The Trinity Grille's Patrick Canfield goes after gluten-free diets and admits he doesn't give a rat's ass about reviews

PatTrinity.jpg
Lori Midson
This is part one of my interview with Trinity Grille's Patrick Canfield. Check back here tomorrow to read part two.

Patrick Canfield
Trinity Grille
1801 Broadway
303-293-2288
www.trinitygrille.com

Most of us have scrubbed a few pots and scraped a few plates, but if you eat dinner every night at home, along with your parents and eight brothers and sisters, it's highly probable that the job of dish duty ranks right up there with picking up poodle poop. But Patrick Canfield is a dishwashing master -- in part, he says, because he was frequently late to the dinner table. "We were a clan of nine kids, and we met at the dinner table every day at 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., and if you were late, my mother, who didn't believe in not feeding her kids as punishment, instead made you do all the dishes for eleven people, which took...shit, three hours. I was always late, especially during baseball season," he confesses.

But Canfield, who's been cooking behind the burners of the Trinity Grille for ten years, started on his culinary path early, working in restaurants throughout high school. "If I wasn't in the kitchen at home helping my mom, who was the best cook in the world, I was cooking in restaurants to make extra money, because when you come from a family of nine kids, you don't get an allowance," he deadpans.

Money, however, wasn't the only motivator. "I really liked being in the kitchen; I learned a lot and I was good at it," he says. And he got good tips, too, at least while doing time as a short-order graveyard-shift cook at the Waffle House, his first job in Denver after moving here from Detroit the day after he graduated from high school. "I loved it, and I got great tips, because they were largely based on theatrics, and I could juggle eggs like nobody's business -- and the customers, no pun intended, would egg me on," Canfield remembers.

He switched that juggling act for another one at the long-gone Writer's Manor hotel, where he did it all -- the a.m. line, banquets, the night shift and manning the coffee shop. But he left because the "chef didn't know a damn thing," he says. "The chef had a whole box of kitchen tools, one of which was a truffle slicer, and he didn't even know what it was, much less how to use it, and since I'd tapped the minds of all the sous chefs -- and there was nothing more to learn from the chef -- I took off to do something else."


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Trinity Grille

1801 Broadway St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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10 comments
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Illy
Illy

I can't believe how unprofessional this guy is! He bashed his other employers all over town. If you get to be written about in a successful newspaper, you should be a little more humble. 

catering phoenix
catering phoenix

really when i read the head line same thing is happened for me, after reading the whole description the title is right.

guest
guest

Patrick, long time. Remember the Vortex, drinking Pernod and didn't know you had diabetes?I will never forget Gerard V. either. He was a tool, with tools. I brought all the beer you gentlemen needed for the beer soup at Writers, strange I don't remember it on the menu.Good to see ya.

Moonchild
Moonchild

I'm one of those people who has Celiac's disease (diagnosed in July) but lies to everyone so that I CAN eat gluten. Bread and pasta are habits I just can't break. However, I am grateful that, should my health issues ever reach the point that I am forced to succumb to a restricted diet - the gluten-free options are out there.  Additionally, I don't know anyone who has ever lost weight by simply eliminating gluten from their diet.

Moonchild
Moonchild

Also, I am old enough to remember Writer's Manor, as my dad's company held regular meetings there in the 70's, resulting in our family having many delicious dinners in the restaurant.  It was my first exposure to sauteed mushrooms, fried zucchini and the MOST amazing Yorkshire pudding.  My sister and I would fight over who got to sit in the (hanging?) wicker throne chair.

No
No

then you dont really know anyone.  B/c it will work.  if for no other reason it kinda turns into a default Atkins diet.  

Wrong
Wrong

Eliminating gluten turns into a "default Atkins" diet?  Bullshit! Eliminating carbs includes eliminating potatoes, and fruit, ALL sugar.   Not the same at all.  If someone loses weight by eliminating gluten, that's great - but they're losing weight because of other dietary changes they've made.  Sorry.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Except that there's a huge difference between avoiding gluten and avoiding carbs. There are tons of gluten-free alternatives out there for bread, pasta, baked goods mixes, crackers, etc. Many of them are mostly rice flour and tapioca starch. Some of them are great substitutes for people who can't eat wheat flour but still miss bread or pasta, but they are certainly not healthy in any other respect. Many are more calorie and carb dense than actual wheat bread. But there's absolutely no scientific evidence that gluten - which is a protein, by the way - is in any way counterproductive when trying to lose weight, despite the claims of some fitness gurus. If people are losing weight by avoiding gluten, it's only because they are skipping those giant wads of processed white bread and breaded coatings on deep-fried foods. Less calories in, more weight lost.

Mantonat
Mantonat

I was prepared to hate this guy based on the headline, but everything he says makes total sense. Salt, pepper, shallots, kitchen tongs, his fondness for his mother's cooking and memories from childhood - all well-stated and true. Even what he said about gluten-free diets makes total sense. People with Celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance can't get a break because of all the people who think they can lose weight by avoiding gluten. I can't figure out for the life of me why anyone would want to subject themselves to the difficulties of avoiding gluten if they didn't have to. His final comment on "dream restaurants" is probably the truest thing ever said about cooking professionally.

AllergyAware
AllergyAware

Agreed. I was ready to attack as well, but changed my tune once I read his words. Such a different view than the guy from the cheese shop who just discredited the disease all together.

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