Colin Mallet, chef of Sassafras, on the Denver chef we don't hear enough about

Lori Midson

Colin Mallet
Sassafras American Eatery
2637 West 26h Avenue

This is part two of my interview with Colin Mallet, chef of Sassafras; part one of our chat ran yesterday..

Describe the biggest challenges facing Denver chefs: The amount of competition is enormous. There are so many new restaurants opening each year, and the challenge to set yourself apart from everyone else is a difficult task.

See also:
- Colin Mallet, chef of Sassafras, on his squirrel supper
- Best Milkshake - 2013: Sassafras American Eatery
- 100 Favorite Dishes: Chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash from Sassafras

What do you enjoy most about your craft? Providing happiness through food makes me feel good.

Most underrated Denver restaurant: Sunny Gardens, which a friend turned me on to. It's hands-down the best traditional Chinese food in Denver and my go-to place for delicious takeout when I'm just too tired to cook. I usually get the pork fried rice; I can't live without it.

Who's the most underrated chef in Denver? A chef's name we don't hear enough: Pete List, the executive chef of Beatrice & Woodsley. He has a vast knowledge of so many cuisines and the cojones to put ingredients together that you wouldn't typically see on the same plate. He's a contemporary chef but truly cooks from his heart and for the love of food.

What recent innovation has most influenced the restaurant industry in a significant way? The use of thermal immersion circulators, which protect the integrity of an ingredient by cooking it slowly -- eggs or a duck breast, for example.

Favorite culinary-related gift you've been given: My Misono UX10 Gyoto knife. The owners of Sassafras gave it to me, and it's the best chef's knife that you can get. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it.

Favorite culinary-related item to give as a gift: Wine. Good wine is just as important to me as good food. I like to give people something slightly obscure; I'm partial to Rhônes.

What's your fantasy splurge? Food-wise, Wagyu beef tartare with seared foie gras, a sunny-side-up duck egg, crispy duck skin and shaved Aiba white truffles. And for the kitchen, I'd love to have a thermal immersion circulator, an anti-griddle and a blast chiller -- in that order.

Location Info

Sassafras American Eatery

2637 W. 26th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Marc J. Beerline
Marc J. Beerline

Went to Sassafras earlier this week for the first time. Instantly became my new favorite breakfast spot. If they could just get their liquor license and serve bloodys, they'd be perfect.


Couldn't agree more.  Pete List of Beatrice and Woodsley is the bomb!!!  Great interview.  Need to get myself to Sassafras.

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