Meet the 2022 Competitors

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A5 Steakhouse

A5 Steakhouse is one of the hottest steakhouses in Denver, and they are excited to show our VIP guests that their principled approach to beef also holds true to their take on seafood! Director of hospitality Kevin Burke states, “We talk to farmers and ranchers from all over the state to ensure we know every step of how our ingredients arrive here.” It ultimately stems from invigorating ethical producers. This system ensures the sustainability of these economies.

A5 offers a funky alternative to the average steakhouse. They shed the intimidating, hushed tones of a traditional steakhouse atmosphere to welcome those on their way to concerts and sporting events or a lively night of friends catching up from the music to the decor, it is a modern twist on the Denver steakhouse experience.


Jax Fish House LoDo has served the freshest sustainable seafood since 1996. Jax restaurants were the first in Colorado to be certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, a leader in the global sustainable seafood movement. Among its many local awards, Jax’s has been recognized nationally: 25 Best Seafood Restaurants, Travel and Leisure Magazine, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and James’ Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch.

Albina by the sea

Famed Denver chef, Frank Bonnano, opened Albina by the Sea inside of the Milk Market on Denver’s Dairy Block. Albina pays tribute to Frank’s grandmother and the cooking she inspired in him. As Frank tells it “Albina filled her 1940’s Brooklyn flat with the aroma of freshly baked bread and something fresh-caught at the shore, simmering in an iron skillet.” Enjoy tasty crab cakes, or lobster bisque, or carry away all the fixings for a night of fresh seafood at home.

Denver Poke Company

Anh Nguyen, the owner of Denver Poke Company, began his sushi journey at Kenichi in Aspen Colorado under Executive Master Sushi Chef, Kiyomi Sano.  He then moved to Denver and began apprenticing under Toshi Kazaki of Sushi Den for 7 years.  After traveling to Hawaii, Nguyen began developing his concept for Denver Poke Company.  

Denver Poke Company provides the freshest sushi-grade fish available every morning. Their fish is brought in whole each day and never frozen, and their poke is prepared fresh daily. Also their menu is 100% gluten-free.

Kona Grill

Kona Grille is known to everyone in Cherry Creek as a paradise after work or a day of shopping. Fresh, wild-caught fish is flown in daily to craft award-winning sushi, while contemporary American entrees are prepared from scratch in-house. Happy hour on the beautiful, shaded patio is a must. And don’t leave until you’ve tried one of the handcrafted cocktails, ice cold draft beer, or a glass of wine selected from the extensive drink menu. The restaurant’s diverse menu and contemporary ambiance provide the perfect venue for any occasion from birthday celebrations to business meetings, date nights to happy hour!

Maine Shack

Denver transplants from the North East rejoiced when Maine Shack came to town! They are known for their authentic New England Style Seafood! The pearl of its menu is its award-winning Lobster Rolls, along with Fried Clams, Steamers, Haddock, Scallops, North Shore Beefs, and more! Their lobster is flown fresh directly from Maine a few times a week.

Mizu Izakaya

In 2016 Mizu brought the first true Izakaya experience to Denver’s Low Highlands neighborhood. The meaning of Izakaya is a Japanese Pub, a perfect place for after-work drinking to be enjoyed with close friends complemented by food and drinks. Mizu Izakaya brings the freshest sushi to Denver. Their menu comprises a variety of Japanese dishes, including a full sushi bar, toriaezu (small plates), bichotan grill (Japanese charcoal grill), agemono (fried), ramen, raw bar, and oshokuyi (large plates).

Mizu is home to a massive collection of Japanese Whisky and Sake, their bar program is led by award-winning bartenders offering craft cocktails that are truly unique to Mizu Izakaya.

Emma NemeChek

Desserts by Emma Nemechek, owner of Sweetened Patisserie and Executive Pastry Chef at The Omni Interlocken Resort.

Emma earned the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier International Legacy Award in 2018. She was just one of six around the world to receive the 2018 LDEI Legacy Award. Her recipes can be found regularly in magazines like 5280, Pastry Arts, and Colorado Magazine.

Yacht Club

 Led by McLain Hedges, The Yacht Club in RiNo Denver will be coming straight from Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans where they have been nominated as the “Best New Cocktail Bar” in the United States.