Elise Wiggins

Panzano, Denver

Chef Elise Wiggins knew she wanted to be a chef from an early age, even if she wasn't sure exactly what that meant. Leading the culinary efforts at Panzano in downtown Denver, Wiggins cooks her distinctive contemporary Northern Italian cuisine using local and sustainable ingredients and practices.

Wiggins grew up in Louisiana, with family camaraderie that centered around food. After college at Northeastern Louisiana University, Wiggins began her career at Grotto in Dallas, working under Morris Salerno and Karl Hogue, the gold medal culinary Olympics team. Wiggins then enrolled at the Colorado Institute of Art, where she fell in love with Colorado. Upon graduating, she quickly worked her way up to executive chef at the former Bella Ristorante. She then accepted an offer at the Palio restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the restaurant received a coveted AAA Four Diamond award during her tenure. In the Spring of 2004, Wiggins returned to Denver and Panzano, where she now prepares award-winning mouthwatering dishes and continues to explore regional Italian delights. 

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