PAIRED unites independent craft breweries with acclaimed chefs from across the country to celebrate the intricacies and possibilities of pairing beer and food. Enjoy uniquely designed small bites perfectly paired with craft beer found nowhere else at the festival.
Meet the Chefs
Falls Church, VA
Victor Albisu is the chef/owner of Taco Bamba, which has seven locations across Northern Virginia and Maryland. In 2019, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) named Taco Bamba Favorite Fast Bites, and in 2020 RAMW named a Taco Bamba team member Employee of the Year. In 2015, RAMW honored Albisu as Chef of the Year, and in 2020 and 2016 he was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award as Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. With more than a decade of experience in fine dining and upscale French, American, and Latin American restaurants, Albisu combines his culinary education with his Latin American heritage to bring a unique style of cuisine to his restaurant concepts.
Outside the kitchen, Albisu is active in global culinary relief initiatives, including extensive work with CARE and World Central Kitchen, for whom he was a founding board member and has travelled to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Peru, among other destinations. In early 2020, Albisu co-led a relief trip to Peru with a group of chefs and dentists bringing aid and medical care to underserved communities with a newly formed non-profit, Smile on the World. In 2015, Albisu competed on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and bested the host and grill master with his signature dish, steak & eggs. Albisu has also appeared as a guest judge on Telemundo’s Top Chef Estrellas and the FOX TV series Hell’s Kitchen.
Nathan began working for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group in 2004, serving as Executive Chef of Tallula in Arlington, where he gained critical notices from USA Today and The Washington Post for his charcuterie, and especially his house-made bacons. In 2008, Anda founded Red Apron Butchery, a creative collaboration with NRG and a handful of dedicated regional farmers to serve as a locally-sourced whole animal butcher and small-batch producer of handcrafted charcuterie and fine provisions. Red Apron currently operates three stores in D.C. & Virginia.
Originally from the small town Pietra de’ Giorgi, located outside of Milan, Astranti credits his Italian mother as his first and most profound culinary inspiration. Astranti moved from Italy to London and began working in various front of house positions and it was there he met his future wife, a Dallas, TX native studying abroad. Moving to Texas in 2007, Astranti received his culinary degree from El Centro College and began working in Fort Worth at acclaimed restaurants Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine and Grace. Astranti later honed his culinary skills under celebrated Chef Stephan Pyles and was named Executive Sous Chef at Stampede 66, eventually ascending the ranks to Executive Chef at Salvaje. Astranti joined Hai Hospitality in 2015 where he was instrumental in opening multiple restaurants including Uchi Dallas, Top Knot, and Uchibā. He was named Chef de Cuisine of Uchi Dallas in 2017 and then in 2018 with the rebranding of Top Knot, Astranti took over culinary operations for both Uchi and Uchibā.
In 2021 he moved to Denver to take on the Executive Chef role at Mercantile dining & Provisions.
Colorado transplant, Sarah Beckwith, has been cooking as long as she can remember. She spent the beginning of her professional career working at The Little Nell in Aspen, CO where she honed her skills, worked with many talented chefs and learned to love locally grown produce. After that she spent a few more years in Aspen, where she ran her own cheese shop, catered and finally opened a craft beer bar before moving to Boulder to join her mentor Steve Redzikowski at OAK at Fourteenth. After almost seven years working with Steve and his partners, Sarah left to join the Culinary program at Rosetta Hall where she hopes to share her passion for locally sourced global cuisine and progressive leadership with the team.
Steve Chu is the chef and owner of the acclaimed Baltimore Restaurant, Ekiben. Famous for their steamed bun sandwiches and rice bowls, Ekiben started off as a hotdog cart and now has multiple locations throughout Charm City. He is an Eater Young gun semi-finalist, Starchefs Rising Star award winner, and makes regular appearances on “Munchies.”
Sean is the executive chef and managing member of El Moro Spirits & Tavern and Steamworks in Durango, CO. Sean began his foray into food at the age of 16. By the time he graduated college the industry had firmly grasped his interest and skill set between visual arts and the culinary arts.
Brad is the chef and owner of Tresini Bar & Cucina outside of Philadelphia, PA. Brad started his journey as a pasta cook for James Beard Award winning chef Marc Vetri. As the Vetri family grew so did Brad’s role. It was only a matter of time before the fire that started in his youth would drive him to open his own restaurant.
