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In memoriam

Remembering Chef David Beckwith, lecturer in the School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism.

By Lindsey Coulter

September 24, 2019

David BeckwithDavid Beckwith, chef and former lecturer in the School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism, died Sept. 17 at age 66. Beckwith, who is survived by his partner Richard Myroth, taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver from 2013-19. The dedicated and energetic educator will be remembered for his passion for food and for supporting students.

Those who would like to honor Beckwith’s life and contributions to the University community can attend a celebration of life Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. at Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary, 7777 W. 29th Ave. in Wheat Ridge.

During his time at MSU Denver, Beckwith taught courses in baking and pastry, international cooking, food science and fundamentals, and pairing food with beer and wine. However, his lifelong love of the culinary arts began in his youth with a failed homemade cherry chip chocolate cake. The unsuccessful confection stirred his curiosity about the science of baking, which grew as he cooked for his large family while growing up in Iowa.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University of Iowa, Beckwith found professional success in California. He served as the head chef at Fog City Diner in San Francisco as well as at the acclaimed Rio Grill in Carmel. He later became the chef-owner of Central 159 in Pacific Grove before becoming executive chef and partner at Il Fornaio. Over his 35-plus-year career, Beckwith also served as a menu developer for local restaurants, taught culinary courses at the Art Institute of Colorado and worked with renowned chefs such as Julia Child, Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower.

These real-world experiences made him an ideal educator and mentor to MSU Denver students. As a Roadrunner, Beckwith was known for his collegiality and his ability to create engaging and well-attended events through partnerships with other courses and instructors. He made sure to recognize student success and herald achievements.

Aside from food, Beckwith filled his life with animals, art and activism. He was an avid collector of paintings, photography and sculpture, and was involved with local hunger organization We Don’t Waste. He annually supported the nonprofit’s Fill a Plate for Hunger fundraiser, and his contributions to live auctions in particular helped raise thousands of dollars for hunger alleviation. Those wishing to honor his memory may do so by making a donation to the organization.

Topics: School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism

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