What happens when you ask a group of chefs, restaurateurs, bar and general managers to throw a party for the city of Denver?
You get The Big Eat, Denver’s signature culinary party featuring more than 70 Denver-area restaurants serving up unlimited small bites, beer, wine and cocktails. Hosted by EatDenver, the 7th Annual Big Eat celebration serves up the best of Denver on Thursday, July 13th from 6-9pm at the Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC).
One Big Family Throwing a Big Party
Food events give restaurants a brief window to promote their name, brand, and menu, leaving little time to communicate that message to hundreds of hungry (and thirsty guests). That’s why EatDenver relies on the input of its members for The Big Eat event, “The leaders of the restaurant industry are the ones throwing this party, we’re just executing their ideas,” says EatDenver Executive Director, Katie Lazor.
Members come first at EatDenver, a nonprofit organization featuring locally-owned, independent restaurants sharing the same passion and commitment: to support and promote the value of independent dining in the Denver metro area. Members meet monthly on a range of topics from everything including restaurant management and marketing to sourcing and purveyor relationships, DIY fixes and much more.
An event thrown by the members themselves is just one of the reasons that many local chefs are attracted to The Big Eat. The other? Family. “All of our members are part of a network, a family, really, of like-minded hospitality professionals,” Lazor said, “it’s like one big family throwing a big party.” You’ll find little competition at the heart of The Big Eat, rather there is more collaboration amongst restaurants who share in the value and excitement at the event. The Big Eat is more than just a party, it’s a way for local, independently-own restaurants to promote their brand and engage with other like-minded individuals.
“Perfect venue to show off the best of Denver.”
In its third year at the DPAC, EatDenver will be showcasing many of the Denver metro area’s popular restaurants all under one roof. New to this year’s event, The Big Eat will be organized by neighborhood, which has participants and attendees equally excited. Exploring Denver’s culinary neighborhoods just got easier—and now it can be done with a drink in hand!
Those in Denver know that as the population and traffic have grown (albeit at a slower pace), exploring different neighborhoods has become more challenging. But with growth comes a silver lining. Denver’s neighborhoods are becoming small enclaves, each possessing a unique voice and culture. And, as an event that bills itself as “Denver’s signature culinary party,” it seemed only fitting to recognize all that the city as to offer. “We want this event to be valuable to participating restaurants as an opportunity to showcase their neighborhood pride and diversity” Lazor, said. “Restaurants will be serving up their signature dishes alongside their neighbors at The Big Eat, and attendees have the chance to taste a little bit of everything in one location.”
Another Hot Topic at The Big Eat? Sustainability.
With food waste alone making up 21% of the solid waste material found in a landfill, chefs are acutely aware of their impact on the food system and our environment. Earning their green certification two years ago, EatDenver leverages partner relationships with Certifiably Green Denver and Tundra Restaurant Supply for events like The Big Eat to become as close to zero-waste as possible. That’s why at this event, all of the utensils, plates, bowls and napkins provided by Tundra Restaurant Supply will be 100% certifiably compostable. “We give Tundra so much credit for helping us go zero waste [at The Big Eat],” says Lazor. Made from renewable resources like sugarcane, bamboo, or made from unique Ingeo™ bioplastic, 100% certifiably compostable products can be broken down turned back into soil when composted in a commercial composting center. Zero-waste stations featuring large, compostable bins will be featured prominently throughout the event.
Priced at just $60 for three hours of unlimited small bites, beer, wine and cocktails, The Big Eat is decidedly one of the more affordable food events to hit the Denver metro area, “We cringed at raising the price this year,” Lazor tells me, “We want the event to be accessible to a lot of people, which is why we absorb the ticket fees to help keep the price fair.” From locally-sourced product to sophisticated preparation techniques, the elevated bites you try at The Big Eat will have you falling in love with Denver all over again.
For more information about The Big Eat and EatDenver, visit http://eatdenver.com/the-big-eat/