Jackson Hole, WY
Gavin Fine developed a passion for the culinary world as a young boy growing up in Chicago. After working for Richard Melman’s restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You, in his home town, he followed his passion to Cornell University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management School and then to Jackson Hole. While his visions of becoming a ski bum never fully materialized, Fine worked nearly every job between the front- and back-of-house, where he met his soon-to-be business partner Roger Freedman, working side-by-side in one of the area’s top restaurant kitchens. Fine and Freedman forged a friendship and decided to open Rendezvous Bistro in 2001, when Fine was just 26-years-old. After a number of years, Fine opened his second business in 2003 (Bistro Catering). Many years later, several restaurants (Il Villaggio Osteria, The Kitchen, Bin22, Bar Enoteca, Roadhouse Pub & Eatery, The Bistro), a specialty grocer (Bodega) and retail brands (Cream + Sugar artisan ice cream and Bovine + Swine craft meats) added to what is now Fine Dining Restaurant Group, Fine continues to be considered a premier restaurateur of the Rocky Mountain region. In addition to FDRG, Gavin is also the co-owner and founder of Roadhouse Brewing Co.
A 2017 James Beard Award semifinalist, Michael Friedman is owner of two of Washington, D.C.’s top restaurants–Red Hen and All Purpose- featuring seasonal, Italian-influenced dishes interpreted with Mid-Atlantic ingredients. Shortly after its opening in 2016, All-Purpose was named D.C.’s top restaurant by the Washington Post.
Linda is the creative force and mind behind The Bindery, an all-day bakery, market and restaurant in the Lower Highlands neighborhood of Denver and in winter 2023, she will open an as-yet-unnamed restaurant in Concourse A of Denver International Airport. The Colorado Restaurant Association named her Chef of the Year in 2018.
Fort Collins, CO
Brent started his culinary career at a small diner in Sidney, Nebraska but after traveling the world, including 6 months in India, he moved to Los Angeles where his love of food really had the chance to grow. After working around L.A. kitchens for several years, Brent moved to Denver in 2007, then made his way to Fort Collins in 2012 to pursue an intimate understanding of farming practices. The relationships Brent has developed with farmers and ranchers around Colorado is what pushed him to open little on mountain in 2019 and what drives his passion for curating experiences, through food, with people.
In 2011, Dan Jacobs decided to move north to Milwaukee where he accepted a position as sous chef at Roots and was quickly elevated to executive chef. In fall 2012, Roots transitioned to Wolf Peach and was awarded a number of accolades under Jacobs’ lead including On Milwaukee’s “Best New Restaurant” and was named one of the five best restaurants to open in 2013 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In early 2014, Jacobs accepted the executive chef position at Odd Duck, where he continued to garner both media and consumer attention.
Late the following year, Jacobs left to collaborate with chef Dan Van Rite to open DanDan, a modern Chinese-American restaurant. Jacobs and Van Rite opened DanDan in July 2016, bringing chef-driven Chinese food with a midwestern sensibility to Milwaukee’s dining scene. Shortly after opening DanDan, the duo opened a highly-acclaimed fine dining restaurant and chef’s table concept, EsterEv, inside DanDan. The restaurant, named for Van Rite’s grandmother Evelyn and Jacobs’ great-grandmother Ester, offers a globally influenced 10 course pre-fixe menu that changes weekly.
Ji Hye Kim
Ann Arbor, MI
Ji Hye Kim is the award-winning chef/owner of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor, MI. Named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2021 and a James Beard Award Best Chef semifinalist, Ji Hye aims to broaden the understanding of Korean cuisine through her cooking.
The Wolf’s Tailor
Mara King is a native of Hong Kong, a chef as well as the co-founder and COO of Ozuké, a fermented foods business that distributes throughout the US. She helped to produce a series of short films on Southwestern Chinese fermentation practices with Sandor Katz and Mattia Sacco Botto in 2017 and is currently working on a book on Chinese Fermentation as well as the second series of People’s Republic of Fermentation that will focus on Taiwan and China’s Eastern provinces.
Anju, Mandu, Chiko
CHIKO has been awarded three-star ratings from both the Washington Post and Washingtonian, and was also nominated as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in the country in 2018. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington awarded CHIKO Best New Restaurant at the 2018 RAMMY Awards as well as Best Casual Restaurant in 2020.
Upon opening, Anju immediately garnered a three-star review in the Washington Post, and the Washingtonian awarded Anju with a 3.5-star rating along with naming Anju the #1 restaurant in their 2020 100 Very Best Restaurants issue.
Danny was nominated as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in the Spring of 2020. In the fall of 2021, Danny was listed on the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100, being recognized for the anti-racism initiatives he had taken part of or started. Lee has been featured in several national and local publications and media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Food Network, Men’s Health, Washington Post, Washingtonian, and many more. Most notably, Danny and his mother are featured in the HBO. Max series Take Out With Lisa Ling, exploring the history of Korean cuisine in the Washington, DC area.
