The Truffle's Rob Lawler on Spam musubi, brains, glutards and his favorite cheese

Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: There's a ton of good food in Colorado right now, which is really inspiring. Justin Brunson is making some terrific bacon that we sell at the Truffle. It's Niman Ranch pork bellies, cured very well and smoked pretty heavily; I like it a lot. There's also cheese that's as good as any in the world being made right here, too, and I'm also looking forward to selling our friend Milan's pickles. He's Indian, owns the Queen Anne B&B, and has USDA approval to do open-vat unpasteurized vegetable fermentation. He's got good stuff like traditional sauerkraut working, and his produce is from Sprout City Farms.

Favorite spice: Pimente d'espelette. It reminds me of France, and it tastes great.

One food you detest: Natto. It's fermented, slimy, rotten soybeans, and just thinking about it makes me sorry for the poor, half-starved Japanese bastard who first ate them and then decided they were going to be dinner.

One food you can't live without: Japanese rice. Karin and I eat it three to four times a week. It's our go-to easy dinner, along with salmon collar, hamburger and egg, furikake, unagi, avocado or a fried egg.

Favorite music to cook by: Elephant, by the White Stripes.

Rules of conduct in your store: Making sure that when someone comes into our shop, it's the best part of their day.

What's never in your shop? Processed cheese food -- like Velveeta and Cheez Whiz. It's neither cheese nor food.

What's always in your shop? Raw cow's milk. Karin, the boys and I drink four gallons of milk a week. We get it from our friend Michael Amen, who raises goats, chickens, ducks and cows on the Ugly Goat Dairy in Elizabeth. He's got the cleanest henhouse I've ever seen, and he treats his animals as well as most Cherry Creekers treat their little entitled dogs. We're trying to talk him into getting a pig for us. The love he has for his animals really comes through in the end.

What do you cook at home that you never make at the Truffle? I cook pretty simply at home -- lots of pasta and Japanese foods. Most people are surprised at how little cheese we actually eat -- well, probably more than your average person, but I think we eat less cheese than people would think.

Location Info

Hong Kong Cafe - CLOSED

2401 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
24 comments
Greg1701
Greg1701

Brains are underrated? No, they are properly rated.. That is to say.. They suck.

Karen
Karen

i cant believe someone compared celiac disease to autism. if you can't laugh at yourself and your flaws then fuck off. 

love, a breast cancer-tard. 

Will
Will

Is Rob a Curdturd? offered with a smile...

Proud to be GF
Proud to be GF

Rob- Your ignorance is insulting to a person like myself with celiac disease and multiple food allergies.  I'd like to point out a few facts as to why our bread is different from the bread of our ancestors so maybe you will think twice before you make comments that are incorrect and offensive to your potential customers in the future. 1.  The refining of wheat: bread today contains bleached/processed flour, missing the fiber and nutrients of freshly ground wheat used by our ancestors. 2.  Bread making was an art that took time for our ancestors.  "Artisan" breads used wild yeasts and bacteria captured from the air to help bread rise, also known as natural leavening.  There was no such thing as baker's yeast back then--which is not an actual whole food.  Natural leavening took time--at least 12 hours to develop the proper bacteria and days to develop the yeast.  There was a reason our ancestors did it this way.  The bacteria formed during this process digested some of the protein (gluten) in wheat during the fermentation process.  Traditional bread making leads to drastic changes in the composition of the dough.  It pre-digests the gluten making it easier on our digestive systems. Unfortunately, modern bread making does none of this.  We use baker's yeast because we need to pump out a loaf of bread in an hour, not days and there is no pre-digestion of the gluten in our bread. There have been studies where people with celiac disease can actually tolerate a bread made with 25% wheat when made under naturally leavened conditions because the gluten is pre-digested. 3.  Gluten is the protein in wheat and other grains that holds the dough together and gives it "legs" when it rises.  Modern breadmakers want to make lighter, fluffier bread--the answer to this:  ADD MORE GLUTEN!  Modern wheat has been altered to contain a  higher gluten content to the dismay of many intestinal tracts around the country/world. Here are just a few differences, all of which affect our health and have led to the ever increasing rate of celiac disease diagnosis among our families and friends.  1 in every 133 people have celiac disease (may or may not be diagnosed).  As a popular man in Denver, I am sure you have 133 friends--1 of which will someday tell you they have celiac disease.  Please do not call him/her a glutard.  It is offensive. 

cook1
cook1

Boring! Have you hit the bottom of the barrel of Denver chefs?

