Round two with Darrel Truett, exec chef of Barolo Grill
This is part two of my interview with Darrel Truett, exec chef of Barolo Grill. Part one of our chat ran yesterday.
What do you enjoy most about your craft? The instant gratification of pleasing a guest. I can prepare a dish, and twenty seconds after I have it in the window, the customer has it in front of them. I love it when the server comes back and tells me that table 32 told him that it was the best meal they've ever had. Getting compliments like that makes the long hours worth it.
- Darrel Truett, exec chef of Barolo Grill, on bacon everything, truffles and "Insalata 21, 31, 41, 51"
- Euclid Hall's Jorel Pierce on the egg man, life without salt and f*cking up the art of cuisine
- Chef and Tell: Tyler Wiard of Elway's
Describe the biggest challenges facing today's chefs: Trying to stand out and be noticed when there so many new restaurants popping up. And once you are noticed, there's the issue of keeping it that way. Sustainability is difficult.
What do you enjoy most about cooking? It's not a typical day job. Sitting behind a desk at a computer just wouldn't work for me. In the kitchen, I can be creative, I can collaborate with other chefs, and I like being able to see a final product that people enjoy.
What's never in your kitchen? Egos. When we're at work and in the kitchen, it's never about us; you have to work as a team. To earn respect, you have to give it. I would take a less knowledgeable cook with a great attitude and work ethic over a talented prodigy with a pissy attitude any day of the week. Egos get in the way of the ultimate goal of making good food and making the restaurant better.
What's always in your kitchen? Music. From early in the morning till 5 p.m., when service begins, everyone gets a shot at Pandora. Music gets us going, and we listen to everything from the Zac Brown Band to Wu-Tang Clan.
Craziest night in the kitchen: Any night during Denver Restaurant Week where we do close to 300 covers. A normal busy night for us is 150 to 200, so double that and bend over.
What's your biggest pet peeve? Messy kitchens. I like seeing things clean, straight and organized like Michael Voltaggio's idea of 90 degrees, where everyone and everything works and is arranged at 90 degrees. It's part of the organization and fundamentals of the kitchen. I constantly find myself walking by dry storage or getting something from the walk-in and spending an extra two minutes straightening and cleaning up.