DENVER (CBS4) – As Restaurant Week kicks off, Denver has a lot to celebrate. Just last year, 320 restaurants opened in the Denver Metro Area, 250 opened in 2018. The culinary scene has evolved into a trendy, forward-looking, award winning experience.

“Our culinary scene is very intentional. We have so many renowned chefs in our area, who chose to be here in Denver, and this next couple of weeks is really an homage to what they’ve done,” said Rachel Benedick, with VISIT Denver.

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For[a]ged is among the new restaurants that are participating in Denver Restaurant Week for the first time. Executive Chef Duy Pham came up with a menu that is both diverse, and true to the philosophy of his restaurant.

“I’m very focused on flavor profiles, very classically trained in French cuisine, and Japanese cuisine, so I respect the tradition, but also trying to push the envelope to evolve the cuisine,” Pham told CBS4.

The Restaurant Week Menu at For[a]ged includes vegan options and chef specialties like Miso Black Cod with baby Swiss chard, seaweed salad. Pham takes the time and care to make every element of his dishes from scratch. The menus are crafted intentionally as is everything about the restaurant, including the name.

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“The name of our restaurant is called For[a]ged. It’s kind of a play-off of two meanings… to forage for ingredients, not just actually foraging, but the pursuit and search for ingredients from all over the world,” Pham explained. “And I’m a knife maker as well. That’s why you see all the knives, so foraging of knives, and the foraging of art.”

Pham crafts the knives in Japanese tradition, and has them on display and for sale at the restaurant.

“It’s very labor intensive.”

LINK: Denver Restaurant Week Menus

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Denver Restaurant Week runs from February 21 – March 1 with more than 250 restaurants participating.