MEET THE CHEFS
Get ready to watch local celebrity chefs go head to head to create the most creative - and delicious - grilled cheese sandwiches! Meet some of our all-star competitors below.
Edwin Sandoval // XATRUCHO
Honduras born and Colorado raised, chef Sandoval has spent the last 12 years in professional kitchens. As a teen he started out as a humble dishwasher in the west side of Colorado Springs, working his way up in brigades raging from restaurants to 4 diamond rated country clubs. In 2012 armed with a culinary arts degree along with over 5 years of cooking experience, Sandoval made his move to Denver where he held sous chef positions at Le grand bistro and oyster bar, Spuntino and Beatrice & Woodsley.
At age 23 Sandoval was brought on to open the former Argyll whiskey beer as chef de cuisine. He also held the executive chef position at Telegraph bistro before moving to his most recent projects.
Currently Sandoval heads the culinary program for a hidden Denver gem, Invisible City and his very own food concept XATRUCHO which ties back to his Honduran roots while always staying true to his cooking ethics of responsible sourcing.
When not busy with private events chef Sandoval spends his time looking for recipes, hiking and exercising, he also enjoys coffee and craft beer.
Taylor West // Get Fed Concept
Chef Taylor West came to Denver in 2011 to attend Johnson &Wales University for Culinary Arts and Business Management. Starting his culinary career by helping a college mentor open a Breakfast/Brunch restaurant, he worked weekends and went to school at the same time.
Chef West would also stage at other restaurants to begin to build an industry network and a versatile cooking foundation. During the course of JWU, Chef Taylor took multiple opportunities to leave the country and learn from other cultures like Italy, Spain and parts of south east Asia including Singapore and Thailand. This led to a strong base of diverse skills and an intriguing profile of flavors. Throughout the years Chef West has cooked at some of the best restaurants in Denver alongside some of the best local chefs that have had a huge hand in creating the thriving culinary scene thats has developed in the city.
Peter Getty // The Kitchen
Pete Getty is a classically french trained chef originally from Massachusetts. Living in Colorado he found his calling to the kitchen. His love of traveling has opened his eyes and taste buds to many different cuisines that he now incorporates in his own cooking. Most recently he has focused on vegetarian cooking as a private chef and health consultant.
Savanna Thoemmes // Get Fed Concept
Chef Savanna Thoemmes is a Denver native. Because of her roots, she has been able to witness the culinary evolution of Denver. She went to culinary school at the Colorado Culinary Academy.
After school, she jumped right in to one of the hottest restaurants on the culinary scene and has
moved up through the restaurant. Chef Savanna loves to travel around the world and experience new cultures and food. Always being a fan of Asian and Mexican cuisine since she was little, Chef Savanna incorporates those flavors into her dishes. She likes strong, bold, spicy flavors and hopes to show people that food is more than just eating but is an experience.
During the course of 2017 Chef West and fiancé Chef Savanna Thoemmes started a food group called GetFed Concepts and captured a small market within breweries that didn’t serve food.
They brought the food quality of a profiled kitchen by doing pop up concepts like Poke, Gourmet Sausages and Sip and Sushi. GetFed Concepts has seen a lot more success in 2018 within the new network of breweries that hear about their events and are building a strong list of clientele for the catering stream of the company that stands behind the products we serve.
Jeremy Hill // STK
Chef Hill is sure to be a fierce competitor for the top grilled cheese. With years of experience in the top restaurants in town, he loves bringing people together through his cooking.
Samantha New // Éclat Culinary
Chef Sam started out her culinary career by attending West Georgia Technical College's Culinary Arts Program. She spent several years perfecting southern comfort food after which she moved back home to Colorado to focus on expanding her horizons with the goal of starting her own business.
Since being in the Denver area, she has worked as a Sous Chef with Snooze and Executive Sous Chef with the Country Club at Castle Pines.
In June of 2018, Sam left CCCP to work as a freelance chef and persue her goal. She has since traveled to Pebble Beach, CA for the Concours D'Elegance, and worked events at Slow Food Nations. Eager to integrate with the Denver food scene, she's also helped out at The Bindery and Bar Helix, and has become more involved with the ACF Colorado Chefs Association and local non-profit Friends and Family. She has also appeared on The Modern Eater show.
The sense of taste and smell are very closely linked to memory, and sometimes a great meal can touch one's soul. Éclat Culinary was born to allow Chef Samantha to focus on her passion, which is infusing quality, local ingredients with passion and memories, in order to make a positive impact on those around her.
