Round two with Cory Treadway, exec chef of the Wynkoop
This is part two of my interview with Cory Treadway, exec chef of the Wynkoop; part one of our conversation ran yesterday.
Your five favorite local restaurants other than your own: Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder is doing a great job with the farm-to-table concept; they execute it extremely well. I also love Solera, and while I used to work there, I think Goose Sorensen does a great job with local ingredients and his "Spanish farmhouse" theme. Il Posto has a great atmosphere, good food and a reasonably priced wine list, and the Bagel Deli is an awesome spot for lunch, plus they have a killer pastrami Reuben. And last but definitely not least, twelve. I went there recently with friends, and we had a great time; Jeff Osaka and his staff had solid food and fantastic wines.
- Wynkoop Brewery's Cory Treadway on smartphones, fried squirrel and heaven
- Head brewer Andy Brown reads the Yelp complaints against Wynkoop
- Wynkoop Brewing and the Cheeky Monk get together to brew a dark saison
Most memorable meal in Denver that you've ever had: Any meal at Sushi Den with my wife. I love the Den. And my wife.
If you could change one thing about the Denver dining scene, what would it be? I'd like to see something beneficial done with the incredible amount of waste that's left over in our restaurants. It would be nice if we could find an efficient way to get our prepped food at the end of the night -- things like mashed potatoes or bread that won't make it to tomorrow -- to a homeless shelter or the Denver Rescue Mission.
What do you enjoy most about your craft? The best part about being a chef is getting my hands dirty, really getting into the kitchen and cooking up a storm -- and teaching my staff. I love watching the staff grow and learn through the fundamentals I've taught them. I work on giving them the tools to help them succeed outside of work as well as in my kitchen.
What piece of advice would you give to a young chef? I've got two pieces of advice: Learn how to be patient and how to be a good listener, both of which will save you from two things -- one, burnt cream, and two, a verbal beating from an angry chef. Also, you don't need to go to culinary school to become a successful chef...so I guess that's three pieces of advice.
Best recipe tip for a home cook: Microwave garlic for fifteen to thirty seconds before you peel it. This makes the garlic really easy to peel, and it's about the only good use for a microwave.
What's your biggest pet peeve? Kids coming out of culinary school who think they're chefs right out of the gate -- the perception that their degree entitles them to something. But unless they have the chops and the experience, it's just a degree. Outside of the restaurant, people who don't use their turn signal in traffic.
Which chef has most inspired you? Jacques Pépin. He came from extremely humble beginnings, became a chef for French prime ministers, had a chance to become the personal chef for the Kennedys and ended up working for Howard Johnson's. He has an uncanny knack for never letting anything get him down -- and he's still a badass to this day.