Chef Jennifer Jasinski
Jennifer Jasinski attended Santa Barbara City College, where she not only refined her cooking skills, but got a taste of restaurant management and front-of-the-house experience. Jasinski then took her training to the next level at the Culinary Institute of America.
After graduation, Jasinski worked at the Rainbow Room, where a chance meeting with Wolfgang Puck, led to her next culinary adventure, working in his restaurants. In 2000, Jasinski decided to settle in Denver. She became Executive Chef at Panzano, where local and national reviews put Jasinski on the map.
In 2003, Jasinski and business partner Beth Gruitch opened Rioja in Denver's Larimer Square with a Mediterranean menu influenced by seasonal Rocky Mountain ingredients. In 2006, Jasinski and Gruitch purchased Bistro Vendôme, then opened their third restaurant, Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen in 2010. That same year, Euclid Hall was one of 5280 magazine's top 10 restaurants. Rioja, Bistro Vendôme and Euclid Hall are time after time listed among the top restaurants in Denver and Rioja has consistently held the four stars from AAA.
Jasinski and the terms Chef of the Year Best New Chef, Rising Star and are frequently in the same sentence. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Jean Yancey award presented by the National Association of Women Business Owners. She was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest in 2011 and a finalist in 2012 and 2013. 2011 brought the release of Jasinski's new cookbook, The Perfect Bite, 76 recipes from the Rioja kitchen.