Matt Lewis, exec chef of Bones, on pop-ups, burgers and women
Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: Rocky Ford melons from Fresh Guys. They're out of season now, but we were compressing them for a salad on our summer menu. Western Slope fruit like Colorado peaches and melons have a natural sweetness because of the state's hot days and cool nights. They're delicious.
Favorite spice: Coriander adds awesome floral notes to a dish, and when you think about it, coriander is used in other things besides cooking, like perfume and cologne. When you pair it with something like pork, it brings out sweetness and adds depth. We cure our pork belly and suckling pig for 24 hours with salt, sugar and ground coriander.
One food you detest: I hate salmon, and you'll never see me order it. Blame it on years of cleaning salmon. Some restaurants get fillets shipped in, but at every restaurant I've worked at, we always got the whole fish, and even if they're as fresh as can be, they still taste fishy to me.
One food you can't live without: Pho has everything you could want: acidity, spiciness, savory elements and sweet components. It's also the best hangover cure on the planet. I typically go to Pho 79, but I also love Pho 95.
Food trend you wish would disappear: The whole burger craze has gotten a bit out of control: Everyone claims they have the best burger. It's tit for tat. Who gives a shit? It's just a burger.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Pop-up restaurants. We need more chefs just having fun with food. In my mind, people have such strict guidelines when it comes to what chefs do. I'd love to see more chefs just kicking back and serving sweet food in other environments, outside of their own kitchens.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Pretentious service. Restaurant professionals shouldn't act superior to their guests.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Act like a professional, be on time and don't come in with a bad attitude, because a bad attitude rubs off on everyone else, including the guests. We're in a business that's about making people happy.