About Us

Sapore Prime Italian is the merging of ingredients, flavors and friends.

Old hospitality friends, Terrence Gibbons and Daphnee Duplaix, each knew they wanted their own restaurant someday, but it wasn’t until they both separately found the same Roxborough corner location that they realized it was meant to be. With a location selected, and the idea of a steakhouse merged with a pasta-forward menu in mind, they found Executive Chef Brent Turnipseede, a local award-winning chef to creatively combine the flavors of local Colorado ingredients with traditionally inspired Italian pastas. Sapore is founded by friends and driven by flavor; join us for cocktails and appetizers, house-cut steaks and freshly made pasta.

Terrence Gibbons

Founding Owner

Terrence’s journey through every level of the hospitality industry is now complete with the opening of Sapore Prime Italian. He’s worked a multitude of positions from dishwasher, to dive bar bartender, to management at a five-diamond resort, amongst others – all of which led him to owning and running his own restaurant.  

After living in the Roxborough Park for several years with his wife and two kids, Terrence realized he wanted to bring the Denver food scene to the foothills, an opportunity that he envisions will continue to build the local community; allowing neighbors and friends to share conversation over a bowl of pasta or a fresh-cut steak, with a hand-crafted cocktail in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.  

Terrence believes strongly in the meaning of Sapore, which translates to flavor; “you can’t enjoy a night our or time with family if you’re not surrounded by good, flavorful food and tasty cocktails.” To Terrence, flavor is at the root of a good time. When not having a good time managing the restaurant, Terrence and his family can be found in the mountains camping and/or snowboarding; when at home he’s perfecting “butter pasta” for his kids and exploring every new video game adventure he can find.

Terrence Head Shot

Daphnee Duplaix

Founding Owner

At the early age of eleven, Daphnee began her restaurant experience by washing dishes at a family-friend owned restaurant in exchange for a few bucks. Her knowledge of food and hospitality flourished as she learned how to cook growing up, eventually learning how to add her own personal flare to every dish. 

Daphnee made her way from restaurants in Florida, to movie sets in Los Angeles where she began a decade long acting career. When it was time to move on, Daphnee returned to the hospitality industry, this time in fine dining. She always viewed working as a server as a performance of sorts, acting, but on a different type of stage. She moved to Denver, Colorado working as a bartender and server while simultaneously turning down offers for management positions, facetiously stating that she would “only take on the responsibility of managing when she opens her own place.”

That dream came true when Daphnee found, and pushed for, the opportunity to open Sapore Prime Italian, in her old Colorado neighborhood, Roxborough Park.

Daphnee travels constantly, a bug she was bit by early in life. She’s made it her life’s goal to share the world with her four kids, exposing them to as much hospitality and travel as possible.

Daphnee Duplaix

Derik Spears

Executive Chef

Derik brings over 20 years of culinary experience and a deep passion for food and hospitality to Sapore Prime Italian. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Derik’s love for cooking started at a young age, helping his grandmother prepare Sunday dinners and holiday get-togethers. At the age of nineteen, Derik applied for his first job in a fine dining restaurant at Pachamamas, starting at the bottom and working his way up to Sous Chef by 22 under the guidance of his then-mentor Chef Brian Stretcher.

 After five years, Derik left to open Hank Charcuterie, a from-scratch charcuterie and local butcher shop. Shortly after opening Hank Charcuterie, Derik was asked to become a regional chef for The Kitchen & Next-door Group in Colorado, where he was in charge of opening multiple locations and new concepts across the US. After years with the Next Door group, Derik joined the team at one of Denver’s top steakhouses, Guard & Grace, in Denver. His hard work and dedication were an integral part of Sapore Prime Italian being named one of Denver’s top 25 best Italian restaurants, top steak houses, and one of the best restaurants to open in 2022 by 5280 Magazine in less than a year.

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