Hailing from Glastonbury, Connecticut, Denise Appel has been wildly successful in her passion and vision as a chef. As co-owner and head chef of ZINC Restaurant and CHOW New Haven, Denise credits her Grandmother Katherine for instilling in her true love for the art of cooking.
Chef Appel’s trademark cuisine features regionally farmed produce and cheeses, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, veal and poultry and fresh and non-endangered line-caught fish. At her restaurants, Denise switches her menu every few weeks and during the summer season, she will spend mornings at the Farmer’s Market before deciding what meals to cook for the evening. Denise’s Farm-to-Table approach has earned her many honors, including Edible Nutmeg’s 2008 Local Hero Award for Chef/Restaurant, Best American Restaurant for ZINC winning Overall for CT and New Haven County from Connecticut Magazine and Best Appetizer for CHOW, winning Runnerup statewide and Best for New Haven County from Connecticut Magazine.
Teaching and discussing food is another passion for Chef Appel. She introduced her Chef’s Table courses in 2008 to the public that focused on a different topic each month during the winter and spring and were received with sell-out attendance for each event. She also participates in regular community demos and guest appearances including CitySeed Farmer’s Market, WTHN, WFSB and the Delia Culinary Forum. Denise was also honored to be one of three New Haven chef’s asked to participate in New Haven’s First Iron Chef Competition.
A fan of Vietnamese-inspired cooking and, in her free time, art exhibits, metal work and painting, Denise is also regularly involved with charitable organizations in Connecticut and the surrounding areas. Outside of creating culinary masterpieces and broadening her cooking repertoire, you can also find Denise spending time with her three rescued pups or traveling the world, seeking inspiration for new dishes.