When our friends Ali and Ilene tell us to buy tickets to a food event, we buy tickets to the food event. Sushi Den, Ototo Den, and Izakaya Den, a great set of Denver restaurants put on this rooftop fundraising event every year featuring top Denver chefs and 20 handpicked chefs from Southeast Japan. All proceeds go to partner humanitarian groups in the U.S., Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico and a Denver group called We Don’t Waste. Tickets range from $90- $135. We of course bought the $135 tickets which got us into the event early and gave us 5 drink tickets.
Worth it. Anyways, first up (below) was a Halibut CucumberCeviche with Yuzu Agua Chile. This dish was created by Dana Rodriguez, a Denver chef at Work & Class and Super Mega Bien. I love a good ceviche and this was superb and looked so pretty!
We then had this Mushroom Okonomiyaki (below), also by Dana. I’m usually a little skeptical about food items that I cannot pronounce the name of. So what’s in this? Uitacoche, Crema, Pea Tendril, and a Radish and Green Onion Salad. I have found that instead of looking up what I’m about to consume, I should just eat it and not ask questions because you never know how grossed out you may be when you find out that something like Uitacoche (traditionally spelled: Huitlachoce) is also known as Corn Smut and is a fungus that grows on corn and looks rather unappetizing. BUT putting that aside, I think I had three of these because hot damn they were so GOOD!
Next up, a Swordfish Spedini with Salmoriglio and a Roasted Eggplant Supli. Y’all with these names I wouldn’t be surprised if I was eating literally fish poop, but everything tasted so good that it wouldn’t have mattered. Also, fun fact, this was my first time having both swordfish and eggplant. These dishes were created by Ian Wortham from the Tavernetta here in Denver.
Alright… this next one I’m not gonna lie, I ate it before I knew what it was. I saw meat on a stick and said sign me up! What is it? Chicken Heart. Yep, you read that right, it’s a chicken’s heart… and it was amazing. I ended up eating like five of these bad boys. Shout out to the five chickens who died for me to eat this delicious food! This dish was cooked by Caroline Glover from Annette out in Stapleton.
There was so much good food at this shindig (I just cut 5 photos from this blog though because it’s getting TOO LONG!). Below is a dish called Okonomi Yaki- savory pancake. These chefs were guest chefs: Ushiro Makoto and Honda Toshio from the Japanese restaurant called Tomoya. And boy was this a tasty treat! It’s always nice to see how other cultures view foods I eat regularly like pancakes, and believe me, I think these savory pancakes are something I’d be willing to eat often.
Now the ramens I’m about to show you make me incredibly sad inside. It was so delicious and the chefs are from Japan and I will never eat ramen this good again. I mean… look at it.
Like really… look at it.
I ate two bowls of the second ramen and a bowl of the first I wanted to cry. I can’t even describe to you how good this was. But know this… next year check this event out. Grab some good friends (see below) and make sure to get your VIP tickets to one of the best fundraising events I’ve ever been to! It’s worth it!