Good riddance! Local chefs don't want to see trash talk, crappy Mexican food, discount programs or mediocrity in 2012

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Lori Midson
Frasca Food & Wine chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson is done with the food truck trend.

As we've discovered in our weekly Chef and Tell interviews, Denver's kitchen commanders are, if nothing else, unapologetically opinionated. We pepper them with dozens of questions, and sometimes their answers are salty -- especially their responses to what they'd like to see less of in Denver from a culinary perspective. We're recapping those answers below; here's to a new year with "less fucking with flavors in food," less "gringofied" Mexican food and Groupon, and fewer "colon-clogging" steaks, egotistical chefs, burgers, molecular-gastronomy, food trucks, and social networking sites that dump on chefs and restaurants.

What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint:

Dana Rodriguez, Bistro Vendôme

Less fucking with flavors in food. I mean, what's up with lobster ice cream? I don't want any lobster in my ice cream. Highlight flavors and keep them pure. When you put too many things in one dish, all it does is cause confusion.

Rob Lawler, The Truffle

Steakhouses. I love a good steak, but why do crowds insist on spending $45 on a ridiculously huge, colon-clogging, suffered-in-a-feedlot, corn-fed steak but balk at $30 for a perfectly composed plate of fish or a well-thought-out series of tapas?

Annabelle Forrestal, Vine Street Pub, Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery and Southern Sun Brewery

Overpriced burger joints.

Amos Watts, Jax Fish House Denver

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.

Mike Peshek, Lou's Food Bar

Now that I've finally entered the technological era, I see a lot of comments on social networking sites that disparage chefs and restaurants. Sometimes people are quick to criticize our food, our restaurants or us without fully appreciating what we're trying to accomplish. Opinions are valuable, but as members of this Colorado culinary club, we should support and encourage each other as much as possible rather than engaging in trash talk and writing negative comments about a restaurant based on a one-time experience. Sites like Yelp can discourage the creation of a positive restaurant scene in Denver, and sometimes we're all -- myself included -- too quick to judge. That said, I've met a lot of good people who are helping to change my outlook.

Eric Uffelmann, Marlowe's

Stop the hand-shackling during Denver Restaurant Week. Every major city around the country does restaurant week, but it's very difficult to create and showcase our food for $52.80. We're not looking to make a huge profit, but prices are going through the roof, and we have to pay the bills. Let us do what we want, serve what we want and price it how we want rather than forcing us to work within the limitations of the $52.80 price tag. And now that they've allowed chain restaurants to be a part of Denver Restaurant Week, it's become a mockery. It's demeaning. Not only that, but it should be two non-consecutive weeks -- one week in the summer, when all the fields are wide open and we can really showcase Colorado's bounty, and then do a week in the fall. Beyond that, I'd also like to see fewer self-appointed chefs and less traffic, because it takes me way too long to get to work.

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How about no one word named restaurants? Lark, Crave, Sip, Linger etc. etc. ad nauseum

It's Jenn again...
It's Jenn again...

Groupon got outta hand quick. I'm glad I was out of the industry before they came along.


All good comments from the chefs.  Eric's is the best though.  He is right about $52.80 pricing and it should be 2 different weeks to showcase what is in season.  After eating in S.F and all CA areas north and east of that for 9 days  I was spoiled and now conclude that any "fresh" produce we get here, not in season, has been sitting in a warehouse in Denver or out by the airport for at least 5 days. 


I too would love a week in summer to showcase what fresh tastes like- and how it inspires our local chefs...  

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