Jon
Jon

Uncalled for and downright nasty. The Lawlers have therespect and admiration of chefs all over Denver, including this one.  When one asks for a cheese recommendation atthe Truffle, the knowledge of the staff in regards to ingredients, technique,wine and cuisine is evident—and far beyond simply their appreciation for cheese.  The Lawlers have found their niche in theDenver culinary community, and I appreciate the hell out of them. Stop hating,relax with a glass of wine and indulge in some nice cheese. May be you’ll feelbetter and be able to show a little less dickishness next time.

cook1
cook1

Baloney, next we know a whole foods manager is going to have an interview in the westword, it's chef and tell not purveyor and tell.

cmack23
cmack23

Most people with Celiac disease get a cop out excuse from a doctor who can't figure out why your wittle tummy hurts so much, you must be allergic to wheat.  Its not like the dude said no we refuse to adhere to peoples needs, he just raised a very valid point that for the history of man we have subsided on wheat.  I am sure that just as there are lactotards, and pancretards lots of people are legitimately allergic.  However I have worked in the industry a long time and I know from experience that 10 years ago I had a fraction of the glutards I see now.  In fact at one point I worked at a place where we had a celiac gal, well a few weeks later her roomie was suddenly allergic to wheat too.  When we would put out a preshift, both of them ate bread w/o hesitation.  Point being chefs will do as the customer requests, if you don't want wheat product just say so....but the recent fad that is being allergic to wheat may not be all legit.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Maybe you should learn how to write before you call anyone anything ending in -tard. What the hell does "subsided on wheat" mean?

cmack23
cmack23

It's a blog, errors happen as people tend to free flow their thoughts into writing, I am not publishing this or turning it in for a grade or in hopes of obtaining a job, Chill Mantonat. Worry less about spelling and grammar and glutards and you might find a sliver of joy creeps into your life.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Well, I guess I should just chill then. If all you are doing is "free flowing your thoughts," then I will take your ideas for just that - the poorly thought out and equally poorly executed ramblings of someone who doesn't feel that his or her own thoughts are worth thinking out before putting on a permanent public forum. Typos and spelling errors are not a big deal. Saying something in a way that other people will understand is slightly more important. Representing yourself in a way that doesn't make you look like a complete moron is probably worth working toward.

cmack23
cmack23

It means we subsided on wheat

cmack23
cmack23

wow thanks montanat, my error has been fixed in this blog comment section forever...its safe to pubelish now

Mantonat
Mantonat

sub·side: Become less intense, violent, or severe: "I'll wait until the storm subsides". Lapse into silence or inactivity.

Perhaps the word of choice should have been "subsisted" but I really don't know. I can only attempt to understand what was written, not what should have been written.

Allergen Free
Allergen Free

10 Years ago there were also a heck of a lot less children with Autism. They should stop complaining too, huh?

AllergenFree
AllergenFree

Awesome. See, that's the problem with people in regards to allergies. People are ALLERGIC to things. Just because you don't have the allergy doesn't make it less of an allergy.

In this day and age there is absolutely no reason to go on pissing on someone who is allergen sensitive. I don't understand how the news stations can post allergy forecasts for those out there who are affected by pollens, but someone affected by wheat can go f--- themselves?

Don't be ignorant. As a chef you need to understand the fundamentals of what the ingredients actually are that are going into the food you're cooking. First, no one 10,000 years ago went around eating leavened bread. Don't be an ass. Second, even if they did, their wheat wouldn't be over processed shit flour that's manufactured from shit wheat grown on today's high-production farms. Add that to the fact that wheat and corn and soy are in nearly everything we eat, and we American's start becoming intolerant to everyday items. And most people, cheese boy, with a lactose intolerance, yeah...they're allergic to gluten.

