Rialto Cafe's Robert McCarthy on cooking better than a second-grader
This is part two of my interview with Robert McCarthy, executive chef of Rialto Cafe. Part one of that interview ran in this space yesterday.
Favorite restaurant in America: Lupa, Mario Batali's restaurant in New York. It's really simple, straightforward food done incredibly well. Making dishes that taste that good using so few ingredients is the signature of a great chef.
Best food city in America: I don't know if it's the best food city in America, but my favorite city for food is San Francisco. I know that cities like New York, Chicago and New Orleans all have the same diversity of restaurants that San Francisco has, but having lived there for ten years, I know and appreciate the food of San Francisco much better than any other city.
Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: I've always been a big fan of Solera. I worked for Goose for a little while when I was waiting to open my bakery and really enjoyed his style of food.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Spanish/Basque food and, really, any ethnic foods outside of the standards.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Frozen, dyed, Cryovacked shitty tuna.
Current Denver culinary genius: Genius might be a little much, and I don't know that I can single anyone out, especially since there are a lot of people doing some very good things here, and I'm always looking forward to seeing who's going to bring the next idea to the table. That said, I really think Goose Sorensen is doing a great job at Solera. I really love his style of food -- it intrigues me -- and I really like him as a person. He's got a great thing going on over there.
What's the best food- or kitchen-related gift you've been given? I got a smoker for my first Father's Day from my wife that I use all the time. I think, though, that if she knew how much time I'd end up spending with it, she would have gotten me a tie.