Round two with Duncan Smith, exec chef of Dazzle
Part one of my interview with Duncan Smith, exec chef of Dazzle, ran yesterday; this is part two of our conversation.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: They're really quite simple. First, show up clean and ready to work before your shift starts; second, show respect for your fellow employees; third, follow the direction of the management; and fourth, teamwork achieves our goals, so work as a team. I find if people follow these simple rules, everything else just falls in line.
What's never in your kitchen? Bad attitudes. The kitchen is no place for negativity, and I'm a firm believer that negativity is the one single ingredient that will destroy a whole service. One rotten apple in the bunch can destroy the flow of a tight-knit kitchen crew. It's an ugly thing that produces equally ugly food.
What's always in your kitchen? A dash of humor. Life is just too short to sweat the small stuff, and Lo knows, it's already hot enough in the kitchen. Busy kitchens bring out stress and high emotions, and humor is important to keep things light. Laughter has always been an important part of the kitchen vibe, and without a sense of humor, most chefs wouldn't fit in with the great guys and girls I work with.
If you only had 24 hours in Denver/Boulder, where would you eat? I'd I go to Snarf's. I'm such a sucker for their subs, which really are one of a kind. I haven't traveled a whole lot, but I've been to enough places to say that I have yet to find a sandwich shop that rivals Snarf's.
Favorite restaurant in America: Dazzle. I know there are a lot of fantastic places to eat in America, but none of them have demanded so much from me. I guess people can equate it to having a child: Regardless of all the other options, this one is mine, and I love it.
Favorite cheap eat in Denver/Boulder: The burritos from the coolers you find around Coors Field. Yeah, I know that eating out of a cooler is kind of throwing caution to the wind, but the Denver area does the best cooler burrito. The whole meal is cheap, fast and yummy.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: More interaction between restaurants. I think we can all learn a lot by working together. Guest-cheffing in other restaurants, for example, would benefit those who get tied down with their own day-to-day monotony, and I think a swap program would build a stronger culinary unity among Denver chefs. It'd be a great advantage, given that our culinary scene is seeing such a great boom.