Keegan Gerhard is the Chef and Owner of D Bar Restaurant in Denver, CO. and D Bar Restaurant in Hillcrest San Diego. Gerhard, named one of the nation’s top 10 pastry chefs of 2002 and 2004 by both Chocolatier and Pastry Arts & Design magazines, brings an enthusiastic yet controlled approach to pastries. Chef Keegan has been featured on shows such as the Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of America,” CNN, HGTV, DIY and most notably as Host and Head Judge of Food Network's Food Network Challenge and Last Cake Standing series. A one-time cyclist training for the Olympics, Keegan found his passion for pastry and sought out only the best to educate and guide him through his culinary discoveries. While assisting the celebrated Master Pastry Chef, Jacquy Pfeiffer, the Alsace-born owner and founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago, Gerhard experienced a very unique apprenticeship and awakening. Subsequent to his new found expertise, positions as Pastry Chef with Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant, the Waldorf Astoria and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company ensued, then Gerhard moved on to the titles as Corporate Pastry Chef for Dean & Deluca, Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons in Chicago and Executive Assistant Pastry Chef of the Wynn in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, Gerhard has traveled extensively in pursuit of more experience, knowledge and inspiration. Gerhard served as technical advisor to Team USA for the 2001 Pastry World Cup where they brought home the gold medal and has also been invited to participate in 9 different James Beard Dinners. In 2012, chef Keegan was honored with a Doctorate of Culinary Arts by Johnson & Wales University. Keegan’s latest feat is the reopening of his Denver location (about a mile West of their previous location). Open November 2014, the new location promises the same ol’ D Bar people know and love but with more seating, reservations, gelato, and more!
Sometimes what defines a person is not always obvious. Not the case with Lisa Bailey. She is a Texan through and through- born and raised in Brazoria, TX. Being from the south it is no surprise that food is one of her greatest passions! Lisa’s love of cooking was inspired at an early age with Julia Child episodes and visits with her grandmother in Louisiana. She adored her grandmothers copper pots and kitchenaid mixer and the refined southern cuisine that she prepared so effortlessly. At age 12, Lisa wrote a poem titled “ A Chef Is What I Want To Be” and her future became clear. After graduating high school, Lisa won the Anne Criswell scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Houston. During school Lisa had the opportunity to work in the pristine kitchens of the Houston Country Club and Four Seasons Hotel where her love of pastry was ignited. She continued her career as pastry chef for John Harris at Lilette Restaurant in New Orleans after meeting her soul mate in love and pastry at the Coupe de Monde in Lyon, France. The next important step in her pastry career was a move to Las Vegas. Lisa once again joined the team at the Four Seasons before becoming the opening pastry chef for Corsa Restaurant at the Wynn Las Vegas. It was during their time in Vegas that Lisa, and now husband - Keegan Gerhard, realized that their dream of opening a place of their own wouldn’t always have to be just a dream. In 2008, Lisa and Keegan brought their dream to reality with the opening of D Bar Desserts in Denver, Colorado. Lisa was quickly named best new pastry chef in Denver by local media and D Bar named top 10 best new restaurants in Denver by 5280 magazine in its opening year. D Bar has been awarded People’s Choice Best Desserts in Denver every year since it opened. Lisa and Keegan’s plan for D Bar was simple: only build them in cities that they love! In 2012, they opened a second award winning D Bar Restaurant in San Diego, California. Lisa’s most recent accomplishment was moving D Bar Denver to a space that’s more than three times larger than the original. In this new space, Lisa and Keegan have finally been able to bring the full vision of D Bar Restaurant to their loyal fans. One can only imagine what the future will hold for this talented young woman but one thing is certain – it is sure to be sweet!
