Chef and Tell with Alex Seidel of Fruition
What you'd like to see more of in Denver from a culinary standpoint: Quality seafood markets. It would be nice to shop for the freshest available seafood without having to go to Whole Paycheck -- I mean Whole Foods -- every time.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver from a culinary standpoint: Culinary schools. I don't want to bash on culinary schools, but I can count six or seven in the Denver area alone. For the price of an Ivy-League education, students at some of these schools are introduced to watered-down information. In turn, restaurants are faced with hiring watered-down talent.
After-work hangout: If I can get out, I go to Don's Mixed Drinks and have a PBR. The drinks are stiff -- too stiff.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Raw veal brains on a dare. The texture was like snot.
You're making a pizza. What's on it? Prosciutto, porcini mushrooms, arugula, Parmesan and a touch of white truffle oil.
You're making an omelet. What's in it? I haven't made an omelet since culinary school. But if I had to, it would be bacon, cheese, shallots and chives. Over easy with runny yolks is how I order my eggs.
What's never in your kitchen? Lobster. I had to make the lobster mac-and-cheese on the menu at Mizuna for four damn years. Do you know how many people asked me to make that dish? I'm so over it.
Current Denver culinary genius: Wow, "genius" is a strong term. I think Denver is loaded with culinary talent, but the "genius" is that we all work together as a chef-community to make Denver the best food city it can be.
Hardest lesson you've learned: The hardest lesson I've had to learn is how to balance my time. With a growing family, a busy restaurant, friends, culinary events - and now a farm - I have to remember that life outside of work is most important. If you can't be happy outside of work, you'll never find happiness within your craft. I'd like to be out there doing more and enjoying the city, but my family is really important to me.
What's next for you? As always, I'll continue to work on improving Fruition because I think we can always get better. And now that I have a farm, I have projects for life and exciting new things to learn. But before that happens, my next milestone will be researching and picking out a tractor for the farm and the birth of our second child in February.
For part two of Lori Midson's interview with Alex Seidel, check back here tomorrow.