steak plates at RARE 2023

Ranch to RARE: How Denver’s Famous Steak Festival Happens

Sponsored Post by Buckhead Pride

BY Gabriela Reyes


When it comes to celebrating Denver’s rich cowboy-ranch history and enjoying food from over 20 local hot spots, RARE Steak Championship is where one needs to be. The event this year occurs on Thursday, June 20 at Sculpture Park in Denver. 

But there’s a story before steak met fork. It begins on the picturesque pastures of the United States. 

The Beginning

ribs on fire grill
Buckhead Pride has provided meat for RARE the steak festival. | Photo by Green Lion

Buckhead Pride, the 2024 protein sponsor for all DiningOut Events, plays a pivotal role in this grand event by supplying restaurants across the state with premium meat and seafood. Heading toward the mountain-backed pastures of Colorado, Buckhead aims to partner with local ranches to select the finest products. This way, diners receive only the freshest cuts, both on the plate and during RARE.

As a subsidiary of the Sysco Corporation since 1999, Buckhead remains dedicated to the mission of supplying quality meat and fish, any cut a chef could desire. From American wagyu striploin to prosciutto hams to chorizo links, there’s something for all on the menu. Then, on the seafood side, the company offers snow crab legs, tuna yellowfin steaks, different types of lobster, and so much more. 

Steak to Table

rare beef sandwich on white plate
Find Buckhead Pride meats at the Great Divide Brewing & Roadhouse. | Photo by Linnea Covington

A notable example of the partnership between ranch and restaurant is seen at Vibe Concepts. The family-owned group runs nine distinct restaurant concepts including Montezuma Roadhouse in Keystone, Dusty Boot Roadhouse in Beaver Creek, Spanky’s Roadhouse in Denver, and Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse. The latter takes the reins at RARE. 

“The quality that Buckhead provides Vibe Concepts is invaluable,” said James Doxon, the group’s director of culinary development. He noted since partnering with Buckhead, customers have enjoyed juicier, better cuts of meat that come at a good value. 

“We continually work to provide new cut options to allow chefs to incorporate their passion into their food,” said Ted Strauch, business development manager at Buckhead, who credits the company’s success to these close collaborations with restaurant partners. “The product we provide is great, but what they turn it into is even better.” 

Ranch to RARE

sculpture park denver rare
RARE takes place at Sculpture Park in Downtown Denver. | Photo by DiningOut Events

Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse, along with other participating restaurants partnering with Buckhead Pride, is excited to showcase its unique steaks. This year the restaurant will be in two categories, creative and traditional. 

Festival goers will get to sample last year’s Traditional Steak, Judge’s Choice winner, G-Que BBQ. Also look for other previous winners including Guard and Grace, Citizen Rail, 801 Chophouse, and Urban Farmer. The canvas will showcase each restaurant’s preferred Angus cut between ribeye, strip loin, tenderloin, chuck roll, and sirloin flap, seasoned however the chefs decide. 

GQue BBQ RARE 2023
GQue BBQ won big at RARE in 2023, and they will be back for more. | Photo Green Lion

Ready to go? VIP tickets are still available for those seeking an elevated experience, offering access to Surf, The Denver Seafood Challenge featuring eight additional restaurants, artisan ice cream, an exclusive Buckhead sampling, Hats by Parker Thomas, private bars, lounge areas, and more.

Gather your fellow meat enthusiasts and join us for an unforgettable evening of steak, drinks, and camaraderie. Don’t miss out, the countdown is on, and the RARE Steak Championship is just around the corner.

Sponsored by Buckhead Pride

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Gabriela Reyes

Gaby has been part of the Denver/Boulder food scene since 2015 when she moved to Colorado. While gradually losing her ability to eat due to six years of misdiagnosed food allergies, she became fascinated with the culinary scene. Gaby, aka The Restaurant Encyclopedia, has been DiningOut’s restaurant coordinator for food festivals since 2017 and joined the editorial team in 2022.