Round two with Amos Watts, exec chef of Jax Fish House-Denver

Lori Midson

Amos Watts
Jax Fish House Denver
1539 17th Street

This is part two of my interview with Amos Watts, exec chef of Jax Fish House-Denver. Part one of my interview with Watts ran yesterday.

Favorite restaurant in America: Next in Chicago. It's a really new and exciting concept where the restaurant changes every three months. I think taking on something like that would be a crazy challenge.

Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: Pizzeria Basta in Boulder is awesome. What they can accomplish with a wood-fired oven is amazing -- and not something I can replicate at home.

What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: I'd love to see something like San Francisco's Ferry Building open in Denver -- it would be awesome to have an indoor market where you can have a year-round farmers' market atmosphere.

What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: I'd like to see fewer menus that have things like farmed salmon, frozen tilapia, out-of-season frozen halibut and processed ingredients. There's no value in those kinds of things, and that's not the kind of food I want to cook or feed people.

What's the best food- or kitchen-related gift you've been given? A set of Le Creuset pots from my mother-in-law. I use them every time I cook at home.

What are your favorite wines and/or beers? As far as wine goes, I really like the Rhone varietals that are grown in Dry Creek Valley, and what I really love about Colorado is how much beer knowledge people have. At Jax, we have an awesome beer list, and I've learned a ton about beer in the six months I've been back. Odell's IPA might be my favorite right now.

One book that every chef should read: On Food and Cooking, by Harold McGee, has taught me more about cooking and technique than any other book I have. It delves into different experiments to find out things like whether searing meat really seals in the juices -- for the record, it doesn't -- or the best way to whip egg white.

You're making a pizza. What's on it? I want to say something cool like ibérico ham, but the reality is that nine times out of ten, it's sausage, peppers, mushrooms and onions.

Location Info

Jax Fish House

1539 17th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Thunder Honky
Thunder Honky

So are we led to believe that this chef rips on Alice Waters in one response and then 3 questions later the ass-hat tells us that if he wasn't a chef he would be a farmer. Find a consistent message, fine if you want to rip on Alice Waters, she has her faults, but at least be consistent in your praise of Sysco food products.


Thunder, I don't think you fully understood what he was saying about Alice Waters.  To me it sounds like he fully appreciates the need for better ingredients in food but is frustrated that Alice Waters doesn't fully appreciate the plight of the working poor in our country (let alone the rest of the world).  The unfortunate truth is that it is still expensive to eat healthy, locally grown foods.  Read part 1 of the interview to see his true thoughts on "Sysco food products."

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