DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver chef was named a finalist for a 2023 James Beard Award, one of the most prestigious culinary awards, on Wednesday.
Michael Diaz de Leon, a chef at BRUTØ in downtown Denver, was chosen as one of five finalists in the best chef category for the mountain region.
He is the only Colorado chef from the region, which also includes, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
The best chef award is given to “chefs who set high standards in their culinary skills and leadership abilities,” according to the award’s website.
BRUTØ describes its food as “of the earth,” and said its menus revolve around grain, fermentation and chiles.
According to the restaurant’s website, its tasting menu is “omakase-style,” a Japanese phrase that means the menu is decided by the chef, not the customer.
Many chefs and restaurants from all over Colorado were chosen as semifinalists for James Beard Awards this year but were not chosen as finalists.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 5 in Chicago.