Before Patrick Kelly took over as the Executive Chef at Panzano in Denver, he honed his skills at several legendary restaurants across the country, including La Folie in San Franciso, Spiaggia in Chicago and Angele in Napa Valley.

His passion for food, however, began in the family kitchen at his childhood home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Inspired by his Sicilian grandmother, Kelly learned to cook as a young man. After high school, he left for Laramie and earned his degree in business and economics from the University of Wyoming.

Kelly was ready to settle down to get a "real job" when made a bold move. Shocking his friends and family, he turned down lucrative opportunities in the finance sector and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. On the weekends, he worked for free at several restaurants in New York to build his resume.

Years later, his gamble has paid off. After being named Executive Chef for the Claude Lane Restaurant Group in San Francisco, Kelly took over Lure & Till in Palo Alto, California.

Kelly was happy in the Bay Area until he heard about the opening at Panzano in Denver last summer. The chance to run a well-respected restaurant only 100 miles away from home was just too good to pass up. Now, he's elevating cuisine in the Mile High City's theatre district.