Meet the Industry Spotlight Award Recipients!

July 5, 2017


We had an amazing night last week at the Stanley Marketplace, celebrating our industry. Many of Colorado's top restaurant professionals were honored as we handed out awards for exceptional work in the foodservice industry. Meet them here!

 Take a look at all the photos from the night on our Facebook page HERE.

Paul Aylmer

Epicurean Group

Paul Aylmer of Epicurean Group received our highest honor, the Richard P. Ayers Award for Distinguished Service. This award recognizes members who have distinguished themselves through their service to the Colorado Restaurant Association, the foodservice industry, and their community. Paul embodies this completely. He has been invaluable to the association through his board service and his dedication to this industry. We are honored to award him and celebrate his commitment to excellence.

Jim Shields

Snake River Saloon

Jim Shields of the Snake River Saloon and Steakhouse in Keystone is an inductee to the Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame. Jim became an owner at the Snake River in 1976 and has been churning out great food and building an invaluable sense of community in Keystone ever since. The staff, the community, and the guests are like family and Jim and his wife Jane make Snake River one of the most notable restaurant experiences in Summit County and in the state.


Karagas Brothers

My Brother's Bar

Entering our Hall of Fame this year is Jim and Angelo Karagas of My Brother’s Bar in Denver. The brothers opened the restaurant known for it’s classical music and no exterior sign in 1970, and served up great food and hospitality for 47 years. After Angelo passed away, Jim continued to greet customers before selling the restaurant to someone who literally grew up in the space, Danny Newman who is the son of long time employee Paula Newman. Congratulations Karagas Family!


Gene Tang

1515 Restaurant

Gene Tang of 1515 Restaurant is an inductee into the Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame. Gene started his outstanding career as a student of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Denver. He opened 1515 Restaurant in 1997 and has been a staple of the Colorado dining scene ever since. Gene’s passion and warmth can be seen in every menu item he oversees and one of the finest wine programs around. Congratulations to Gene on this well deserved honor and we are proud to welcome him into the Hall of Fame!


The Mobell Family

Blue Bonnet Restaurant

Entering the Hall of Fame this year is The Mobell family of The Blue Bonnet Restaurant. A Denver institution since there was a cable car that ran down Broadway, the Mobell family has been serving neighbors and the Denver Broncos with quality food and a sense of family. Now with third and fourth generation employees and customers, the Blue Bonnet continues to prove that restaurants are the glue that holds a community together.


Dave Query

Big Red F

Dave Query is the next inductee into the Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame. Founding the BigRedF Restaurant Group in 1994, Dave has been cultivating chef-driven concepts in Colorado for over 20 years. Never sacrificing quality and striving to be an environmental steward in his business practices makes Dave one of Colorado’s leaders in the industry. It also makes him an extremely worthy addition to our Hall of Fame class this year.


Bobby Stuckey & Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson

Frasca Food & Wine

Routinely being considered one of Colorado’s best restaurants is no small feat. This year, Frasca Food & Wine and owners Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, are winners of our Outstanding Professionals of the Year. Recently nominated in the Outstanding Restaurant category for the James Beard Foundation, Frasca continues to refine hospitality and what a premiere Colorado dining experience should look like, all while managing a growing empire that includes Pizzeria Locale and the soon-to-open Tavernetta Denver.


Scott Skomal

Sheraton Denver

Working his way up from his first job as a dishwasher 20 years ago to his current position of Chef at Colorado’s largest conference hotel is no small task but Chef Scott Skomal pulls it off! In addition to running an extremely busy kitchen, Chef Skomal makes it a mission to give back throughout the community through both time and food. He routinely mentors the next generation of chefs, he gives his time to local nonprofits and to annual events such as feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving or hosting Father Woody’s Christmas Party for the homeless.


Clay Caldwell

Mo Betta Gumbo

Who is taking Loveland by storm? ISA winner, Chef Clay Caldwell, owner of Mo’ Betta Gumbo. Clay is a CIA graduate who believes that hospitality is a way of life. Embraced by the community and with plans to expand into new ventures, Clay embodies an outstanding industry professional.


Tony Leahy

Patty Jewett

Tony Leahy’s nomination for Regional Outstanding Professional read, “Tony’s achievements & respect in our community are outstanding. He’s a great leader & mentor, as well as a guide to those in the industry.” Echoed in all his nomination letters, it is clear that Tony not only has built a stellar reputation but he devotes his time and energy into making sure that he can be a resource to other members of the industry. With an infectious smile and a cigar in his pocket, Tony Leahy clearly has impacted those around him and that is why he is one of our Regional Outstanding Professional winners.


Food Maven

Our Exceptional Newcomer this year is FoodMaven – an online B2B marketplace for the foodservice industry that distributes oversupplied food from retailers, distributors and wholesalers directly to the foodservice buyer. Directly tackling a growing food waste problem in the US by offering a solution that connects businesses and attempts to prevent adding more to the landfills. If they cannot sell it, then they are able to donate the surplus to help feed the hungry. Business and Community going hand-in-hand! We’re proud to recognize FoodMaven as our Exceptional Newcomer of the Year!


Dillon Dam Brewery

The Dillon Dam Brewery – home of the Wildernest Wheat – is also a model of a safe workplace. This year’s winner of the Pinnacol Assurance Safety award have become champions of safety and educating employees on best practices. Award-winning beers AND an award-winning safety culture? They are over-achievers in the best way! GM Kim Nix accepted the award on behalf of the brewery.


Hearth & Dram

Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine is back again this year with our second annual Best Restaurant Design award at the Industry Spotlight Awards. This year, the crew at CH&L chose new Denver restaurant Hearth & Dram as their winner. The sleek design, the mixture of the old and new, and a community table by Black Hound Design Company makes this playful and inviting space a unique Colorado dining experience.


Eddie & Dick Robinson

Robinson Dairy

Awarded annually in memory of the late Noel Cunningham and his wife Tammy, the Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian award recognizes individuals that have demonstrated the spirit of humanity through volunteer work, advocacy, leadership and philanthropy. A pretty tall order but brothers Dick and Eddie Robinson of Robinson Dairy have dedicated their lives to serving the hospitality industry, both as purveyors and as board members, donors, leaders and staples in the Colorado community.


Joshua Olsen &

Johnny Ballen

Squeaky Bean/Bean Acres

Our winners for the 2017 Philanthropy Award are Joshua Olsen and Johnny Beans of The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table restaurant. Not content to just serve the community in their restaurant, they are educating students and professionals in agricultural science at ACRES at Warren Tech. Also, 2 years ago they took over the annual Thanksgiving feed after Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe closed and last year served more than 5,000 meals to Denver’s homeless and hungry. Fostering a deeper relationship with the community they serve makes them our winners of this year’s Philanthropy Award.


Teresa Farney

Colorado Springs Gazette

Meet Teresa Farney, food editor for the The Gazette in Colorado Springs. She is our Outstanding Media Professional! Teresa has been the editor since 1996 and can be heard weekly on her “Table Talk” radio show on 740 KVOR at 1 pm Saturdays. She has truly shown leadership in and support of the hospitality industry!



We are so proud of our award winners!

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