Round two with Matt Lewis, exec chef of Bones
Favorite restaurant in America: My experience at Bouchon was amazing, even more so because the chef de cuisine came out and talked to our table. I'll never forget the olive oil-poached potatoes and housemade sausage. They were some of the most fantastic things I've ever eaten -- so simple, but prepared so perfectly.
Favorite cheap place to eat in Denver/Boulder: Tacos y Pupusas. Oh, my God, it's great -- and it's open super-late; they decide when they want to close. It's small, and there are only three choices with three meat options, but it's all so delicious. You have to have some balls to walk in there at 3 a.m. by yourself, but it's worth it if you want real Mexican food.
If you only had 24 hours in Denver/Boulder, where would you eat? I'd start with breakfast at Snooze and order eggs Benedict and drink a Greyhound or a Bloody Mary. I really like what they do there. I'd then have lunch at Tom's Home Cookin', because the fried chicken is just so good -- so much better than what you can get elsewhere. I love the fact that they serve fresh food every day, making only enough to get through lunch -- and that the menu can be different every day. I'd then have dinner at Mizuna, because it's just a really special dining experience.
Most memorable meal you've ever had: Victoria & Albert's in Orlando, Florida. We had thirteen courses paired with wine. My favorite dish was abalone with a corn foam that was awesome, and we started the night with Dom Pérignon and ended the night with Louis XIII. Our group had the restaurant to ourselves.
Favorite childhood food memory: Sitting on the kitchen counter watching my mom make lasagna. My mom tells me that when I was young, I always asked if I could sit on the counter to watch her cook, and I always ended up getting my hands in whatever it was she was doing. I've apparently always loved cooking.
Favorite junk food: Sour Patch Kids.
What's always in your refrigerator: Tecate, Coors Light or PBR, sriracha sauce, stone-ground mustard, a pound of butter and a couple of other random things.
What's the best food- or kitchen-related gift you've ever been given? My chef buddy Dan Grunewald -- he's the chef at Carmine's on Penn -- gave me a CRKT pocketknife, and I frankly think anyone who works in a kitchen should have a pocketknife in close range. I always have a pocketknife on me, and it makes my life so much easier when it comes to accepting deliveries and cutting boxes down. I use it all the time.