for “Corsa” restaurant at the Wynn Las Vegas. It was during their time in Vegas that Lisa, and now husband - Keegan Gerhard, realized that their dream of opening a place of their own was becoming a possibility. In 2008, Lisa and Keegan brought their dream to reality with the opening of “D Bar Desserts” in Denver, Colorado. Lisa was quickly named best new pastry chef in Denver by local media and D Bar named top 10 best new restaurants in Denver by 5280 magazine in its opening year. D Bar has been awarded People’s Choice Best Desserts in Denver every year since it’s opening. In 2015, Lisa was honored to be named to the “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America” by Dessert Professional magazine. Her most recent venture is “Füdmill”, a commissary bakery collaboration with her husband Keegan and Chef Alex Seidel. One can only imagine what the future will hold for this talented young woman but one thing is certain – it is sure to be sweet!