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Tastings Blog - Meet Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton And Greg Denton

11/27/2014 Tagged as: Dining, Events




Born in Schenectady, New York and raised in Rutland, Vermont, Greg knew he wanted to be a chef from age four and he started working in kitchens at age nine. Similarly, summers spent in her grandmother's kitchen in the Andean highlands of Ecuador spurred Gabrielle's passion for food at a young age. Both Greg and Gabrielle graduated from culinary school with honors, Greg in 1996 from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and Gabrielle in 1999 from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

Greg and Gabrielle met while working under Chef Hiro Sone at the One Michelin-starred restaurant,Terra, in Napa Valley. Greg eventually became the first titled Chef de Cuisine and Gabrielle, Sous Chef. Together, the two chefs opened Ox Restaurant in April of 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

Ox and the Dentons have received the following recognition: 2014 Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs, year semi-finalists of the James Beard Foundation Annual Award for Best Chefs Northwest, 2013 semi-finalists of the James Beard Foundation Annual Awards for Best Chefs Northwest and Best New Restaurant in America, The Oregonian's Restaurant of the Year 2013 and was voted one of the Top 50 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit Magazine.

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire - Chefs


Describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence:

Gabi: I cook to make people happy at the table, and I strive to do this with bright, bold flavors that are at once comforting and exciting.

Greg: My cooking philosophy is the same as my life philosophy, which is to be a better person and a better chef every day.

Quito, Ecuador

What is your earliest food memory?

Gabi: My earliest food memory is of my dad bringing me breakfast in bed on my fourth birthday at my grandmother’s home in Quito, Ecuador. I can’t recall what it was, but I remember how loved and how special it made me feel.

Greg: My earliest food memory is of hating canned green beans.


 Chef Hiro Sone

Who is or was your biggest culinary influence?

Gabi: My grandmother. She taught me that you don’t need a lot of money to feed people delicious food.

Greg: Chef Hiro Sone.


Name your favorite food city and why.

Italy to sort 502Vitello Tonnato

Gabi: Alba, Piemonte, Italy. Because it’s close enough to the coast that I can get good seafood there, and virtually every restaurant has great pasta. And vitello tonnato.

Pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain - San Sebastian Travel Guide (

Greg: San Sebastián, Spain. Because it combines the best flavors and techniques of Spain, France, and Italy.


What food item or dish is your guilty pleasure?

Gabi: Fried calamari with any mayonnaise-based dipping sauce

Greg: buffalo-style hot wings


After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

Gabi: Wine, something refreshing, either sparkling, white, or rosé.

Greg: Cocktail, usually a Manhattan.


What is your ultimate day off meal?

Gabi: Oysters on the half shell, then pasta (either tajarin with butter and sage or spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, chili flake, and sea urchin), and then a grilled ribeye (with sliced jalapeños) and grilled radicchio with fourme d’ambert blue cheese. And for dessert: chocolate soufflé. And lots of wine to go with it.

Greg: A perfect French bistro lunch: Foie blonde with poached pear, a mustardy lambs’ tongue salad, sole meunière over pommes purées, and crèpes Suzette for dessert.


Happy Thanksgiving! Join GABRIELLE QUIÑÓNEZ DENTON AND GREG DENTON because only the best will #tasteandsavor2015

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