Beau Simmons, exec chef of Jonesy's, on McNuggets, orgasms and bad-ass steel
He wound up securing a sous position at Undici's, followed by a second one at Ocean, a dead-in-the-water restaurant in Cherry Creek that was overseen by Troy Guard, now chef/owner of TAG, TAG|RAW BAR and Madison Street. "He called me out of the blue and said he wanted to interview me, and I spit out his entire biography to him, which I think freaked him out a little bit," admits Simmons. But Guard gave him an opportunity nonetheless. "He told me that I had thirty days to prove that I was the best of four applicants for a sous-chef job, and two weeks into it, the pool had dwindled to two, and by the third week, I was the only one left," he recalls. Still, Guard made him work for it: "Troy's demanding, and he sent me home five of the first seven nights I worked with him, but he always met me halfway -- and more -- and it was awesome working with him."
When Guard left Ocean, Simmons wasn't far behind. "I knew it was crumbling, so I thought it was in my best interest to get out," he recalls. He connected again with Franklin at Farro, where he stayed until his stepfather passed away. After taking some time off, he joined the crew at Jonesy's as a line cook under Brendon Doyle, now the exec chef of City, O' City. "That guy taught me so much about vegan and vegetarian food, and about using different fats -- coconut milk, olive oil. I was really sad to see him go," admits Simmons, who stepped into Doyle's shoes after Jones let him go in the fall of 2010.
"I love our motto: 'Make regulars.' That just kind of sums it all up," he says. "We've established a community, I love the people, I love cooking here, and we have a really good time. I'm happy." In the following interview, Simmons weighs in on happiness, bad-ass steel, orgasms and his search for the elusive McNugget.
Ten words to describe you: How about ten letters instead? P-a-s-s-i-o-n-a-t-e.
Six words to describe your food: Fresh, crisp, clean, worldly, playful and twisted.
What are your ingredient obsessions? Booze and fat. Every dish I make has those two ingredients, mainly because I think it's just a flavor combination that can't be beat. I have a vegetarian and vegan menu that's also out of this world, but out of my two weapons in the kitchen, you only get the booze in the vegetarian/vegan menu. Have some fat, people: It's good for you.
What are your kitchen-tool obsessions? You should always ask before touching another cook's knife. My knife is just that -- my knife -- so don't touch it. I've always taken pride in my steel, and I have quite a nice collection, so I want to be the only one to use them. I share sometimes, but only if you're really lucky.
Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: Now that it's summer, I'm hooked on the sauerkraut at Soul Kraut, a fermentation company in Five Points. They've teamed up with Grant Family Farms to start a cabbage patch, and their goal is to plant, grow, harvest and ferment enough kraut to be able to supply Coors Field for a whole season of brats.
Most underrated ingredient: Salt, especially Maldon sea salt. It's a great finisher, and it just melts away when you put a little on the top.