Cherry Creek North Food & Wine returns Aug. 11-14


After about a year of providing the restaurant experience primarily through takeout, restaurateurs and chefs in Cherry Creek North are looking forward to reconnecting with their guests and local foodies again.

Providing the perfect opportunity to do so is the annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine event, which has been expanded this year to include four days of festivities — all centered around the unique and diverse dining experiences that Cherry Creek North has to offer.

Attendees “will be able to choose their own experience,” said Jeannie McFarland Johnson, director of marketing and communications for Cherry Creek North. Because, she added, “there is a lot of diversity with the experiences.”

This year’s event takes place Aug. 11-14 at various locations throughout the Cherry Creek North neighborhood, which is roughly from First to Third avenues and University Boulevard to Steele Street. The lineup of events range from intimate dining experiences and small bites to seminars and demos. Attendees may choose to attend one or two events, or make an entire weekend of it.

“Food & Wine offers some neat experiences not offered on any normal day,” McFarland Johnson said.

One such event is the Dinner on the Plaza, which takes place Aug. 13. This event includes a multi-course dinner with wine pairing, live music and dancing, and a cocktail hour during which attendees can mingle and meet new friends.

The Dinner on the Plaza will be a “beautiful celebration of the community,” McFarland Johnson said.

Something else new to this year’s Food & Wine is this is the first year for the event to have a beneficiary. This year, a portion of the proceeds of every ticket sold to Food & Wine events will go to Food for Thought Denver, which is a local nonprofit that provides food to students across the city to guarantee that no child goes hungry during the weekend.

Another not-to-miss Food & Wine event is the Grand Tasting, which is offered twice on Aug. 14. Attendees will get to try small plates and bites from more than 20 restaurants, and sip more than 50 wines curated by experts at The Vineyard Wine Shop. The Grand Tasting also offers the unique opportunity to meet-and-greet with restaurant owners and chefs.

Sean Huggard, owner of Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood in Cherry Creek North, is looking forward to hosting the Chef and Shucking at Blue Island events.

“It’s our favorite event because it puts us front and center with our regular customers — the neighbors of the neighborhood, so it’s exciting to spend time with them,” Huggard said. “Secondly, it gives us the time to promote our brand to people that are coming to Cherry Creek from far away. And maybe it’s (Food & Wine event) the only time they come to Cherry Creek every year.”

Likewise, Oscar Padilla, executive chef at Toro Latin Kitchen & Lounge, is looking forward to sharing culture and tradition with Food & Wine attendees.

“Denver has a culture of friendly people,” Padilla said. “Toro has that connection with people. Sharing (culture and traditions) with people is like bringing the opportunity to every guest to feel like home, like family.”

Cherry Creek North is so happy to be able to bring the Food & Wine event back this year and promote community togetherness through it, McFarland Johnson said.

“It’s a tremendous way to help these businesses get back on their feet and gain solid ground,” she said, “and continue to thrive.”

Cherry Creek North, food and wine, Jeannie McFarland Johnson, Food for Thought Denver


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