Taste of Greenwood Village returns for its just desserts
BY PETER JONES
There is always at least one way to tell how well the Taste of Greenwood Village is going down. Check and see if John Herbers is having a good time.
If the event’s planning committee has made the right calculus in balancing people, food and space, and sponsorships and restaurants have been well nurtured, Herbers’s brow will be free of sweat and his wine glass will be half full in more ways than one.
“I’m going to really enjoy the Taste this year,” the CEO of the DTC/Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce said last week. “The committee has all the right people in all the right seats and it’s not their first rodeo. It is really cool.”
Since its inception in 2001, the Taste of Greenwood Village has digested into becoming metro Denver’s premier event of its kind. Tasteful aficionados say the Denver Tech Center staple is in a class of its own, with only Aspen Food and Wine Classic as comparable.
“The vision for the event is really to create a spotlight for all the great restaurants that we have in and around the Denver area and to match them up with a very nice event with entertainment and wines from around the world,” said Herbers, who has overseen the event for the last eight years. “It’s just a big party and a blast to attend.”
This year’s Taste will again return to Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse St. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. VIP ticket admission begins at 4:30 p.m. General admission is at 5:30 p.m. The evening of food, spirits and live music comes to an end at 8 p.m.
More than 60 restaurants—from the south corridor’s Del Frisco’s and Jing to downtown’s Capital Grille and Ocean Prime—are slated to fill the 12,000-square-foot ballroom, each providing bountiful fare. Spirits of Colorado—the state’s breweries, wineries and distilleries—will help wash it all down. A live dance band keeps the proceedings tasteful.
A special VIP patio will feature restaurants not available in the ballroom and a special concert featuring Colorado’s own acclaimed Dotsero.
Herbers expects about 3,000 people to make their way to attend, with a smaller number of VIPs on the newly constructed 4,000-square-foot patio.
“We’re hoping for an Indian summer,” Herbers said, noting there is a contingency plan in case weather becomes less than appetizing.
In total, the Taste will assume well more than twice the total space it occupied in the same hotel last year—but that figure of 3,000 people is not something Herbers takes lightly.
“Striking that balance is not always easy because you really do want that attendance,” he said. “You do have to make sure the space is adequate. It’s not always easy to predict because people in Colorado wait until the last minute to decide.”
In the end, the Taste goes down well as a flavorful mix of class and fun.
“To have high quality without the pretentiousness is really a nice thing to do,” Herbers said.
The nonprofit beneficiary is again the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation.
The Villager is among this year’s sponsors.