2021 Denver Food + Wine Festival

Explore The CHEFS, BAKERS + beverage pros

Tajahi Cooke
Ms. Betty’s Cooking

After years of touring and traveling the world, Tajahi Cooke moved to Denver and started cooking; he spent time on the line at Mesa Verde, The Kitchen, and Next Door American Eatery, building technique and learning the importance of details. He continued to work his way through the Denver casual-dining industry, becoming a lead cook at Bacon Social House in 2016, sous chef at Block & Larder in 2017, and the executive chef of Dine and Dash Group, including fast-casual concepts Biju’s Little Curry Shop and Mother Tongue. Meanwhile, Tajahi and his wife Danielle Cooke launched a tour catering company feeding bands, such as Grammy-nominated Reggae band Rebelution.

By 2019, Ms. Betty’s Cooking evolved into a curry powder business, which later sparked the now-annual event, Ms. Betty’s Harvest Madsgiving, serving roughly 40,000 meals over the past four years to those in need. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Tajahi hosted Supper Club, a monthly dinner series inviting local chefs to collaborate with him on a ticketed tasting menu to support local causes. Last summer, fresh off his win of the Community Award from Star Chef’s Magazine and being named one of the top 18 rising chefs in Denver, Tajahi introduced “The Chef’s Kitchen Residency” to Freedom Street Social food hall in Arvada, Colorado, an exciting monthly program that acts as an incubation space for young cooks, who received a guaranteed stipend, mentorship, and a platform to develop their concepts.

Tajahi holds multiple Board Member positions at Warren Tech Culinary School, Emily Griffith Quick Start Culinary Program, and The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Team.

Tajahi continues to find ways to educate the public on the cuisine that he grew up with and continues to sponsor events to support the community, which are two passions from his roots that fuel him each day.