Round two with Will Cisa, exec chef of the Corner Office
This is part two of my interview with Will Cisa, executive chef of the Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar. In part one of that interview, Cisa dished on monumental cooking disasters, Euclid Hall's boudin noir and the impossible thirty-minute meal.
Greatest accomplishment as a chef: Probably when the Willamette Week -- the Westword of Portland -- called my food "an extravagant carnival of meat, simply and beautifully prepared." I think I want that written on my tombstone.
Favorite restaurant in America: Seewee restaurant in Awendaw, South Carolina. It's got bare pine walls, picnic tables, perfect, fresh, simply prepared seafood that comes straight from the fisherman to the kitchen, and middle-age waitresses who call you honey.
Best food city in America: Vancouver, British Columbia, for its amazing diversity and interplay of cultures, and New York, for the same reason; Portland, Oregon, for its entrepreneurial spirit and do-it-yourself ethics, like making things from scratch and going all the way back to slaughtering the pig yourself; and Charleston, South Carolina, for its long growing season, big bench of talent, strong food culture and one of the best fisheries in the country.
Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: Seoul BBQ in Aurora. A few weeks ago, we downed three bottles of Shochu, fifteen banchan, a giant pile of meat, soup, Korean pancakes and bibimbap in two-and-a half-hours, and it only cost $125 for all of it.
Current Denver culinary genius: I haven't really been here long enough to answer that question as confidently as I'd like, but I've had really great meals so far at Jennifer Jasinski's restaurants -- Euclid Hall, Rioja and Bistro Vendome -- all of which serve things I really like to eat, including the refined Frenchy stuff that I'm sometimes in the mood for.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Right now, what I'd really like to see more of is spring. Culinarily, I'd like to see more diversity in street food. I came here from Portland, where I could get amazing Polish meatballs right next to Korean tacos right next to deep-fried Czech pork sandwiches.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: I don't see why every menu here has to have sliders on it. They're so overdone, and I've seriously never seen a city with so many menus that have sliders on them.