As Executive Chef at The Slate Denver, Natalie Thiede oversees all food and beverage operations for the 251-room hotel, located inside the historic Emily Griffith Opportunity School in downtown Denver, including the on-site restaurant – Teachers’ Lounge Food + Drink – and the banquet and catering space. Natalie found her interest in food at a very young age, cooking alongside her mom, who taught her that food is something that can bring people together and how rewarding it is to share her creations with her friends and family. Natalie decided to formally pursue that interest in high school, joining a culinary program at Warren Tech, which cultivated her love for the industry. She continued her education post high school, entering a three-year apprenticeship with the Rocky Mountain Chefs of Colorado, which helped her get into the Denver culinary scene and developed her skillset along with on-the-job training. Under her guidance, Teachers’ Lounge Food + Drink offers an experience that focuses on providing fresh, from-scratch, and locally sourced menu items paired with a specialty cocktail program.