Director of Culinary Curriculum at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
President/Founder The Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat: Foundations in Meat Fabrication
As a Massachusetts-born, first-generation Italian-American, DeNittis comes by his rich food heritage honestly. Inspired by the boldly crafted, artisan flavors of family dishes, this entrepreneur and professional chef brings passion to the Denver table. A leader and innovator of industry and education DeNittis, resides now as Director of Culinary Curriculum for Cook Street School of Culinary arts, and founder of The Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat and former II Mondo Vecchio-Salumi in South Denver’s art and antique district.
His career began at an early age in his grandparent’s kitchens and basements where he gained a deep understanding and appreciation for gardening, hunting, fishing, and traditional cooking. Prior to his arrival in Denver, DeNittis spent time honing his craft under the tutelage of Jean-Michel Matos at the Breakers Country Club in Palm Beach, Florida. One of many memorable highlights involves enjoying a celebratory jar of caviar as executive chef along side Jim Mills of the Houstonian Hotel Club and Spa, after opening the Shadow Hawk Golf Clubhouse, an event attended by former president George W. Bush.
A pioneer in the world of modern artisanal butchery, DeNittis’ expertise in culinary education as a former Chairperson of the Meat Cutting Curriculum at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University. Keeping grounded in both industry and education alike DeNittis founded The Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat: Foundations of Meat Fabrication in 2011 in partnership with Cook Street School of Culinary Arts in downtown Denver. RMIM is a series of professional state-certified and American Culinary Federation accredited for continuing education professional points as well offering non-accredited programming.
As the one of the leaders of industry, DeNittis was named One of the Ten Rising Stars in the Meat Processing Industry Under the Age of 40 by Meat Processing News in 2007. His growing list of awards includes the 2008 Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal in Meat and Charcuterie, 2009 named Chairperson of the Lamb section of the NAMP Meat Buyers Guide 6th Edition, as well as the honor of serving as Educational Chef Consultant and Spokesperson for the American Lamb Board from 2005 to 2010, and most recently recognized as 2012 Exceptional Newcomer Award by the Colorado Restaurant Association’s annual Industry Spotlight Awards
A true star in his industry, Mark’s culinary prowess and diversity as a culinary professional he continues to be displayed in a variety of professional publications such as the American Culinary Federation’s Culinary Review, Chef Educator Today Magazine, and Gwen Ashley Walters 1998 The Great Ranch Cookbook. Most recently though as 1 of 50 Butchers featured in 2010 Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers by Marissa Guggiana along with being called upon for his insight and advice in the newly released 2013 Butchery and Sausage for Dummies by Tia Harrison.
Butchery is back, and has finally become the opening act, kind of like during the heavy metal scene of the eighties when Motorhead opened for Alice Cooper, the Disassembly Dinner Series (www.disassemblydinnerseries.com) brings that rock-and-roll swagger to culinary enthusiasts across Colorado and beyond by showcasing a head-to-tail butchery lesson during a multi-course tasting.
In addition to establishing a mini meat dynasty through the multitude of his endeavors, DeNittis has taken on the challenge of combining his passions of cooking with a dash of adventure travel, by writing his own book Jeep Grill Adventures: Camp Kitchen & Cookbook. The book features trail-tested recipes from his own experiences cooking out of the back of his Jeep. DeNittis was also the Culinary Director for JPFreek.com and 7BarGrille.com. In the coming year, DeNittis hopes to publish a children’s book series that follows the travels of an ethical butcher and his friends as they experience different