Denver chef wins James Beard Award for best chef in the southwest

DENVER -- Denver is officially home to the best chef in the southwest.

Alex Seidel of Mercantile Dining & Provision took home the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. Seidel had previously been a semifinalist for the award for 10 years before winning the award that is considered the "Academy Awards of the culinary world."

The southwest category includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Seidel said that the award helps reinforce Denver's growing reputation as a food city.

Fruition restaurant in Denver is one of Chef Alex Seidel's two restaurants in Denver. (Photo: Drew Engelbart/KDVR)

"This James Beard Award is bigger than just me or my restaurants or my businesses," Seidel told FOX31 and Channel 2. "I think it's something special for our community and Colorado. It really shows the culinary community here and what we have to offer."

Chef Seidel runs two restaurants Denver. Fruition, his 11 year farm to table restaurant, and Mercantile Dining & Provision, the 2-year-old restaurant located at Union Station.

He also runs a 10-acre farm and creamery in Larkspur.

Mercantile Dining and Provision at Union Station is one of Chef Alex Seidel's two restaurants in Denver. (Photo: Drew Engelbart/KDVR)

Seidel was the only Colorado award-winner this year, but Colorado has won the award in the past.

In 2013, Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja restaurant in Denver won best chef in the southwest category.

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