Virginia-native Ian Palazzola is the Executive Chef of Acorn in Denver, Colorado. After attending culinary school in Atlanta, Georgia, Palazzola moved on to work at Restaurant Eugene for James Beard award-winning chef Linton Hopkins. It was there that Ian learned to cook with care and artistry and understood the importance of developing relationships with farmers – a major influence on the way he cooks today. Looking to expand beyond his Southern comfort zone, Palazzola headed West to Aspen’s The Little Nell, where he worked as a sous chef for three years. Soon after, he connected with Mourad Lahlou to help open the eponymous Bay Area fine-dining temple, Mourad. In under a year, Mourad received a Michelin star and Palazzola was promoted to chef de cuisine, where he commanded the Moroccan spice pantry with hints of his Southern roots shining through. In 2016, Palazzola was named a “Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs and Acorn has consistently ranked on 5280’s “25 Best” list.