So stop mouthing off to act tough. And if/when your son or daughter comes up with a food allergy (it could happen in his or her 20s) remember you said this. And when you can't find people who give a shit, remember you could have changed this.

Mantonat
Mantonat

"To make something without wheat in it. I mean, really. It was fine for 10,000 years' worth of your ancestors, but not you? Glutard."Nice going. Do you call someone with diabetes a pancreatard? Maybe that person in the wheelchair who would love it if your establishment had an accessible bathroom is just a whiny gimp. Celiac disease is exactly that - a disease. The specific symptom is that gluten causes the immune system to  attack and destroy the villi in the intestinal tract, which means that the person affected cannot absorb nutrients properly. Continued damage can lead to serious health problems, including but not limited to cancer of the intestine. Thankfully, avoiding symptoms is as simple as not eating gluten. I'd think that as someone who takes pride in serving the highest quality food to your customers, you would find it a pleasure and a challenge to help someone avoid getting sick while giving them good food. Maybe you think it's just a lifestyle choice or a fad diet, but for those with celiac disease, it's a genetic condition with serious health repercussions.As for that wheat-loving line of ancestry, many people with celiac disease come from ethnic backgrounds where gluten-containing grains were not part of that ancestral diet. Interestingly, Italy has a very large population of people with celiac disease and is also one of the worldwide leaders in developing gluten-free products. Some of the best gluten-free pastas are made by Italian companies for a primarily Italian market. Most people with celiac disease would kill to be able to eat a nice chewy baguette or a flaky croissant, but they can't so they turn to professionals like you to help them find alternatives to the bland or oddly textured products that many gluten-free companies are putting out these days. It wouldn't hurt you to show a little empathy for people who just want a good meal and it would certainly help you as a food service professional to educate yourself on some basic food biochemistry.

i heart gluten
i heart gluten

the real question is...why are you glutards always so angry? any chef is willing and able to cater to specific food allergies or intolerances. but when your problem becomes their problem, go fuck yourself!

ps rob lawler is a small business inspiration

Mantonat
Mantonat

The real question is not in fact "why are you glutards always so angry?" The real question is why would someone who is considered "a small business inspiration" in the food industry intentionally alienate any portion of his potential customer base. If "any chef is willing and able to cater to specific food allergies or intolerances," then why does Rob Lawler call out a simple request for something without wheat as the equivalent of being retarded? You ignore the fact people with celiac disease can apparently not even ask a simple question about the food and instead go for the cheap personal attack. Way to add intelligence to the conversation. None of this conversation would have even occurred if the owner of a cheese shop had not decided to make an asinine comment about one of his customer's simple questions.

Mantonat
Mantonat

I'm guessing you must have failed most of your reading comprehension tests in junior high. Here's the question Lawler was asked: "Weirdest customer request." Nowhere in the question or the response is the idea of a trend addressed. Lawler simply goes off on someone who makes a simple request because he doesn't seem to understand the nature of celiac disease. Conforming to someone's request is also not the issue. A simple yes or no answer is all that's needed. Either, yes I can make this food item without wheat or no, I can't.  If he wants to add a little detail, he certainly can. Like, "no I can't make that gluten-free because we make the base sauce once a day and it has flour in it" or "no, I'm sorry but we don't currently offer our sandwiches on gluten-free bread." Or even "I really don't know enough about a gluten-free diet to guarantee that our menu items will fit your diet. I can tell you what all the ingredients are if that will help you make a decision."  Not so hard.

cmack23
cmack23

People are being too sensitive, he didn't say it to be controversial or anything, she asked what trend bothers you, he said the Gluten thing.  Not I won't ever cater to any special needs, just that this one in paerticular he sees the most, and may be the most difficult for him to confirm to short of lacose intolerant, prbly not good cheese buyers...CHILL no reason to burn the man's storefront or anything. 

Tlemley
Tlemley

The Truffle is fabulous!  They really love to make their customers happy and have a wonderful selection of cheeses and other 'gourmet' foods and sausage.  Rob is great at suggestions for pairings and has a great knowledge of all the stuff they have in the store.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...