Meet the Judges


Cherry Creek North is honored to welcome an eclectic mix of foodies, journalists, photographers and more to join this year's judges panel for the 11th Annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine on Saturday, Aug. 17 in Fillmore Plaza. Learn more about our judges and what piques their palates.


Culinary Judges

Bryant Palmer

Bryant Palmer is the head honcho at Oh Hey Creative and the Chief Storyteller for Stanley Marketplace. Oh Hey Creative is a Denver-based firm that specializes in marketing, communications, and community building for food halls and other collaborative development projects. Stanley is a locally inspired food and retail hub in Aurora, Colorado that includes 50+ independently owned businesses in a refurbished aviation manufacturing facility. Bryant also helped open Broadway Market, a food hall in the Golden Triangle neighborhood of Denver that opened earlier this year. He can be found online at www.ohheycreative.com or @bbp3.

Courtney Drake-McDonough

Courtney Drake-McDonough is the editor of InGoodTasteDenver.com, a news and reviews blog covering restaurants, arts and culture and travel in Colorado. She is also the publisher and managing editor of RealFoodTraveler.com, a digital magazine covering culinary travel around the world. Follow along with her adventures at @InGoodTasteDenverBlog and @Real_Food_Traveler.

Patricia
Kaowthumrong

Patricia Kaowthumrong is the new assistant food editor at 5280 (her last name is pronounced cow-thumb-wrong). A Colorado native, Patricia graduated in 2010 from the University of Colorado Boulder with degrees in journalism and psychology. As a reporter, she has a history of covering everything from the automotive aftermarket to Colorado’s Asian American community but discovered her passion for writing about Colorado at Miles Partnership, where she helped create and edit content for the Colorado Tourism Office. 

Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July and is thrilled to be writing about the Centennial State’s rich culinary scene. In her spare time, she loves cooking Thai food with her mother and spending time with her husband, Gavin, and two cocker spaniels, Stella and Teddy. Follow her food reporting adventures: @whatispattyeating (Instagram) and @patriciakaowthumrong (Twitter).

Ed Sealover

Ed Sealover has been a reporter at the Denver Business Journal since March 2009. He covers the hospitality industry as well as state government, transportation, economic development, tourism, and the beverage industry. 

He graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked at daily newspapers in Arkansas and South Carolina before coming to Colorado in 2000. He worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Rocky Mountain News before his time at the DBJ. Throughout his career, he’s received 130 awards from press associations in five different states in categories that include beat reporting, political reporting, public service and investigative reporting. 

When not covering hotels and restaurants, Sealover lives in Wheat Ridge with his wife, Denise, and children, Lincoln and Jane. He also has written two books: "Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado Breweries” and “Colorado Excursions with History, Hikes and Hops.”

Erica Cobb

Erica Cobb, a seasoned correspondent and social commentator, is a co-host of Tegna’s “Daily Blast Live” ("DBL") the only national daytime talk show airing LIVE in all time zones. Prior to "DBL," Erica was a morning radio personality, a host for the Denver Nuggets and lifestyle contributor. She entered the media scene in her hometown of Chicago and her varied career in radio took her to California and Colorado with stops at WBBM-FM in Chicago, KALC-FM in Denver and KZZO-FM in Sacramento. She was the football pregame contributor for WFLD Chicago, the entertainment expert at KUSA TV in Denver and the music guru on KOVR Sacramento.  

Her on-camera resume expands to include commercial print modeling, appearing in ads and signage for clients such as Ebony & Complete Woman Magazines, Galyans, Jack Daniels and McDonalds. She has been honored with a number of magazine covers such as “Outfront Colorado” Straight Allies Issue, “HERLIFE” as Denver’s Girl Power, “Urban Spectrum” and “Cherry Creek Fashion!” 

Born in Chicago and known affectionately as “Comeback Cobb,” Erica blogs and writes at www.comeback.tv​ on her real passion, offering life advice, coaching and inspiration for others struggling with their life choices. Erica and her husband are now based in Denver. 

Produced at the KUSA studios in Denver, Colorado, “Daily Blast Live” focuses on what’s trending now, enabling a panel to constantly update the show with the latest breaking news as it happens. The program’s real-time broadcast allows viewers to interact with the hosts via social media. In addition to the broadcast, “DBL” live streams six hours of trending news a day on YouTube and Facebook encouraging viewers to join the conversation. 


Table Decor Judges

Annie Bloj

A fashion designer in NYC for 13 years in NYC, Annie moved to Colorado almost six years ago and saw a need for a curated cultural calender for the Denver and Boulder area. Her site, anniebloj.com, helps you navigate all the amazing events in the area with a focus on food, arts, culture and all things FUN. She brings a personal touch to everything she does and aims to bring people together for shared experiences.

Esther Lee Leach

Esther Lee Leach is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Cherry Creek Fashion Magazine, a monthly digital style publication. Esther grew up on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia and has now settled in Cherry Creek after living in San Francisco, New York and London. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in Fashion Journalism from the London College of Fashion and has experience as a journalist, fashion editor, television host and film/television producer. 

Formerly the Senior Fashion Editor of SHE Caribbean Magazine, Esther worked as a writer and stylist for the publication, covering fashion, beauty, lifestyle and entertainment in the Caribbean and the UK. Her styling work includes magazine covers, fashion spreads and music videos. She has also produced a fashion shoot in Saint Lucia for Vogue Nippon.

During her teen years, Esther formed Lee Productions Inc, a television production company. She produced and hosted two television series, music videos and a documentary. Esther was also a producer and publicist on the short movie 'The Coming of Org'. The movie was accepted into the SFC at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.  

With Cherry Creek Fashion Magazine, Esther wants to promote and document the stylish community and retail district that she now calls home. The magazine is published at CherryCreekFashion.com

Victoria Carodine

As 5280 Magazine's Engagement Editor, Victoria manages the social media accounts for both 5280 Magazine and 5280 Home and identifies opportunities for growth and engagement. She also writes and edits stories for 5280.com. Prior to 5280, Victoria wrote for Architect Magazine in Washington, D.C., where she covered international and local architecture projects.