Eric Uffelmann, exec chef of Marlowe's, rips on Denver Restaurant Week and revels in foie gras

EricU.jpg
Lori Midson

Eric Uffelmann
Marlowe's
501 16th Street
303-595-3700
www.marlowesdenver.com

It's just past 4 p.m. on a Monday, and the bar at Marlowe's, the oldest independently owned restaurant on the 16th Street Mall, which will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary next February, is already crushed with a sizable crowd. Equally sizable plates and platters emerge from the kitchen; there's rarely a lull. And that's the way Eric Uffelmann, the executive chef of Marlowe's, likes it. "This is nothing," he says, dismissing the rising volume in both sound and bodies. "We get absolutely packed in here, and I like staying busy; otherwise I get bored."

Uffelmann, who was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, grew up on Long Island and still carries a discernible accent, comes from a family of culinarians. "My grandfather always made fresh pastas and breads while I was growing up, and his stash of olive oils was amazing," recalls Uffelmann, whose stepfather attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park -- a path that Uffelmann would eventually follow.

But not before pouring four years into a conventional university, where he learned how to crunch numbers. "For some reason, I wanted to be an accountant, so I got my business administration degree, and then I decided that I really didn't want to be one of those guys who threw myself out of a downtown building," he confesses. "I grew up fishing and couldn't envision myself in a cubicle, pushing papers, but I needed to figure out what the hell I was going to do, so I decided to go to culinary school at the CIA."

And he'd cooked before, both as a kid growing up and during high school, when he spent a few years tossing pizzas. "I worked at a lot -- a lot -- of pizzerias, and I loved it," says Uffelmann, who also remembers the first dish he made as a kid: "It was a fringed tomato with lettuce and tuna fish in the middle of it, and I'm fairly certain that my mother still has a picture of it."

Uffelmann has plenty of snapshots from culinary school, too, where he sponged up all he could during his time in the classroom. "I was like a kid in a candy store, and I worked my ass off," he says. He graduated, pondered his next move and came to the conclusion that it was time to leave the Big Apple. "I'm a water boy, fishing since I was five, and Florida sounded like a good place to go," he recalls. So off he went, in search of a lifestyle that fulfilled his passion for sea critters, food and cooking.

Location Info

Marlowe's

501 16th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
Frankie
Frankie

Marlowe's-bending over unsuspecting tourists sice 1980. 

CircleLimit
CircleLimit

Not all chefs come off as arrogant jerks in these "Chef and Tell" interviews. Last week's edition with Patrick Horvat from Venue was really good. That guy presented himself as humble and appreciative. (I am not affiliated whatsoever with the industry, Westword, Venue, and I've never met Patrick). There have been a few others too.

But I will admit Chef Uffelmann didn't do himself or his restaurant any favors with the tone of his answers here. Being proud of your skills or establishment is one thing but yikes.

I can imagine Restaurant Week being a Catch 22 for restaurant owners and staff, particularly when the cost of product is going up.

Donthate
Donthate

Don't hate this guy for telling the truth.  Anyone in the business will tell you that Restaurant Weeks are the worst two weeks of the year.  The restaurant is filled with needy bargain hunters who bitch about how crowded it is and how slow the service is while they stuff their faces with their fifth plate of free bread and ask for more lemons and sugar to make their own lemonade. Again, for free.  As a for profit business, what restaurants actually are, owners feel obligated to participate, as a business decision.  The price of the raw materials needed to serve the dinner have increased by 30% over the last seven years, yet, the fixed price remains the same.  It is increasingly difficult to provide an experience that people enjoy without losing your shirt as an operator.  Rarely are any of these 'diners' seen during the other 50 weeks of the year. 

Jessehall
Jessehall

Why is it so hard for these chefs not to come off like assholes in these interviews? Although I must say this chump comes off as a particularly big one. I've never even heard of Marlowe's 

Jeff
Jeff

Marlowe's?  Is it 1986?

I look forward to the Chef and Tell with Larry from The Olive Garden next week.

Flaneuse
Flaneuse

why do all chefs sound like the kind of entitled dickbags that any reasonable human being would punch in the face after five minutes of hearing them spout off?

it's "insofar," not 'insomuch," halfwit. and it's bullshit anyway; ribbon cane does not vary like honey - he just wants to sound like he knows eversomuch about a vestigial ingredient which is typically difficult to find outside an old white trash alabama granny's pantry, still produced only on small-scale (automatically qualifying it as "artisanal"), and which most urbanites have forgotten about - in other words, a hip ingredient of the moment. if you're going to spout crap like that, you've got no place calling the antioxidant craze bullshit, honestly.

remind me never to eat at marlowe's. i dislike paying for food cooked by selfcongratulatory douche canoes. i'm pretty sure people ooze into chefdom not because they "don't want to throw themselves out of an office building in five years," but because they realize that any rational set of coworkers would fucking defenestrate them involuntarily after about three months of daily contact.

three months or less.

Chef3
Chef3

Lol, who goes to Marlowe's for Restaurant Week anyway?

Cook2
Cook2

Wow, get over it times are tough all over.  If I get to go to a restaurant that I normally can't afford because it is price fixed at $52.80 then I am going to go.  Correct me if I am wrong but doing Restaurant week is voluntary .   

Cook1
Cook1

Antioxidants a farce? Apparently this chef does not have a clue about biochemistry.

epl
epl

Nothing like hyperbole to make a point.  With that much gruff, I'd hope you'll be willing to publicly state which restaurant "in the business" you work at.  That way I'll know to not go there during any of the 52 weeks of the year.

TT
TT

Hey Flaneuse, when was the last time you got laid you fucking dicklick?

Jon S
Jon S

Who goes to Marlowe's period?

guest
guest

 those "natural" ingredients are so pricey though.

Kimberly
Kimberly

Completely agree. If you don't want to participate in Restaurant Week, then stop. Whining like an indolent child about doing something that is 150% voluntary makes very little sense to me.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...