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Meet Michael Diaz De Leon: the only Colorado chef nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award this year

Chef Diaz De Leon grew up in Sunnyside and now co-owns BRUTØ in downtown Denver
Bruto
Posted at 8:50 AM, Jun 01, 2023

DENVER — I mean, who needs a menu, anyway?

BRUTØ, whose co-owner just became the only Colorado chef nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award this year, has a unique presentation.

The "menu" changes every season and even every day, based on what is being harvested locally. When you come in, a seven-course meal is made in front of you, as the chef talks you through the journey and history of each dish. There is no menu to peruse.

"I'm not bound by a list of ingredients," Chef Diaz De Leon said, who grew up in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Denver. "I work with my farmers and we talk... We base our menus on what they're growing."

His parents are from Mexico, so most of the cuisine is based in Latin American culture.

In the above story, you can hear more about their unique style, and see their intimate setup for an immersive dining experience.

You can also hear me ask Michael, "So, why do you hate menus?"

The James Beard Foundation Awards for Restaurants and Chefs will be presented Monday, June 5th.