Round two with Pete Marczyk, chef-owner of Marczyk Fine Foods
This is part two of my interview with Pete Marczyk; read part one of Pete Marczyk's interview
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Show up; try hard; think; keep making it better; and no squirreling around.
What's never in your kitchen? Fake shit. We start all of our recipes from scratch using real food ingredients, which is something we take really seriously. Ours is probably one of the only kitchens in which we try to raise our food costs. There's also no heavy metal or loud music -- I can't think if it's playing, and, more to the point, it makes me want to kill someone.
What's always in your kitchen? Hardworking "grinders" -- cooks who care. We have a different cooking gig from a typical restaurant in that our cooks grind out thirty to forty hand-pinned pies or 250 enchiladas at a whack, and they don't get to see the reactions of their customers. We render our own damn Niman Ranch leaf lard for pie crusts, and we made over 800 pounds of potato salad from scratch last week. Yeah, it's a grind. We say our food is "made with love by people who care" -- and they really do. I think you can taste it.
Most memorable meal you've ever had: Back in the day, there was a restaurant called the Fourth Story, which was a pretty amazing place with some pretty amazing characters. It's where I asked Barb, my wife, to marry me. That was a memorable meal.
Favorite restaurant in America: Barolo Grill. We eat out very infrequently, so whenever we sidle up to the bar for a quick bite at Barolo, it's special for me. The food is always great -- confession: I haven't seen a menu there for maybe three years -- and the kitchen always whips up the perfect thing for me. They understand my obsession with wild mushrooms, plus bartenders Ryan O'Brien and Ryan Fletter always seem to have just the right wine already open, and they always offer me a pull.
Favorite cheap eat in Denver/Boulder: El Taco de México. It's not super-cheap, but it is super-authentic and really delicious. The same woman has been making me the same "e-smothered" burrito since I moved to Denver over twenty years ago.