The Outstanding Media Professional award recognizes a media professional that has shown leadership in and support of the hospitality industry. The 2016 Outstanding Media Professional is Amanda Faison from 5280 Magazine. We appreciate Amanda’s attention on our industry and her dedication to providing fair, objective stories and reviews.
Faison says she’s always had an interest in food, and eating, and also cooking. When she started the magazine about “100 years ago” it was tiny and no one else was overseeing the food. Restaurant coverage landed in her lap because she had the natural interest of cooking, eating, and going out.
She believes it’s her role to be objective, tell the story and to be fair. When 5280 reviews a restaurant they get a lot of feedback. Her main concern is that the chef or the owner or both say that it’s fair. “There may be details that they don’t like or they disagree with but at the end of the conversation if they can say that it was fair, that’s what matters.”
Amanda M. Faison oversees all of 5280’s food-related coverage. Aside from dining out nearly every day of the week, Faison is an avid cook who loves to recipe test and tinker in the kitchen. She is Denver’s go-to dining resource—Faison makes frequent TV and radio appearances—and she has written about food for national titles such as Sunset, Food & Wine, and Cooking Light. She has also freelanced nonfood-related stories for Elle Decor, InStyle, and Travel & Leisure. Her ranch-to-plate feature “Soul Food,” was anthologized in Best Food Writing 2010. In 2009 and 2010, Faison received nods from the City and Regional Magazine Association for Table Talk, 5280's weekly e-newsletter. And in 2006, Faison won Best Feature for “The Miracle of Molly,” the story of the Nash family who genetically engineered a baby to save their dying daughter, at the Maggie Awards. Faison was also a 2005 finalist for the prestigious Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. In 2013, she partnered with the Denver Public Library to create the Food Lover's Book Club, a bimonthly cookbook club that generates discussion around cookbooks, food, and community. In 2014, Faison edited her first cookbook, 5280: The Cookbook. A Colorado native, she graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in professional writing. Faison lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters.