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Elan Wenzel, Element Knife Company

Elan Wenzel

Element Knife Company

After medaling in American Culinary Federation cooking competitions, Chef Wenzel graduated from Colorado Mountain Culinary Institute as Apprentice of the Year. Subsequently, he studied in Japan, and was exposed to a broad array of cutlery, tools, sharpening stones, and techniques. Now, after more than two decades in the industry, he has developed a much deeper appreciation for Japanese cutlery. Chef Wenzel continued working as a sushi chef in Colorado, most notably Denver’s best Sushi Restaurant, Sushi Sasa. After having won recognition for cooking at the James Beard House in NYC with The Colorado FIVE, he continues to stay active with his local community of chefs and nationally with events like Cochon555. He feels that education, support and empowerment are the answer to giving back.


Panelist Picks:

With Elan Wenzel

Week 3: What are your Top Favorite Burgers in Colorado?


  1. Snarf Burger – Good quality meat, good pricing, fun experiential atmosphere , & not pretentious
  2. Cirque Kitchen – Lots of love in that burger!
  3. Republik of Chicken – Superb flavor combination!
  4. Five Guys – Fresh, quality, & consistency….
  5. Stanley Beer Hall – Good beef, consistent quality.


Week 2: What are your top 3 Favorite Spots to Grab a Cocktail?


  1. Sky Bar Quaint atmosphere with perfectly mixed cocktails
  2. Forrest Room 5 – Interestingly atypical atmosphere
  3. Ultreia Best gin drinks in Denver with fantastic tapas


Week 1: What are your top 5 favorite restaurants of 2022?


  1. Lucian Eatery & Bar – Attention to detail in every aspect, great service, thoughtful and well executed menu
  2. Annette Scratch to Table – Fun and playful menu, perfect service, drinks, and wine options. Beautiful Decour and dining room very cozy and inviting.
  3. Maki Zushi Co. – Very close to traditional Edomai Zushi. Top quality fish and rice and very good for Omakase.
  4. Sushi SoraFantastic quality fish, creative and well executed Sushi with rooftop seating and views, along with fire pits and a beer wall.
  5. Apple Blossom – Classic Americana, perfectly executed, and using local ingredients when available. Great service to boot


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