Round two with Adam Watts, chef de cuisine at Jax Fish House Boulder
Part one of my interview with Adam Watts, chef de cuisine at Jax Boulder, ran on Wednesday; this is part two.
If you only had 24 hours in Denver/Boulder, where would you eat? I'd start out with brunch at Bistro Vendôme, then move along to the new Squeaky Bean location. That menu looks killer. Then I'd go to Trillium for caviar service and aquavit. After eating in Denver, I'd shoot up to Boulder to have a late dinner at Pizzeria Basta -- my favorite Boulder restaurant -- and finish up at the Bitter Bar for a nightcap or two
Favorite cheap eat in Denver/Boulder: Breakfast burritos from Tortilleria El Rey in Boulder. They're right around the corner from my house, and they really hit the spot. And at $2 a pop, it may actually be the cheapest handmade thing in Boulder.
Favorite dish on your menu: Our charcuterie trio with brandade croquette, hot smoked Colorado trout salad and sockeye salmon rillette. I love the art of charcuterie.
Biggest menu bomb: Crudo of spearfish with smoked soba noodle, huckleberry broth and pickled ramps. I personally liked it, but it sold for shit. Plus, anytime I do anything with Asian ingredients, it ends poorly. It's not one of my strengths, but I'm totally okay with that.
What are your favorite wines and/or beers? I'm a beer guy myself. The hoppier, the better, I always say. I'm a diehard Bells Brewery fan, but we don't get it west of the Mississippi, so every time we drive back, there's always a sizable stash in the trunk. Asher Brewing here in Boulder makes an irresistible double IPA called the Grenade.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Be on time, be a professional, and have your station set by service. Those are really it: three little rules. They aren't too much to ask, but you'd be surprised. Everything else has to do with what the person chooses to get out of their time at the restaurant. If it's learning butchery, ordering, menu creation -- whatever -- that's on the cook. You only get out of it what you put into it.
What's never in your kitchen? Drama. I have a knack for sniffing it out before it escalates. I've always led by example and try to treat my staff just like I'd want to be treated. I don't have much of an ego, which I believe most drama stems from. Save the drama fo' yo' mama.