The Philanthropist Signature Dish Award recognizes an individual whose outstanding civic and charitable giving sets a philanthropic example for others in their community. The 2016 award goes to Jennifer Jasinski. It is no surprise that Jen is receiving this award. Jen is known for giving her time to various charities and going above and beyond in giving to our industry and to the community at large. He shares her time, her amazing food, and her wonderful staff with so many charitable events. She is well-deserving of this award.
One of her many efforts, Jen works closely with Work Options for Women. She feels that giving back to the community is the best way she can make an impact. “I feel like I can put my money and my effort behind certain things and people that can make a difference in everyday lives. I think that’s what makes it so important, that we make a difference in everyday lives.”
Cooking started at a young age out of necessity for Jasinski. Growing up in a single-parent household with two siblings who all took turns cooking, Jasinski developed a knack for following recipes and creating her own, until eventually, it was always her turn to cook. She decided to dedicate her life to cooking while in a high school occupational program for aspiring chefs. This was followed by the best cooking school in the state of California, 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. Ever the over-achiever, Jasinski then took her training to the next level at the Culinary Institute of America, making the dean’s list and unsettling more than a few teachers by challenging their principals or techniques. A chance meeting with Wolfgang Puck while she worked at the Rainbow Room in New York, turned into a years’ long relationship of restaurant openings, menu creations, staff training and new concepts. “Wolfgang was my mentor and my culinary role model,” Jasinki says. “His philosophy that it’s not necessarily what you do, but how you do it is my mantra…”
Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall and Stoic & Genuine are consistently listed among the top restaurants in Denver by 5280 Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Zagat and the Gabby Gourmet Restaurant Guide and Rioja has been annually awarded four stars by AAA since 2008. Jasinski has been named Chef of the Year, Best New Chef, Rising Star and more in Denver Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality, Nation’s Restaurant News, The Denver Post, eater.com and 5280 Magazine. In 2007, she was the Jean Yancey award winner in the National Association of Women Business Owners Outstanding Women in Business awards presented by the Denver Business Journal. Jasinski was named 2004 Colorado Chef of the Year and 2005 Western Regional Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation, and also appeared on The Food Network’s “Thanksgiving Challenge” the same year. A tireless worker, Jasinski appears as a guest chef at numerous fundraisers throughout the country.