Elise Wiggins

Executive Chef Panzano, Denver

We thought you'd want to meet the woman behind the big, bold flavors at Panzano restaurant. Say "hello" to Executive Chef Elise Wiggins. She welcomes you to the table with her innovative approach to Northern Italian cooking, all-out warming presence, and dedication to sustainable, local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

Elise attended the Colorado Institute of Art's School in Denver. Her love of Colorado brought her to Panzano, which is listed as one of Denver's 25 top restaurants and has been voted the best Italian restaurant in Denver for the past six years. Elise is all about authenticity, so she recently visited the original Panzano — the small town in Northern Italy. She traveled there to learn from a master, Dario Cecchini. Elise spent two weeks alongside the chef known as "The Mad Butcher" learning new local techniques and enhancing her knowledge of the region and cuisine.

We lured her away from the kitchen to answer questions about her life and home at Panzano:

  • Q:Who is your culinary mentor?
  • A:My family.
  • Q:What do you consider your best culinary creation?
  • A:My culinary creations get better and better with time.
  • Q:What inspires you?
  • A: Traveling.
  • Q: What are your favorite classics to cook?
  • A: Pastiche: it's a pasta dish from the 16th century that was created for Catherine De Medici's birthday.
  • Q:What is your favorite kitchen tool?
  • A:Vita Prep Blender.
  • Q:Who would you love to have eat at Panzano?
  • A:Alice Waters.
Elise's Favorite Recipe

Elise's Favorite Recipe

BISTECCA - serves four
Learn More

Panzano   |   909 17th Street at Champa, Denver, CO 80202   |   Phone: (303) 296-3525   |