Chef Matt Mine Is a Real Catch for Atticus

Categories: Chef and Tell

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MA
Matt Mine
Atticus

1115 East Evans Avenue
720-459-8273

Twelve years is a long time to hold down the same job; in the restaurant industry, it's nearly a lifetime. When chefs manage to stick around for more than a decade, it's usually a sign that they've found a home where they can grow and build on their success. That's what Matt Mine thought, at least. He's been cooking for more than twenty years, and a dozen of those years were spent with one company. He started at Oceanaire in Seattle and stuck with the small chain, moving to Indiana and eventually to Denver, where he was executive chef and managing partner at the downtown Oceanaire Seafood Room for six years.

See also: Erich Rosenberg of Novo Coffee Is a Roast Beast


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Erich Rosenberg of Novo Coffee Is a Roast Beast

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Mark Antonation
Erich Rosenberg of Novo Coffee.
Erich Rosenberg talks fast and moves between subjects even faster. You might blame it on the coffee; after all, he's the head roaster for Novo Coffee, so continuous coffee-tasting is a big part of his job. But after you listen for a few minutes, it's clear that his energy is fueled by passion for his work rather than caffeine overload. And that excitement spills over as he talks about the company founded by CEO Jake Brodsky, his brother Joseph and their father, Herb, in 2002. Rosenberg and Herb Brodsky literally spin in place (Herb's patented move) as they discuss Novo's commitment to people -- both customers and employees -- and its roasting facility in the River North neighborhood.

See also: The Pie's the Limit for Pastry Chef John Hinman of the Post Brewing Co.


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The Pie's the Limit for Pastry Chef John Hinman of the Post Brewing Co.

Categories: Chef and Tell

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The Post Brewing Co,
John Hinman with his pies at the Post Brewing Co.
The Post Brewing Company
John Hinman
105 West Emma Street, Lafayette
303-593-2066
postbrewing.com

Walking up to the entrance of the Post Brewing Company, you first notice a waft of wood smoke. Once you're inside the door, the aroma of chicken frying adds spicy notes and the unmistakable presence of chicken fat. At the right time of day, the sweet, malty smell of brewing beer takes precedence. But beneath all of that, the delicate but unmistakable scent of fresh-baked pies adds buttery, homey elements to the mix. That's the stamp of pastry chef John Hinman, who has been head baker here since the Post opened almost a year ago in Lafayette.

See also: Jeff Cleary of the Grateful Bread Company Gets a Rise out of Baking


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Jeff Cleary of the Grateful Bread Company Gets a Rise out of Baking

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Mark Antonation
Jeff Cleary and his new deck oven at Grateful Bread.
Jeff Cleary
Grateful Bread Company

425 Violet Street, Golden
gratefulbread.com

Bread before dinner at a restaurant is something we take for granted, a minor distraction that's usually there to fill the gap between cocktails and entrees. But every once in a while, the bread becomes the star, making us stop to appreciate the jagged crust, the tender crumb and the delicate tang of a loaf made with patience and enough skill to let the flavors and textures develop fully. And if you've eaten recently at one of Denver's top restaurants, chances are good that you may have asked the staff the source of its wonderful bread -- whether it's a slice from a country boule that offers just the right heft under an open-faced croque-madame at Acorn or the delicately aromatic lavender sourdough at Rioja. And chances are equally good that the answer was Grateful Bread Company.

See also: Four Golden Guys Make Bonfire Burritos Their Own


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Four Golden Guys Make Bonfire Burritos Their Own

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Mark Antonation
Owners Ray Pierandozzi (second from the left), Ian Lanier, Matt King and Travis Toms wrap up another day of burritos at Bonfire with fellow tortilla man, Sky Schnautz (far left).
Bonfire Burritos
Raymond Pierandozzi, Ian Lanier, Matt King, and Travis Toms
17025 S. Golden Road, Golden
720-556-6269
bonfireburritos.com

For most high-school students, lunch is a chance to catch up with friends. But for four Golden kids, lunchtime burritos at the nearby Bonfire Burritos trailer were more than just a way to escape the classroom. They ultimately became a way that the friends could stay together as business partners, building a burrito business in the town they've all called home since before they were teenagers.

Raymond "Ray" Pierandozzi moved to Golden from Philadelphia when he was in the sixth grade, and soon met Ian Lanier, Matt King and Travis Toms. Although burritos smothered in green chile hadn't been part of his early-childhood menu, anyone who moves to Colorado soon learns to love them -- and not just for lunch, but for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The four friends found their midday fix at a trailer just over a mile from Golden High School that was operated by an elderly Mexican woman. Their burrito ritual became so ingrained that they jokingly attribute their excellence in sports and academics to the "daily consumption of this super-food."

