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It’s our favorite time of year again, when we get to celebrate the incredible people at the heart of our communities. Read on to learn who we’re honoring this year with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) Lifetime Achievement Awards and Industry Spotlight Awards!


The prestigious CRA Lifetime Achievement Awards celebrate individuals who have devoted their careers to the spirit of hospitality and practice it in their daily lives. These outstanding people are recognized throughout the industry for the significant contributions they have made through their leadership, service, and dedication to the foodservice industry and its community.

On October 17 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, the following honorees will be inducted into the Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame:

Andy Clark (posthumous), founder of Moxie Bread Company, Moxie Feed + Seed, and Moxie Mercantile (multiple locations)

Chip Bair, founder of Beau Jo’s Pizza (multiple locations)

Holly Arnold Kinney, proprietress of the Fort Restaurant and executive director of the Tesoro Cultural Center (Morrison)


The CRA Industry Spotlight Awards honor the most important part of the restaurant industry: the people! This annual celebration is Colorado’s only awards ceremony that recognizes outstanding hospitality professionals at all levels, from BOH employees to bartenders. Join us in toasting the importance of this industry to Colorado’s culture and economy — and the wonderful people who make it great.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023
6 p.m. – Cocktail hour
7 p.m. – Awards presentations

Chambers Grant Salon at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House
1400 Curtis Street, Denver

$125 for members
$150 for non-members

Join us for an open bar and ample hors d’oeuvres as we celebrate the rock stars of our industry; cocktail or business attire suggested. Your Industry Spotlight Awards event ticket purchase supports important CRA programming and advocacy efforts that allow us to work effectively on behalf of the Colorado restaurant industry at all levels of government.

Signature Dish Awards

Outstanding Community Partner
Visit Denver

Outstanding Allied Partners
Republic National Distributing Company (Littleton)

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Aurora)

Exceptional Newcomer
Francisca Chacon, Twenty One Steak (Pueblo)

Outstanding Media Professionals
Molly Martin, Westword (Denver)

Kip Wilson, Stoned Appetit (Denver)

Outstanding Professionals
Anthony Lambatos, Footers Catering, Social Capitol Events, MIBE (Arvada)

Madeline Stamm, Elevated Inc. dba Cheba Hut (multiple locations)

Regional Outstanding Professional
Ezra Gutierrez, the Dish Room (Burlington)

Outstanding Philanthropist
Arlan Preblud, We Don’t Waste (Denver)

Stars of the Industry Awards

Back-of-House Employees of the Year
Jose Manuel Garcia, Brider Rotisserie & Kitchen (Denver)

Matthew Hernandez, the Dish Room (Burlington)

Joe Link, Sullivan Scrap Kitchen (Denver)

Martin Mendez, Sweet Basil (Vail)

Chefs of the Year
Jenna McNeil, Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (Glendale)

Kenneth Minton, Coperta (Denver)

Greg Weadick, Monarch Chophouse at Monarch Casino Resort Spa (Black Hawk)

Nicholas Winden, Laundry Kitchen & Cocktails (Steamboat Springs)

Front-of-House Employees of the Year
Nicholas Caten, Tavernetta (Denver)

Humberto Ruiz, Rioja (Denver)

Marco Vasquez, Twenty-Four 7 Restaurant at Monarch Casino Resort Spa (Black Hawk)

Michelle Yates, Colonel Mustard’s Sandwich Emporium (Colorado Springs)

Bartenders of the Year
George Wright IV, Tavernetta (Denver)

Dylan Zarett, Adobo (Denver)

Managers of the Year
Karla Bernhard, Gastamo Group (multiple locations)

Oscar Mier Carrillo, Brider Rotisserie & Kitchen (Denver)

James S. Pollard, Rhino’s Sports and Spirits (Colorado Springs)

Hildo Salvador, Ted’s Montana Grill (Littleton)

In addition, we’re delighted to honor Richard Schneider, owner of Raquelitas Tortillas, with the 2023 Richard P. Ayers Award for Distinguished Service. 

FULL PRESS RELEASE, October 24, 2023

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