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Celebrating Local Cuisine at Taste of Douglas County

Co-founder of the Taste of Douglas County, Mike Boyle (pictured third from left) and the team from Jersey Mike’s Subs take a break from the action during the 16th annual culinary event.

By Elise Brassell; photo courtesy of Mike Boyle

For the past 16 years, Douglas County restaurants of all sizes and cuisines have gathered to celebrate the diversity and deliciousness of food during the Taste of Douglas County (Taste). This year’s event, held August 23, gathered more than 40 restaurants at the Douglas County Events Center, including local favorites such as The Office Co. Bar & Kitchen, ROUX World Kitchen, The Donut House, Zoe’s Kitchen, Midici Neopolitan Pizza, Vitality Bowls and Popcorn Bliss among others.

Mike Boyle, host of The Mike Boyle Restaurant Show and Taste co-founder began the event 16 years ago to highlight great food options that are available in the area. Boyle said, “The county is growing like crazy; rather than people thinking they have to drive to Denver or Cherry Creek for great food, we wanted them to know that they can stay right here close to home. Each year, the event just seems to keep getting better and better.”

But it’s not all just fun and food, the event also featured a healthy dose of competition as area chefs produced a dish of their choosing for a chance to earn a cash prize, and of course, bragging rights.

According to Boyle, this year’s chef competition included a wide variety of dishes, including entrées, appetizers and dessert. Each dish is judged independently, on its own merits, based on appearance and flavor. “Each chef has 15 minutes to prepare and five minutes to present to judges. Their dish represents themselves, and is not necessarily something from the menu of their restaurant,” Boyle said.

Jose Guerrero, executive chef of the ViewHouse took home first place in the chef competition, followed by Mike Hernandez from The Office Co. Bar & Kitchen in Castle Rock in second place and Lisa Storey of ROUX World Kitchen (chef formerly known as MaMa Lisa) in Castle Pines, who took third place. Five other chefs also competed, including Denis White of DW’s 285 Diner in Conifer, who took home the People’s Choice Award.

The evening was topped off by live music from Ninety Percent 90s, which helped end the night on a high note with everyone looking forward to next year’s Taste. Watch tasteofdouglascounty.com for future event details.

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