Priestess of Potables
Courtney is Virginia born and bred and a true small town Southern girl at heart. Working in restaurants since she was 15 and bartending since she legally could, she became more deeply involved in the industry upon graduating from Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in Classics. Courtney truly cut her teeth as the front of house manager at a small fine-dining restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley, The Red Hen, noted for having Cooking Light’s Best Small Town Chef in America 2012, Colin Donnelly. It was here that she learned to orchestrate the day to day of a restaurant in addition to curating a wine collection and crafting a cocktail menu. Courtney worked closely in conjunction with Donnelly to highlight the local produce of the area in both food and drinks, which is when she really fell in love with the concept of sourcing everything for a restaurant within just a few miles. Her ultimate goal is to open a restaurant of her own that highlights the bounty of the American South. After helping to open several restaurants in Virginia she moved to Colorado in order to learn from the blossoming restaurant industry in Denver, arriving just in time to help with the grand re-opening of D Bar Denver. You can find her here behind the bar weekend nights and helping the team as a front of house manager the rest of the week.
Boss of Sauce
Zacharoni & cheese is a Denver native whos passion for food comes from his family traditions. He enjoys long walks in the kitchen and a romantic dinner prepared by him for someone else.
Zach has been in the industry since he was 14, practically growing up in his dad's bar & grill. Zach and his pops opened up their own restaurant together in 2009 but he was destined to find a home with D Bar. In 2010 he joined the team at D bar Denver. He later moved to California in 2012 to be the opening savory chef for D Bar San Diego and is now back in action in Denver!
"I love the connection people have with food, it can take you to a place you've never been or all the way back to your child hood."
Temptress of Treats
Michelle is originally from Albuquerque, NM and moved to Denver by way of Nashville in the early summer of 2008. She sort of happened upon D Bar for dinner in late July shortly after the original location opened. Having just recently moved to Denver and looking for something fun and exciting to do it seemed fate had intervened. She was offered a job by Keegan as he was making her dessert that very night and being a self proclaimed dessert connoisseur she happily accepted. Having dabbled in the restaurant industry and spending most of her time in jobs with a customer service focus she was thrilled to join the D Bar team and help build the brand from the beginning. Coming in as a server she held just about every Front of the House position available, including a stint as Keegan and Lisa’s personal assistant and occasionally getting to help Lisa out with a bit of cake decorating. She even had D Bar participate in her wedding, with Keegan officiating the ceremony and having her reception on the patio at the original D Bar location! She worked at the original D Bar location for over 5 years and after a brief hiatus, realized where her true passion lies and rejoined our team at the new location in March of 2016 as our Retail Manager. With a big smile and an upbeat attitude she is making coffee drinks, scooping gelato, blending milkshakes, taking cake orders, boxing goodies, and generally having a blast over on our retail side of the restaurant. So take a minute, swing by and say hello, because one of our treats will absolutely make your day or someone else’s!
“I just love dessert! It’s one of those things in life you can’t help but smile about and being able to make people smile every day is such a simple but wonderful gift.”
Lord of Liquor (L.O.L.)
Charles comes to us from sunny Laguna Beach, California where he was born and raised. He moved to Denver in the summer of 2012, but still considers himself a Californian through and through. Having worked in all areas of the industry since he was 15 years old, Charles honed his front of the house skills and developed his passion for food and beverage while completing college in California’s wine country. “My college experience was much different than the typical college student. Instead of going to frat parties we would go wine tasting at the local wineries. That’s really where my love for wine and fresh ingredients began.” Upon completion of his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, he worked for some of the top restaurants up and down the California coast from Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach to top rated Bay area restaurant Perbacco. At one point Charles stepped away from the restaurant industry and decided to pursue a career in landscape architecture but quickly realized that his passion for hospitality out weighed his desire to sit behind a desk. With that he returned to the restaurant industry and quickly worked his way into management. After previously developing the bar program at Parallel Seventeen, we are thrilled to have him coming up with his many concoctions behind the bar as D Bar’s bar manager. “I love making people laugh and smile and people always come to the bar looking for a good time. It is a perfect combination!”