Devi Green // WHYLD Hospitality
Devi Green is classically trained and TAFE™ Certified Chef with over 10 years experience in the hospitality industry. She specializes in dietary restrictions such as Gluten Free, Vegan and Vegetarian cuisines; while maintaining robust flavors and quality taste. Her career began early on, inspired by the natural surrounds and abundant ingredients produced in Sunny, North Australia. After graduating from culinary school, Devi ran a high-volume brunch café committed to health and sustainability. Devi considers her work a form of art and loves to get creative in the kitchen. Devi is particularly interested in developing the idea of what modern Australian food is, in such a multi-cultural community. Devi has spent the spent the majority of her career exploring the skills and techniques to develop recipes for specialty dietary restrictions and understanding what it meant to be a part of industry in a sustainable way.
Devi has recently moved to Denver and launched her catering and consulting company WHYLD HOSPITALITY, a business that is dedicated to locality, sustainability and taste. Devi hopes to spend the remainder of her career growing a community of people who are committed to the success and sustainability of in industry and the people in it.
Nate Schoen-Roda // The Whiskey Biscuit
Chef Nathaniel was introduced to the restaurant world as a busser at the age of 15 and moved his way into the kitchen shortly thereafter and has never left. Relatively new to the Denver food scene, Nate to Denver in 2015 in pursuit of a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales, which he accomplished in 2017 graduating Magna Cum Laude. Before moving to Denver, he worked at luxury hotel Little America in Flagstaff, Arizona. Once he moved to Denver he began working at Euclid Hall. He moved his way into the butchery department during his time there and gained invaluable knowledge about a number of different animal preparations and butchery techniques. He was offered an opportunity to join a new restaurant in 2017 named The Whiskey Biscuit in the SOBO area. Nathaniel is currently the Head Chef at The Whiskey Biscuit, and hopes to spread his style of nose to tail cooking, and passion to use every bit of an ingredient and reducing food waste.
Chris Martinez // Ad Hominem
Chris Martinez began cooking at a very early age in his home kitchen in New Jersey with his mother. This love eventually led him to a high school internship where he gained experience in all aspects of the hospitality business at The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village.
After briefly attending business school, the same love from his adolescence led him back into local dining establishments such as The Blue Bottle Cafe and Acacia where he worked before delving into the culinary scene of New York City. He worked for Chefs Daniel Humme and James Kent at the NoMad and assisted in the opening of the NoMad Bar.
He decided to complete his degree in Culinary Arts and moved to Denver where he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University. Upon his graduation, he began working for Chefs Jennifer Jasinski and Timothy Kuklinski at Rioja, earning the title of Sous Chef.
He spends his occasional free time staging at different restaurants throughout the United States to keep his skill set and creativity at the forefront of the culinary world. His food focuses on delivering bold flavors while maintaining simplicity and balance. Working with the freshest and most local ingredients everyday provides him with the opportunity to create new experiences for his diners.
Jared Kendall // Thistle & Mint
Jared first learned to appreciate food through enjoying his mother’s delicious cooking and assisting her in the kitchen. He began working in the professional food industry at the age of 17and gained a solid foundation in fine dining. Delaying culinary school for international experiences, Jared found further culinary inspiration while traveling to Germany and living in Mozambique, Africa. When Jared returned from Mozambique, he immediately found his way back into the kitchen. Working as a sous chef at an international restaurant in Colorado inspired him to finally pursue a culinary education. In culinary school, Jared enhanced his knowledge of Italian and French Cuisine, wine, fine dining, and molecular gastronomy. Currently, Jared owns Thistle & Mint, a catering company intended to share the beauty and history of Colorado through food.
Randy Placeres // Aspen Culinary Solutions
Dinner and a Movement is a Cannabis Cuisine based operation headed by pioneer cannabis chef Randy Placeres. The California born, Hawaii and Chicago trained chef has been based in Aspen for 19 and has cooked privately for the late Steve Jobs, Lebron James, John Legend and Justin Timberlake to name a few. The now Denver-based chef has also been working with High Times Magazine’s investor dinners around the country. Placeres has been traveling the country and the parts of world educating communities on the benefits and discoveries of CBD, Terpenes and THC. His recent trip to Bali, Indonesia will be featured in Edibles Magazine under “The Adventures of a Cannabis Chef”