Round two with Jared Brant, exec chef of Satchel's on 6th
This is part two of my interview with Jared Brant, executive chef of Satchel's on 6th. Part one of that interview ran in this space yesterday.
Favorite restaurant in America: That's a very hard question to answer. There are so many great restaurants out there that are doing very different food...but I guess I'd say Schwa in Chicago, because I had the best meal ever there. The only people who work there are the chef/owner and three other cooks; there is no front of the house at all. The chef greets the guests, pours wine, answers the phone and then cooks the food. It takes two months to get a reservation there, but it's worth it, because the food is just amazing. It's the complete opposite of a standard fine-dining restaurant with all the smoke and mirrors.
Best food city in America: The most interesting food city to me is Chicago. People there just seem to be very accepting of whatever a chef wants to bring to the table, I suppose because there are so many different cultures there. A tiny Korean restaurant is almost as inspirational as the finest-dining restaurant, even though one may cost you $15 and the other meal may cost $500.
Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: Definitely Fruition. The entire experience, from the moment you walk through the door, is always amazing.
Current Denver culinary genius: Alex Seidel and his guys in the Fruition kitchen are putting out the best food in Denver.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: I'd like to see more molecular gastronomy. It's not my cup of tea, but nonetheless, it really interests me, and I think it would be cool to see other chefs doing a bit more of it. Molecular gastronomy pushes the envelope, and I respect and appreciate that.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: I'd like to see fewer chefs and cooks with egos. I feel like there are so many kids coming out of the culinary schools here and expecting to be paid $12 an hour because they think they work hard -- or maybe they're all just lazy stoners. But, seriously, the "Denver Five" name just bothers me. I can name five more, ten more, even 25 more chefs that represent Denver. What's up with just the "five," when there are so many more chefs who are doing such great things? I really like the chefs who have great restaurants and also eat at -- and support -- other Denver restaurants. Chefs like Jeff Osaka and Lon Symensma are always out trying other people's food and supporting new chefs in the city.
What's the best food- or kitchen-related gift you've been given? A Le Creuset French oven that my chef gave to me when I moved from Indianapolis back to Denver. I use it at least three times a day at the restaurant.
Favorite dish to cook at home: I love cooking huge steaks at home with my girlfriend, mostly because I could never afford them at restaurants.