Rising Star Restaurateur Steven Redzikowski and Bryan Dayton of Acorn - Biography

Denver, CO

April 2017

Bryan Dayton got his start washing dishes at Rafael’s Italian Restaurant in Tullahoma, Tennessee. An itinerant professional in his early career, he worked as a prep cook at Piggy’s BBQ, a busser at a Colorado ski resort, a waiter back in Knoxville, a bartender in Boulder, and bar manager in Encinitas, California. Dayton gained his formative experience while working his way from backwaiter to barback to bar manager as part of the opening team of Frasca Food & Wine. 

Steve Redzikowski was also part of Frasca’s inaugural crew—in a city and position a long way from his entry point into food, tossing pies at a Long Island pizzeria. Redzikowski attended culinary school, worked in New York’s Le Cirque and Jean-Georges, and made his way to Colorado by way of Th e Little Nell. After Frasca, he moved to Napa Valley to work at at two-star Cyrus, but the Rockies and an executive sous chef position at Th e Little Nell called him back to Colorado.

Th en Dayton called. Within a year Redzikowski and Dayton had opened Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder. After overcoming a devastating fi re in their fi rst year, Redzikowski and Dayton came back stronger then ever, re-opening Oak and following that success with fi ne-dining Acorn and casual counterservice Brider in Denver. 

Dayton is a certifi ed sommelier, a graduate of the Beverage Alcohol Resource Program, and founder of Sweet & Sour Cocktails and the Colorado chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. In 2014 and 2015, Redzikowski was voted Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Chef, Southwest.” He is a two-time semifi nalist for James Beard’s “Best Chef, Southwest,” and a fi nalist for the award in 2017.