See also: Punch Bowl Social's Jeff Grimm Talks About Serving Keith Richards and Hunting Elk

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Punch Bowl Social's Jeff Grimm Talks About Serving Keith Richards and Hunting Elk

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Mark Antonation
Executive chef Jeff Grimm in the dining room of Punch Bowl Social.
Jeff Grimm just landed the job as executive chef at Punch Bowl Social -- restaurateur Robert Thompson's dining and entertainment warehouse on Broadway -- a month ago, but he's already thrilled about what he calls a "community stable" environment, where teamwork and pitching in are part of the kitchen's culture. He learned the mentality at his first job as a teenager, working in a family-owned Italian eatery 45 minutes outside of New York City in Connecticut, where the owners treated employees like customers and the head chef could be found chipping in at the dish sink, on the prep line or wherever else help was needed. Grimm and his family moved around the country a lot when he was a kid, but he managed to stick around that Connecticut spot long enough -- eventually working his way up to the line -- to soak up the work ethic and passion for cooking that would shape the rest of his career.

See also: The Nickel's Chris Thompson Talks Chinese Food and Wood-Fired Cooking

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The Nickel's Chris Thompson Talks Chinese Food and Wood-Fired Cooking

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Mark Antonation
The Nickel
1100 14th Street
720-889-2128
thenickeldenver.com

Chris Thompson moved with his mother from Long Beach, California, to Telluride when he was a kid, and quickly adapted to mountain-town life. He'd always had a love of the outdoors, engendered by camping, hiking and fishing trips with his dad in the Angeles National Forest just north of L.A., so it was no surprise that he took up snowboarding. But it was surprising when, as a teenager working as a dishwasher and prep cook to make money for winter sports, he found himself drawn to the kitchen -- despite a previous lack of interest in cooking.

See also: Pete Turner on Illegal Pete's, Community, the Fort Collins Controversy and Pete's Kitchen


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Pete Turner on Illegal Pete's, Community, the Fort Collins Controversy and Pete's Kitchen

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Pete Turner, founder of Illegal Pete's.
Pete Turner
Illegal Pete's
Six metro locations (with more to come)
illegalpetes.com

Pete Turner never expected to wind up on the Drudge Report. But that's where he landed last week -- while he was dealing with an eleven-week-old baby, fighting a cold, moving the original Illegal Pete's that he'd opened in Boulder in 1995, and preparing to launch his seventh location, in Fort Collins. "It's been an interesting week, to say the least," croaks Turner, who lost his voice along the way.

It was the Fort Collins location that cost him his voice -- and threatens the name of the restaurant there.

See also: Illegal Pete's Taking Over Mama's Cafe Space


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Lorena Cantarovici Plays With Tradition at Maria Empanada

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Mark Antonation
Lorena Cantarovici behind the counter of her Argentinean cafe.
The sunlit interior of Maria Empanada, Lorena Cantarovici's rendition of an Argentinean bakery and cafe, invites guests to linger, with three distinct spaces that capture various aspects of the South American country's social culture. The front section adjacent to the bakery cases and coffee bar is "a little bit of a cafe in Argentina," Cantarovici explains, where customers can grab a quick empanada or sip coffee and "watch everybody on the street." The middle section mimics an estancia, a rural estate guesthouse, with large, rustic wooden tables where friends and family gather, "talking forever to try to resolve every problem in the world," she says. And the back section is more elegant, with dark, modern furniture and corners where couples can chat quietly.

See also: Restaurateur and Farmer Eric Skokan on his Inspirations for Farm Fork Food

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Restaurateur and Farmer Eric Skokan on his Inspirations for Farm Fork Food

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Photos by Con Poulos
Chef Eric Skokan at Black Cat Farms.
Eric Skokan opened Black Cat Bistro in 2006 and added a kitchen garden the same year, "originally just to relieve stress," says the chef/restaurateur, who now also operates Bramble & Hare just two doors away from his original Boulder restaurant. He remembers "puttering around in slippers with a cup of coffee," tending to the plants that would provide flowers, leaves and herbs -- finishing touches to dishes that were otherwise created as they are at most other restaurants: by cooking meats and vegetables from boxes delivered by food distributors. But those little tastes of homegrown produce made them come alive, and Skokan realized he could probably do more.

See also: Rioja Chef Tim Kuklinski Talks Truffles and Family Traditions

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