The Chef’s Table

Created by the Chefs of Maggiano’s Little Italy

April 17, 2014

This year Maggiano’s Little Italy in Denver has teamed up with Make-A-Wish® Colorado to combine our passion for cycling with our passion for children. Five cyclists will participate in the 2014 Ride the Rockies to raise funds to support local wish kids. The team hopes to raise enough money to adopt 6-year-old Taajway’s wish to meet the dolphins at Discovery Cove.

Meet Maggiano’s Denver Ride the Rockies Team

Pennies for Miles. This year, five members of Team Maggiano’s will ride 473 miles with over 2,000 cyclists in the 2014 Ride the Rockies cycling event sponsored by the Denver Post from June 3rd to June 9th. That’s a team total of 2,365 miles! By pledging a penny for every mile we ride, you will be donating $23.65 to help the team reach their goal of sponsoring Taajway’s wish! Please share and help us accomplish our goal at

Meet Maggiano’s Ride the Rockies Team
Bill Billings, Maggiano’s Little Italy Area Director
Bill has always been a cyclist for transportation and recreation. Upon moving to Colorado, he discovered that bicycles also became an avenue to the mountains at a pace that you can actually experience the outdoors, not just drive past the environment. The fitness aspect is also very rewarding. Bill started endurance cycling as a bit of a challenge 6 years ago and is addicted to the sport and challenges of multi day rides.

J.D. Crais, Maggiano’s Little Italy Server, Bartender & Sommelier
J.D. started doing triathlons and mountain bike races after falling in love with the sport at an early age. After a long time of not riding, he was inspired to do a solo 24 hour mountain bike race. It took over 2 years of training to accomplish his goal.  J.D. has since retired from racing, but on occasion he participates in cyclo-cross races. “Cyclo-cross is by far the most fun I have ever had racing a bike,” he says, “but mostly I just ride for fun and fitness.”

George DiCarlo, Colorado’s first Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming and Loyal Maggiano’s Guest
In addition to his Olympic medal, George was also awarded the prestigious PAC-10 Gold Medal for Academic Achievement and Athletic Leadership, representing the University of Arizona in 1985. George lives in Lone Tree, Colorado with his wife Amy and daughters Sydney and McKenna. Both girls have decided to follow in his footsteps by swimming competitively. “Combining this event as a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish is the perfect way to live our dreams while giving back to children who have their own wishes and dreams by giving them something else to think about.”

Jeff Mann, Maggiano’s Little Italy Culinary R&D Chef
Jeff has participated in about a dozen cycling events across the country. Finding time to spend outdoors with his family and riding in bicycle tours reflects Chef Mann’s culinary point of view and the growing trend towards dietary consciousness and an active, balanced lifestyle. He unconditionally believes in innovation, continuous learning and development, all combined with a little salt, pepper, and passion!

Bryan Mortimer, Loyal Maggiano’s Guest
Bryan’s sister was an integral part of his riding hobby in his thirties.  Since then, he has participated in six century rides – including the Triple Bypass in 2013 as well as the Copper Triangle ride twice.  He enjoys meeting new people while riding as well as the challenge.  A Senior Mining Engineer, Bryan is married with two sons and a daughter. His entire family is very active with cycling, swimming, cross country and basketball. He and his wife have ridden the 45 mile route for the Wacky W ride together for the past 2 years.  

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