Biker Jim on where he'd eat if had only 24 hours in Denver
One book that every chef should read: Oh, man, I've got to say Kitchen Confidential. If you're a chef, you'll just totally get it. Bourdain expresses the same things that you've felt for years in such a way that you can't help but nod your head and laugh. And if you're not a chef, it'll make you feel better knowing someone else thinks Emeril is a fuzzy little Ewok and Rachael Ray could put frosting in a dog dish and still call it "yummo."
Culinary heroes: Mario Batali, because he shows how elegant simplicity can be in cooking, and Graham Kerr, because he was the first TV chef I used to watch. He showed me how fun it was to be a chef, and how you could woo women with food. Locally, it's James Mazzio, because his ability to cook fantastic food just seems to flow so naturally from him. At the same time, he can make you laugh so hard. He's a genuine culinary rock star with such a big heart that I can't help but love him and his food
Greatest accomplishment as a chef: There are nearly twenty people who make their rent, pay their car insurance and drink margaritas and stuff because I started my hot dog stand a few years ago. I'm a very lucky guy because of the people I've met along this culinary pathway.
If you could cook in another chef's kitchen, whose would it be? Chef Ian Kleinman's kitchen would be fantastic. This guy is Willy Wonka with a John Wayne complex. Not only would following him around open my eyes to a thousand different ways to prepare a dish, but his excitement and childish wonder for food is so contagious that I couldn't help but expand my culinary skills. This is a guy who loves his craft so much that you have to just stare and ask yourself: Where the hell did that come from, and can I have some more, please?
Favorite celebrity chef: Anthony Bourdain. He's a more of a celebrity these days and less of an active chef, but his ability to take the same premise, show after show, year after year and still entertain and educate me and make me wish I were him, is a skill very few people have. How many times can I watch this guy eat and drink himself into a stupor while a Russian cab driver races to take him home to his mother's pelmini and borscht? I don't know: How many more times can he do it before his liver falls out of his ass?
Celebrity chef who needs a muzzle: I'm not sure of his name, but I think his catchphrase is, "Ze fuck, eh?"
What's your dream restaurant? Probably a breakfast joint. I love breakfast and make some really good stuff for that time of day: French toast, sour-cream waffles and milk-fried chicken, buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and sour cream, reindeer sausage breakfast burritos, espresso, and girls in pajamas sipping mimosas and Bloody Marys. You know, breakfast.
Last meal before you die: Reindeer sausage and sourdough pancakes. Fuck you, death! I want pancakes!