At the turn of the century, Rocco DiSpirito and Troy Guard were both executive chefs in New York City. DiSpirito was turning heads at the adventuresome Union Pacific, and Guard was cooking his interpretation of Roy Yamaguchi’s Asian-fusion cuisine at Roy’s restaurant at the World Financial Center.
Their careers took different paths. DiSpirito went on to be a cookbook author and TV personality, among other ventures, and Guard built an empire of restaurants based in Denver that currently includes Guard and Grace, a steakhouse with locations in Denver and Houston, TAG Burger Bar, Big Wave Taco, a fast-casual concept called Bubu, a gastropub called FNG, a breakfast place called HashTAG and a five-unit Mexican concept, Los Chingones.
Thanks in part to the machinations of entrepreneur James Park, currently the CEO of Korean wing concept WingWok in Denver and operating partner of the venture-capital Savory Fund, but also involved with projects with Guard and DiSpirito, the two chefs are collaborating on a couple of charity dinners in the Mile High City next week.
On June 14 they will do a dinner at the RiNo location of Los Chingones, with proceeds going to We Don’t Waste, which works to reduce hunger and as well as food waste in Denver. And then on June 15 they’ll be at Guard & Grace to raise money for victims of the Marshall Fire that devastated Boulder County at the beginning of the year.
The two chefs recently discussed their plans for the dinner, as well as DiSpirito’s upcoming book.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]