About First Bite: Boulder County Restaurant Week

For the past fifteen years, First Bite: Boulder County Restaurant Week has illuminated the Boulder County restaurant scene, becoming one of the most popular restaurant events in Colorado. Every November, over 10,000 diners come out to see what their favorite restaurant is serving up and to visit that new restaurant they’ve been dying to try. By featuring a myriad of restaurants – everything from best-kept secrets to fine dining stars – diners experience a celebration of the culinary creativity of the season’s best ingredients.

First Bite prioritizes strengthening the community, just as much as it prioritizes elevating the Boulder County restaurant scene. Our restaurants are an essential piece of the vitality of Boulder, and our diners know that the restaurants are one of the biggest supporters of the local schools, non-profits and events of all kinds. In 2019, a new program was launched to raise money and awareness for local non-profits with the support of local businesses and the restaurants. By bringing together 68 organizations, the First Bite program generated more support and deepened the connection locals have to their community.

With the pandemic ravaging our restaurant industry and knowing social distancing requirements won’t be changing anytime soon, First Bite will look quite different this year. Instead of packing dining rooms, First Bite will be producing a limited-run cookbook featuring over 40 recipes from 30 local restaurants. To further deepen the roots of love and support for our food community, at least 50% of proceeds from A Bite of Boulder and philanthropic gifts will go into a relief fund for the participating restaurants. By sharing your love for Boulder’s incredible restaurants, their people, their food, you can also support their survival. Food is Love – Now, more than ever, show the love.

In the Press

Media Contact

For media inquiries, please contact: Emily Tracy, ROOT Marketing & PR

[email protected]

919.449.4803

Media Kit

For press release, about, bios and more, click here to view the media kit.

Media Kit
Jessica Benjamin

©Megan Newton Photography

Jessica Benjamin Bio

For nearly two decades, First Bite Producer Jessica Benjamin has committed her time and energy to connecting her community to local food. From marketing one of Boulder’s most prominent restaurants to producing events with restaurants across Boulder County, to now taking one of Colorado’s most popular food events to the next level, Jessica is an important part of the fabric of the Boulder County restaurant scene.

After growing up in Colorado and receiving her degree from the University of Colorado, Jessica worked her way from hostess to managing the marketing for The Kitchen, where she coordinated their events as they were just opening up The Upstairs. She then shifted to Access Marketing & Events, a local small business producing large-scale corporate events, including global conferences and trade shows. As Director of Operations, she managed sponsorships from more than 300 businesses every year through six events worldwide.

In 2010, Jessica founded 1517 Events, first as a side-hustle and then in 2014, left the corporate world to dive in full time to craft world-class events to serve Boulder County. She has since designed and executed dozens of events in Boulder with non-profits and their established partners, including Jax Fish House, The Kitchen, Isabelle Farm, The Post Brewing Co., Corrida, Avery Brewing Co., Snooze an A.M. Eatery, and many others.

Throughout her time in Boulder, Jessica has collaborated and worked with area nonprofits, businesses, restaurants, the University of Colorado, and even as a Campaign Manager for her husband’s campaign in 2017. After experiencing Boulder’s growth and evolution for more than 15 years, Jessica invested even more into her community by purchasing First Bite: Boulder County Restaurant Week in March 2019. In her first year as Executive Producer, First Bite saw a more than 30% jump in diners, serving over 11,300 guests over the nine-day event. Through partnerships with over 68 restaurants, non-profits, local businesses and organizations, First Bite delivered over $542,000 economic impact to Boulder County.

With an intrinsic desire to deepen the connection between her community and the Boulder County food industry, extensive knowledge of the Boulder restaurant scene, invaluable long-term partnerships with area eateries, and an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit, Jessica is driven to build and connect First Bite’s guests to the Boulder County restaurant and food scene all year long.

In her free time, Jessica enjoys all Boulder has to offer with her husband and two small children. On the weekends, they often enjoy gardening, traveling, cooking and exploring Colorado’s outdoor wonders. She has worked with Garden to Table (Growe Foundation), both as a board member for four years, and as a volunteer for more than a decade, to support their efforts to improve nutrition at school, and enrich education experiences through school gardens and curriculum.