The Kitchen's Hugo Matheson on escapism, a contrary vegan and fair wages
Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: Foraged wild foods, especially mushrooms. I forage, along with some of my staff, near Rollinsville, not far from the train tunnel. There are a lot of mushroom stashes along the Peak-to-Peak Highway.
Favorite spice: Cumin takes me to so many different parts of the world and goes so well with eggs.
One food you detest: Bananas. I've never liked them, even as a baby. They're for monkeys.
One food you can't live without: Olive oil. It's become, at least for me, the perfect medium for cooking just about everything. I buy the California olive oil, which is what we use at the Kitchen. Bread is a very close second; it's comforting and nourishing.
Food trend you wish would disappear: I like good food, and that means food with longevity. If I had to pick one practice I'd like to see go away, it's the whole "painted plate" brush and squiggle trend. That's one I don't really appreciate.
Most memorable meal you've ever had: Grilled fish on a plastic plate with fries on the Moroccan coast. It was simple and fresh, and they stick to what they do best.
Favorite childhood food memory: You just opened the memory box from growing up in rural England. I loved the mackerel pâté the quiche and the chicken with sour cream and lemon, but roast rib of beef on a Sunday with all the trimmings has to be way up there; I very rarely have it nowadays. God, my mouth is watering at the very thought of it...and I still think about the gravy that leaked into the roast potatoes and the Yorkshire pudding. My mother still makes some of the best roast potatoes out there. Liver and bacon with onions at boarding school is also a strong contender.
Favorite junk food: A burger and shake. I like West End Tavern and Larkburger, but hear I need to try Highland Tap and Burger.
What are your favorite wines and/or beers? Easy drinking. I'm a sucker for Bandol rosé with a cube of ice, or a cold Stella out of a frozen tap. Ray Decker and Tim Wanner would die at the mere thought of this, but you have to take it how you enjoy it without being ashamed.