American Express – Chef Lachlan’s beer and food recommendations offer the best of Denver in the New Centurion Lounge

While we are all traveling, American Express gives us a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Denver International Airport (DIA) has just opened its newest and most chic lounge to the public.

At over 14,000 square meters, DIA’s Centurion Lounge is the second largest and offers breathtaking views and mountain-inspired interiors. Geometric installations on the ceilings are intended to mimic the vastness of the Rocky Mountains, while a mural depicting them is visible from both the hall and the lounge.

The new Centurion Lounge under the direction of Chef Lachlan at DIA.

© Brad Feinknopf / feinknopf ph

The menu features Italian-inspired treats from Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. The James Beard Foundation’s award-winning chef and restaurateur co-founded the Frasca Hospitality Group and Scarpetta Wines, which bring a new perspective to the new Denver Centurion Lounge. Chef Lachlan has developed a menu that is heavily influenced by his travels in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of northern Italy. The focus is on small amounts of local and artisanal ingredients and cuisine. No more buffets, but changing menus from breakfast to dinner offer dishes such as Gubana French Toast and Rigatoni al Portonat. Below, Chef Lachlan even gave these lucky DIA-tied passengers a pairing guide.

“We are excited to introduce our Premium Card members, Denver International Airport, to a new Centurion Lounge at one of the busiest airports and provide them with a safe and comfortable space when they want to resume their travel,” said Alexander Lee. Vice President for Travel Experiences and Benefits. “We worked closely with local partners to design a space that would bring all of Denver’s unique offerings to life, from the renowned craft brewery and culinary scene to the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.”

While Denver is known as the Mile High City, the new lounge has many nods to its lesser-known features. The aptly named Craft Beer Bar 1 pays homage to over 70 breweries in Denver and will change the beers made in Colorado seasonally. First up are offerings from Denver Beer Co, ODD13 Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, and Left Hand Brewing Company. Cocktail lovers, fear not, mixologist Jim Meehan creates Colorado-inspired cocktails. Anthony Giglio was tapped to complete the drinks with a carefully curated wine list.

A cup filled with tiramisu is a new dessert in the Centurion Lounge at DIA in Denver

A tiramisu shot from AMEX’s new Centurion Lounge at DIA.

© Brad Feinknopf / feinknopf ph

While things are certainly a bit different, what was the biggest challenge for Chef Lachlan?

“The biggest challenge recently has been the duration of the virus. The inability to travel freely for inspiration and connect with our colleagues has had a huge impact. As someone who is used to being in Italy four to five times a year and coming up with new ideas, this was a curveball. “

Below are Chef Lachlan’s top 5 recommended pairings:

  • Quinoa salad, cucumber, tomato, roasted cauliflower, olives, oranges, pine nuts -> Avery Liliko’i Kepolo Wheat Witbier
  • Roasted chestnut soup with apple and bacon -> Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche Ale
  • Grilled chicken in Salsa Verde Amatriciana Potatoes and green beans -> Tivoli Helles Lager
  • Girini de Pasta – Root Vegetables, Ham, Hazelnut -> Denver Beer Co., Incredible Pedal IPA
  • Tiramisu Sagittarius -> Elevation “Lil Mo ‘Porter”

A chef cooks in the Centurion AMEX Lounge at Denver Airport

A live cooking station in AMEX’s new Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport.

© Brad Feinknopf / feinknopf ph

Safety is of course on everyone’s lips and today’s common practices of social distancing have been implemented in all lounges. Other safety practices include reduced capacity, increased cleaning frequency, strict requirements for face coverings, and more.

Fun and games are still allowed, even encouraged. With safe and detached pool and shuffleboard tables, large format versions of Connect Four and even Checkers are offered. As an official stance and to calm everything: “As part of the Centurion Lounge Commitment, games are cleaned and disinfected after each use.”