Round two with Crickett Burns, chef of the Truffle Table
The Truffle Table
2556 15th Street
This is part two of my interview with Crickett Burns, chef of the Truffle Table; part one of our chat ran yesterday.
Most noteworthy meal you've ever eaten: When my family and I were in Denmark for a long stay, we had freshly caught whole langoustines, smørrebrød (buttered rye bread), the most fantastic feast of meats, fish, cheeses, spreads and accoutrements, and for dessert, fresh strawberries and ice cream. The cows there are fed mainly on sweet peas, and the result is an ice cream with a lovely texture and flavor.
Most underrated Denver restaurant: I'm of the opinion that this is an ever-changing answer. It could be a delicious baked good from a little hole-in-the-wall or just a favorite restaurant. It's whatever inspires me on any given day.
Who's the most underrated chef in Denver? Joshua Bitz, the former sous chef at the Squeaky Bean. I've had the absolute pleasure of working with him and watching him learn and grow for many years, and he's really coming into his own. Get ready, Denver!
What do you expect from a restaurant critic? Anonymity is definitely important. If you know that a critic is judging you, then you tend to fuss over their food a bit more. I think that the love and attention we give to each dish is what should be the focus -- not how extra ridiculously perfectly perfect we can make it for this particular person. Critics should be seated and treated like our regular, fantastic clientele. I do, however, want to know at some point how they enjoyed the experience.
What's your biggest challenge as a chef working in Denver? Finding my own feet, learning my food and how I translate ingredients into food. I'm still learning, but I'm having the most awesome fun doing it. This has been -- and will continue to be -- the ride of my life.
What advice would you give to an aspiring young chef? Try not to be too sensitive; work clean; grow thick skin; and never forget the passion and the love. And you'd better get some good work shoes, because you'll live in them.
What skills and attributes do you look for when hiring kitchen staff? A drive and love for food and solid cooking abilities.