Jax Fish House (Raw Bar)
Sheila is the culinary director for Jax Fish House with locations in Colorado and Kansas City. Sheila started her culinary career at Jax Fish House and has been with Big Red F over 20 years. Sheila has been a driving force in the culinary world through her participation with the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change as well as the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch.
Chef Lamar Moore graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2003 and decided to head West to San Jose, CA, where he secured a job at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants. After seven years, he returned to Chicago, where he became the sous chef for the Chicago Bears, before moving on to a series of restaurants working as a successful chef and restaurateur. Moore has had the privilege of cooking for Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and even Barack and Michelle Obama on multiple occasions, but he admits his grandmother will always be his first and biggest fan.
Moore has appeared on popular culinary competition shows like Bravo TV’s “Welcome To Waverly” and Food Network’s “Chopped.” Most recently, Moore competed on Food Network’s “Vegas Chef Prizefight,” where he earned and won head chef of the all-new $10 million steakhouse, Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse at Flamingo Las Vegas.
Grand Junction, CO
Bin 707 Foodbar is a Zero Foodprint member, a 2018 and 2019 Good Food 100 restaurant, and a James Beard Smart Catch “Leader” for its ongoing commitment to sustainability within the industry. Chef/Owner Josh Niernberg is a 2022 James Beard Outstanding Chef Semifinalist and a 2020 James Beard Best Chef Mountain Region Semifinalist. Through his ethos and vision, Bin 707 Foodbar has remained a staple in the Western Colorado, Greater Colorado, and Regional Dining Community since its inception in 2011.
Osaka Ramen, Sushi-Rama
Born in Los Angeles, where the food is as diverse as the city’s culture, chef and visionary Jeff Osaka has always been fascinated by the restaurant industry and has garnered praise from critics and peers alike for his indelible contributions to the culinary world.Throughout his 25 years of experience, Osaka has worked as an executive chef and restaurateur as well as a private consultant, cooking and catering for some of the most notable names in Hollywood (including Steven Spielberg) and alongside Chefs Bradley Ogden at One Market and Wolfgang Puck at Chinois Las Vegas. In 2015, Chef Osaka opened Osaka Ramen, his interpretation of a traditional ramen shop as well as Sushi-Rama, a conveyor-belt sushi concept, both located in the heart of the RiNo Arts District. Now in 2022, Sushi-Rama x Osaka Ramen has expanded with locations in DTC, Lone Tree, Aurora and inside Denver International Airport with another location set to open in Broomfield, Colo. in the summer of 2022.
Apple Blossom, Coperta
Paul Reilly is the chef and owner of Coperta, celebrating the food and wine of Rome and southern Italy, opened in 2016. In 2019, Paul opened Pizzeria Coperta serving scratch-made thin-crust pies. Later that year, Paul was the consulting chef for the New Belgium Brewery sports pub at Denver International Airport.
Paul is an ambassador of the good food movement working closely with Boulder County Farmers Markets, Good Food 100, Slow Food USA, and JBF Smart Catch. He is a James Beard Foundation Scholarship Winner and an alumnus of the James Beard Boot Camp for Policy and Change.
Schmidt grew up in and around restaurants. Both his parents worked as restaurant managers, leading him to decide at a young age that he wanted to be a chef. At age 15, he started his first job frying up eggs and bacon at a Waffle House in Georgia. Schmidt quickly moved into the world of fine dining, starting his second job a year later at a local country club.
Schmidt’s career in the world of food and fine dining would take him to Atlanta, New York City, Denver and, ultimately, to Vail, where he served as the head chef at Sweet Basil. Throughout the years, he gathered all the inspiration, knowledge and experience he would need to one day open his own restaurant — aiming to do so by age 30.
Leah Scurto is a champion pizza maker and 9 year member of the United States Pizza Team. She has competed in pizza culinary competitions across the United States and Italy. She currently owns and operates PizzaLeah in Sonoma County, Ca. Since opening in March 2020, Pizzaleah has been included multiple times on the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of the 25 Top Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Leah was recently featured in Pizza Today Magazine as one of the Rising Stars of the Pizza Industry.
PizzaLeah features a rotating craft beer list focusing on Sonoma County and California with guest appearances by some of Leah’s favorite breweries across the U.S. Leah is dedicated to being a small business owner that promotes other small businesses and their crafts whether it be beer, wine or food.
