Part two: Denver and Boulder's most quotable chefs
Thanksgiving is a day that gives us food for thought and time to reflect on the things for which we're thankful -- our health, our friends, our kids, our jobs and dogs, wine, and the family master baster whose glossy golden turkey supplied leftovers for the next week. And this year, as we were going around the table expressing our gratitude, I was reminded of how much I love the vibrant restaurant scene in this city and the chefs who make eating out in Denver such a pleasure. And every week, I have the honor of interviewing one of those chefs, all of whom give me -- and our readers -- plenty to chew on. I spent last week going through every single one of those Chef and Tell interviews, pulling out some of my favorite chef quotes from the past year. (Part one was published yesterday.) Herewith, part two of the witty, the pithy, the serious, the salacious and the blunt:
- Part one: Denver and Boulder's most quotable chefs
- The Kitchen's Hugo Matheson on escapism, a contrary vegan and fair wages
- Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria, on learning enough to move on
One food you detest: Jalapeño peppers reminds me of the person with no personality at a party. Who wants to be around that?
Full interview: Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria, on learning enough to move on
One piece of advice you'd give to culinary-school grads: Work hard and carry on, because now that you're in the real world, you need to behave accordingly. Cooking isn't easy. The hours are hard, it's hot, it's dangerous and it's frustrating. Being a chef isn't just about cooking food; you have to be able to manage people, control costs and play Mr. Fix It. And remember, every day is a new day, and whatever happened the day before is water under the bridge. Control the chaos rather than allowing it to control you.
Full interview: Matt Lewis, exec chef of Bones, on pop-ups, burgers and women
If you only had 24 hours in Denver/Boulder, where would you eat? Casa Bonita. Every kid who grew up in Colorado had to go at least once...even though the food is horrible. The sopapillas, the cave, the magic show and, of course, the gorilla that always got loose -- it's all about the fun and the experience. Every time I went, it felt like a world away -- like you were somewhere really special. That's why I started working in hotels: I love their ability to take you away, even if it's only a mile from where you live. But for a really amazing meal, I'd go to Restaurant 1515, Biker Jim's or Corridor 44.
Full interview: Aloft's JP Krause on why Casa Bonita rules
Biggest menu bomb: The "Hamdog." This little gem was an all-beef hot dog completely encased in hamburger. We cooked it in a deep fryer like a ripper dog and served it on a bun with a fried egg and green chiles. The idea behind it was to combine two of my favorite meals into one glorious, gluttonous plate. Unfortunately, the people spoke, and the Hamdog is no more. I still dream about the hamburger-hotdog marriage, but for now they'll each have to be enjoyed individually.
Full interview: Duncan Smith, exec chef of Dazzle, on the "Hamdog" bomb
Phat Thai, the Pullman
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Pig uterus, or maybe sea cucumber belly...or maybe horse-tongue sashimi. We Americans think we've got this nose-to-tail thing dialed in, but relative to other cultures, we're pussies.
Full interview: Chef Mark Fischer on treating knives badly, pussies and unicorns
Celebrity chef who needs a muzzle: I love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives -- and admit it, you do, too. But sometimes the shit that comes out of Guy Fieri's mouth drives me crazy. That said, please come to my restaurant, Guy, so I can make lots of money.
One book that every chef should read: Any basic how-to-speak-Spanish book. Bet you thought I'd say The French Laundry Cookbook.
Full interview: Josh Barhaug, exec chef of Fired Up, on Bisquick, eating dog and lazy-ass cooks