Panzano restaurant in downtown Denver has named Nicolas Lebas as the new Executive Chef. Lebas will be responsible for the award-winning restaurant along with banquets and room service in the Kimpton Hotel Monaco.

Born in France, culinary school led Nic to the kitchen at a Relais et Chateau hotel near Marseilles. He moved to the United States and moved up in the Texas culinary scene culminating in a position at La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio where he ran the banquet department and was promoted to Executive Sous Chef. He jumped across the Gulf of Mexico to The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Orlando, Florida as Executive Chef at its Bull and Bear restaurant. From there it was a short hop across the state to St. Petersburg Beach where Nic took over the kitchen at Kimpton’s Hotel Zamora as Executive Chef.

Inspired by a variety of culinary icons and his Italian grandmother, Nic lists Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud as influences and describes his cooking as balanced, colorful, flavorful, light, unique and inspiring. His early years were spent at his grandmother’s side in France as they made dinners together based on her Italian heritage.

“Panzano has always been a star in the Kimpton world,” says Lebas. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to flex my culinary skills in this exciting food scene.”

Lebas has been busy creating and testing specials for the Panzano menus and enhancing items that are long-time favorites of Panzano regular guests. He will be rolling out new items as they prove their mettle as specials.

Named “Best Italian” by Westword, awarded three stars by AAA and 4 Stars by 5280 Magazine, Panzano was named one of America’s Top Restaurants by Zagat.

Open for breakfast, weekend brunch, happy hour, lunch and dinner daily, Panzano is located at 909 17th Street in the heart of Denver’s financial district.

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