Battle of the Chefs: October 12, 2017

Battle of the Chefs is an opportunity to support Project PAVE in a fun, unique way. Money raised will support Project PAVE’s work to end relationship violence in our community. Each year, PAVE provides free therapy, family support services and violence prevention education programming to more than 3,500 young people, parents and community members.

The second annual Battle of the Chefs will feature Colorado restaurateurs Taylor and Kajsa Swallow, Sarto's Social Italian Eatery, and Brad and Cathy Ritter, Carmine’s on Penn, competing for the top chef honor by cooking their favorite dish. A panel of five judges will be on site to rate each dish based on taste, presentation, and creativity. Guests will witness the cooking in action and have the opportunity to taste the concoctions and participate in the “Crowd Favorite” vote!

The Sponsors

Savory Spice Shop

Master Chef Sponsor

The mission of Savory Spice Shop is to offer high-quality herbs, spices, and seasonings at a fair price in customer-friendly quantities. Savory Spice Shop strives to remain innovative and provide a fun, inspiring, and educational environment for customers and employees. Spice lovers can order a wide variety of products and spices online, from specialty salts to the best spice blends for any recipe! Savory Spice Shop also offer specialty food and cooking products and great spice gift sets which make a perfect gift no matter the occasion. Learn more about the company at

GE Johnson

Sous Chef Sponsor

A leader in providing the full spectrum of integrated project delivery services, GE Johnson Construction Company specializes in complex and schedule-driven projects in a variety of niches including: advanced technology, cultural, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, mixed use, and office. We have completed projects across 14 states, and in some of the most challenging and physically demanding locations in the United States. GE Johnson Construction Company is committed to building upon a legacy of philanthropy to, and engagement within, the communities in which we work and live. Learn more about the company at

The Competition

Team Carmine's

Team Carmine's

Brad and Cathy own and operate Carmine’s on Penn, Catering by Carmine’s and Little Carmine’s Italian Sandwiches. Cathy is currently managing both Catering and Little Carmine’s Italian Sandwiches.  Off-site catering ranges from simple box lunches to full service weddings. Cathy previously spent over twenty years as a franchisee of Jazzercise Inc. as instructor, regional manager and trainer. She is a regular at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and frequent Nanna to Lutreo and Fianna. 

Brad has worked in the industry in several areas of the US in both fine hotels and restaurants, ranging from Houston to Philadelphia, Boston to Beverly Hills and now here in Denver. He also spent 14 years in the beverage distribution industry during his children’s school years. Joining Carmine’s on Penn in 2006, Brad is now the owner and operator working to bring family style “Immigrant Italian” dining to life in the sleepy neighborhood setting of 92 S. Pennsylvania Street. He mostly looks at his road bicycle and occasionally actually rides it, and the same could be said of that set of golf clubs in the storage closet. The Ritters are big fans of travel and a recent escapade was walking the Camino di Santiago in Spain. 

For this year’s Secret Chefs event, Team Carmine's may choose to bring to life some recipes from Brad’s first cooking gig at Grampy’s Pancake House in Kearney, Nebraska where he worked in 1973!



Taylor and Kajsa own Sarto’s and The Pantry; which opened in late 2014 on Jefferson Square in the burgeoning Jefferson Park neighborhood. Sarto’s is a fresh, modern Italian restaurant and Cicchetti Bar open for dinner and weekened brunch. The Pantry is an Italian food counter that offers fast casual cuisine & catering as well as specialty items including housemade pastas, sauces, and Italian meats & cheeses.

Taylor and Kajsa were inspired to open Sarto’s because of their tremendouspassion for food, travel, Italy of course, and great hospitality experiences. Prior to Sarto’s, Kajsa and Taylor were both business owners. Taylor oversees the day to day operations of Sarto’s and The Pantry, while Kajsa continues to run her law firm. When they’re not working, you can find this couple exploring the culinary wonders of this little city that is growing explosively all around them.  

The Judges