At eighteen, Jacob Gorovoy is already making a name for himself in the Denver food industry.

Known for his food blog Eat with Jayfeaturing opinions, restaurant reviews and recipes, the recent graduate of Cherry Creek High School is now hosting a series of popping lunches at Sullivan Scrap Kitchen at 1740 East 17th Avenue in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.

For four nights this summer (June 26, July 10, July 17, and July 31), Gorovoy will run the restaurant (which was one of Bon Appetit’s “top tables” in 2021) and serve a five-course dinner to guests. 70 dollars per person. All profits will go to help Ukraine and tickets are available to Eventbright.

On the menu: home-cured salmon with cucumber and dill; grilled zucchini with honey vinegar glaze, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and roasted grapes; boiled and pan-fried chicken with beetroot hummus, marinated carrot slices and harissa aioli; crispy sea bass topped with bacon and parsley, smoked apricot sauce, and rosemary crisps (which Gorovoy says is his personal favorite); and an oui sticky butter pie with homemade buttermilk ice cream and blackberry sauce for dessert.

The idea may seem ambitious for a teenager, but the project has been in preparation for a long time. “Generally speaking, my brother and I grew up watching the Cooking Channel, the Food Network — they were always on,” says Gorovoy about how his love for cooking began. “Food Network, to be honest, I was hooked. I’ve just always been very intrigued by being in the kitchen and having a good time cooking.”

In addition to a casual love of cooking, Gorovoy worked hard in the food industry. At the age of fifteen, he started working in a food truck called Taco Choi before moving on to fine dining at restaurateur Lon Siemensma’s restaurant. Cholon a few years later while also working at farmers’ markets.

“This year I wanted to do something in a more formal, formal setting,” he explains. “Something to test my culinary skills that I have acquired. I thought these charity dinners could be a really cool way to do something more formal and really test myself to see my progress.”

click to enlarge Dinners will be hosted at Sullivan Scrap Kitchen in Denver's suburban outskirts of town - NATEA'S DAY

Dinners will be hosted at the Sullivan Scrap Kitchen in suburban Denver.

Nate Day

The young chef’s partnership with Sullivan Scrap Kitchen was the result of a massive pop-up campaign that resulted in “many emails,” he says.

Gorovoy adds that he “doubted” a restaurant in the area would let him borrow his kitchen for a quick dinner – he even considered hosting one on Airbnb – but he luckily approached Terence Rogers, the owner of Sullivan. Scrap Kitchen, who was happy to hand over the reins on Sunday nights when his own restaurant is usually closed.

“My past before [owning Sullivan]“I used to be a caterer, and before I was a caterer, I hosted holiday dinners in my apartment,” Rogers recalls. “I remember going to places like, ‘Hey, can I host an event here?’

Rogers says that as Gorovoy takes the lead in hosting the event, he is “very excited to provide an opportunity” for the young chef to show off his culinary muscles.

“Here we focus on reducing food waste and sustainability, but that sustainability comes down not only to how we source and prepare food, but also to our staff, our community, how we strive to be part of the neighborhood,” Rogers notes: “ We want to be able to support people who are trying to do cool things.”

Rogers and one of his staff will be on deck every night to help, but otherwise, Gorovoy, his parents, brother, and friend will be working on the pop-ups.

The proceeds will benefit Direct Relief Ukraine. “My best friend Max, his family is actually from Ukraine, and they have relatives there who are fighting for their lives,” says Gorovoy, whose own family has Russian roots. “We are part of a large Russian community here in Colorado and we feel like we really should help in any way we can, so I thought that would be a good thing. It’s a really terrible thing that’s happening right now and I’m trying to do my part to support those in need.”

So, what does an eighteen-year-old do after hosting four charity dinners in Denver? Go to business school, of course. Instead of going to culinary school, Gorovoy hopes to one day go into business in the food industry and plans to study business at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall – while working at a local restaurant, of course.

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