Chefs ready, grilling, able

June 20, 2013

From Fifteen Denver-area chefs were fired up June 12 to compete for top slider honors during the fifth annual Hot Rocks Griller Challenge at Elway's Cherry Creek, a benefit for the Denver Health Foundation.

Roughly 1,000 attendees scarfed down sliders made from between-the-bun ingredients that varied from wild boar (Elise Wiggins, Panzano) to country ham with pickled green tomato (Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall) to grilled watermelon (Paul Reilly, Beast + Bottle).

The winners of the slider smackdown were determined by popular vote as well as chefs' choice.

People's choice:
First — Tyler Wiard and Aniedra Nichols of Elway's Cherry Creek.
Second — Troy Guard of TAG, TAG Raw Bar and TAG Burger Bar.
Third — Steve Ballas of Steve's Snappin' Dogs.

Chefs' choice:
First — Troy Guard.
Second — Max MacKissock of Squeaky Bean.
Third — Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall.
Worth noting: I've attended all five Hot Rocks events, and this year the chefs kicked it up a notch on the side dishes that accompanied the sliders.

Standouts included Guard's five-grain salad, Robert Bogart's (Elway's Downtown) potato and black bean salad (I heard one slider slurper say, “I wish I could buy that stuff!”), Reilly's braised collard greens and Jasinski's mixed melon salad.

Back to Stories