Part one: Denver and Boulder's most quotable chefs
Phat Thai, the Pullman
Most underrated ingredient: Common sense: a sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. Common sense can carry a cook further than the greatest culinary education; common sense can carry a menu further than the greatest inventory of ingredients; and common sense can make the uneducated dishwasher the greatest employee any restaurant can ever have.
Full interview: Chef Mark Fischer on treating knives badly, pussies and unicorns
Favorite ingredient: Butter. It's so versatile that's it's almost the natural "Mr. Wizard" of the kitchen. It makes your pastry dough blow apart, it's awesome in sauces, it makes your corn on the cob delightful, and when clarified, it makes your lobster that much more decadent. Had a good Hollandaise or beurre blanc lately? Thank butter.
Full interview: Ryan Leinonen on "Mr. Wizard," Velveeta, pig's nipples and the raw vegan
Marczyk Fine Foods
Food trend you wish would disappear: The idea that it's okay to feed kids different food from what adults eat, which isn't a new trend, but it keeps growing. I'm appalled by the fake processed food kids eat at home in the name of convenience and mood management. Take the time to feed kids real food and eat good-quality, real wholesome food at mealtimes. Think about what you're teaching your kids by feeding them that "special" kid food with the cartoon characters
Full interview: Pete Marczyk, chef-owner of Marczyk Fine Foods, sounds off on why food regulation makes him want to throw his baguette
Former chef of Jonesy's EatBar, now chef of Hanson's Grill and Tavern
Food trend you wish would disappear: Fast food. If we'd all just take time to eat, there wouldn't be a need for that nasty crap. All I know is that I've been breaking down chickens for years and never once have I ever found the damn "McNugget." Now they offer you the opportunity to consume forty at a time if you so desire. Where the hell do all those "McNuggets" come from? Think about it.
Full interview: Beau Simmons, exec chef of Jonesy's, on McNuggets, orgasms and bad-ass steel
Bramble & Hare/Black Cat
Most underrated ingredient: First place goes to burrata. I haven't seen it on a menu anywhere in years. I wish it would appear more often, and on more menus. Okay, that's a joke: It's actually everywhere, but I actually think we should make Kool-Aid with it and drink it every day. Here's what I really think: Beef hearts are way underrated, which sucks, because they actually taste like beef, and it's the best steak I've ever had in my life. But no one seems to appreciate it. If you mention beef heart to someone, they wiggle uncomfortably, as though you're asking them to eat stomach. It's just another muscle, just like that fancy filet mignon.
Full interview: Josh Monopoli, chef de cuisine of Black Cat & Bramble & Hare, on trustafarians, farm-to-table and food hangups