Joe Freemond walks from Cellar Wine Bar, citing a "long list of problems" -- and lands as the chef of DiFranco's

Categories: Cafe Society

And Freemond is a self-described pasta fiend, with an endless repertoire that goes way beyond starchy strands of noodles. "I'm capable of making 1,300 different pasta shapes, thanks to a encyclopedic pasta cookbook I have, and during the time I was at Cellar, I never made the same pasta shape twice," he says, noting that one of the primary reasons that he's joining DiFranco in the kitchen is because of the emphasis on pastas. "Fresh-made pastas are a big component over there, and I'm definitely going to try to continue my streak of not repeating the same pasta twice," he says. And he'll also delve into creating pasta shapes that you normally don't see outside of Italy -- maltagliati, for example. "I'm obsessed with the history of pasta and pasta shapes, and I barely scratched the tip of the iceberg at Cellar, because the kitchen was so small. I was relegated to making small handmade shapes and different variations of noodles -- but nothing stuffed, like ravioli."

In addition, Freemond says he'd like to introduce an in-house butchery program to DiFranco's. "I spent some time working with Mark DeNittis at Il Mondo Vecchio, and I'd definitely love to start making our sausages in-house, along with a few other things," he says, divulging, too, that he'll bring DeNittis in for a whole-beast disassembly dinner down the road.

And in early February, Freemond and DiFranco will unleash a new menu. "It'll be a combination of of revamped family recipes that incorporate seasonality and contemporary components," says DiFranco. "We're not trying to do anything complicated," he stresses, "but Joe definitely brings a lot to the table in terms of pastas and meats -- especially braising and roasting -- and I think that we'll be able to offer a few things that you don't see everywhere else." And starting next week, DiFranco's hours will expand during the week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"I see this as a really great opportunity to join a business that's already been branded beautifully," says Freemond. There's definite room for growth, and I want to be a part of that."

Location Info


955 Lincoln St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Wow! King Joe, leaves!

What a surprise! why dont you tell every one how much of a pompous prick you are to work with. this kind of article just shows how self centered and and how much you lack in class under your smug demure.  In all the time working in the restaurant business, longer that you,  i have never seen someone leave an establishment with such public bitter remarks. You might throw pans in the kitchen and cough up a storm when you quit, or get pushed out, but publicly you keep it under wraps, as there is other people who still depend on that job.  After leaving places in less than stellar terms, you suck it up and look for another opportunity.

how full of it!   

Ryan is a good guy, hope king Joe does not screw that one up. 


This is sweet music to my ears.  I've loved DiFranco's since it opened but was always stymied by the exceedingly short menu.  Sounds like the perfect match: the little stylish restaurant paired with a chef who can make an infinite number of pastas.    Now maybe they'll stay open for regular dinner service!

Mantonat topcommenter

I'm reminded of a line from "Raising Arizona":

"Do those balloons blow up into funny shapes?"

"Not unless round is funny."

ScubaSteve topcommenter

I'm looking forward to the changes that Chef Joe has in the works for DiFranco's.  Right now, the menu there is so tiny that I'm surprised the place even does any business.  Good luck, Joe.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@foodcrazy OH - but limited though it may be - the food is amazing.  Hope they keep it up because it is a real gem.

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