Alex Seidel is chef-owner of Fruition Restaurant, Mercantile dining & provision, Füdmill and Chook. Alex, Fruition and Mercantile have been fortunate to find themselves featured as Chef of the Year and Best Restaurant rankings in numerous local and national magazines and guides including Denver Magazine, 5280, Bon Appetite, Gayot, and Zagat, and alumni from the restaurants have gone on to receive similar honors. Seidel himself has been the recipient of many accolades, including Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef in 2010, Chef of the Year titles from local media including Denver Magazine and 5280. Seidel was awarded the 2018 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South West. In addition to his restaurants, Seidel owns Fruition Farms Creamery, Colorado’s first artisan sheep’s milk creamery, located in Larkspur, Colorado.
In 2010 Jeremy and Shore opened Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston’s Kenmore Square and in 2013, opened Row 34 in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. During this time, he garnered many awards both locally and nationally – from Saveur, Zagat, Boston magazine, Bon Appetit, GQ and many more.
cookbook, The New England Kitchen, was written with co-author Erin Byers Murray, was nominated for a James Beard Award, and continues to be a staple for any cookbook collection. Shortly thereafter came Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw, co-authored with Marion Swaybill. Most recently, Jeremy and Erin teamed up again to write The Row 34 Cookbook, which came out in 2021.
Dan Van Rite
Dan Van Rite cooked his way around the country – from working as a sous chef at a private ranch in Colorado to specializing in seafood in Florida, expanding his culinary repertoire and confidence. Throughout his travels, he embraced the responsibly raised lifestyle, cultivating relationships with farmers, fisherman, purveyors and growers, which became the foundation of his cooking style. After four years, Van Rite was ready to return home and accepted the executive chef position at Hinterland in Green Bay, WI. Van Rite was given creative liberties with the menu at the popular gastropub and quickly caught the eye of diners and media alike. He then spent time as a private chef in Nantucket before returning to Hinterland, this time to open their Milwaukee location. Over the next eight years, Van Rite continued to hone his culinary skills, and his efforts led to him being selected by the James Beard Foundation three times as a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Midwest category (2010 – 2012).
A native of Summit County, Matt returned to the mountains after making a name for himself as executive chef at Mercantile Dining & Provision in Denver
Rootstalk is Chef Matt Vawter’s first solo restaurant; which opened in December of 2020. Rootstalk is a small, upscale, casual restaurant serving dinner located in the heart of beautiful Breckenridge, CO
The Wolf’s Tailor
James Beard-nominated Chef Kelly Whitaker he perfected his craft at the one Michelin star Hatfield’s, and later the two Michelin star, Providence. In 2008, Whitaker moved to Boulder and started Id Est Hospitality Group (IEHG). In addition to being an active member of Chefs Collaborative (he received the “Heart of the Collaborative” award in 2014), Whitaker sits on the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, and founded Noble Grain Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting domestic, milled-to-order grains.
Discover the perfect craft beer and culinary pairing. PAIRED showcases 25 craft beers, each one thoughtfully paired with a small plate that will tantalize your tastebuds and dazzle your palate.
India Pale Ale with Rye & Lactose
Big Grove Brewery
Apricot Mousse Cake + Pine Nut Joconde + Cardamom Scented Apricot Jam + Rosemary Caramel + White Chocolate
Prince of Daemons
Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Bin 707 Foodbar
Grand Junction, CO
Pozole of Colorado Blue Corn + Guajillo & Matsutake Dashi + Huitlacoche Hoisin + Espresso & Cocoa Rubbed Beef Cheek Pastrami
Against the Grain Brewery
The Brown Note
American Brown Ale
Brave Horse Tavern
Oysters on the Half Shell + Barrel-Aged Hot Sauce Mignonette + Pork Cracklings
Sun King Brewery
Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel
JH Fine Dining Group
Guajillo Chicken & Chorizo + 24 Hour Mole + Fried Hominy + Homemade Chile de Arbol Salsa
North Woods Brewing Company
Herb and Spice Beer
The Swill Inn
Mexican Corn + Cream + Cilantro + BBQ Spice + Chicharron
Wallenpaupack Brewing Company
Luck Haze 007
Dusek’s Board & Beer
Duck Sausage + Cornbread + Figs + Beer Mustard
Berryessa Brewing Co.
Chicken Liver Pate + Onion Marmalade + Brioche Crumbs
The Tap Brewery
American IPA with Chilis
Work & Class
Umami Spicy Korean BBQ Duck Wings
Lawson’s Finest Liquids
Oak Aged Maple Ale
Mercantile Dining & Provisions
Chicken Liver Mousse Tartlet + Whipped Maple Gastrique + Black Pepper
Stone 23rd Anniversary Uncanny Anni Double IPA