In 2010, Chef Lon Symensma moved to Denver to open his flagship restaurant, ChoLon. Having just left New York City’s swanky Buddakan, which at the time of his departure was the fifth highest grossing restaurant in the United States, he was ready to start his own venture. ChoLon, which translates to "big market,” is named after the largest Chinese-influenced market in Saigon, Vietnam. In 2011, ChoLon was a James Beard finalist for the “Best New Restaurant in America” award, and in 2012, Symensma was nominated for Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” in the Southwest. ChoLon’s innovative cuisine has led the restaurant to be ranked in 5280’s “25 Best Restaurants” list every year since it opened. In spring of 2015, Symensma opened Cho77, his highly anticipated second Denver restaurant. Inspired by the style and flavors of street vendors found across Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, Cho77 is a casual, exciting complement to ChoLon. In 2016, Symensma and business partner Christopher Davis-Massey established their restaurant group, ChoLon Restaurant Concepts. In the spring of 2017, they opened Concourse Restaurant Moderne. Concourse is located in Denver’s newly renovated Stapleton neighborhood, the former home of the Stapleton International Airport. Concourse offers elevated New American cuisine, and in it’s first year, Concourse earned a spot alongside ChoLon on 5280’s “25 Best Restaurants” list, as well as a placement on Zagat’s “9 Sexiest New Restaurants and Bars” list. In the summer of 2017, Symensma opened his first quick-service concept, Kaya Kitchen, located in Denver’s popular Avanti Food & Beverage collective. Kaya serves modern interpretations of traditional Southeast Asian dishes. Symensma plans to expand this concept with Kaya Asian Café, slated to open next door to ChoLon in the summer of 2018. Symensma continues to grow his culinary prowess with his next project, LeRoux, which will serve upscale European cuisine. With LeRoux, Symensma will refer to his classical European training and travels, while customarily adding his own creative touches. Symensma’s other accomplishments include earning a silver medal with Team USA in the 1996 Culinary Olympics, graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, and later becoming a C.I.A. graduation speaker in 2009. He spent his twenties apprenticing in highly rated restaurants across France, Italy and Spain. For many years he worked under Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and spent time with him in several of his restaurants, including Jean-Georges Shanghai and Spice Market.