Savor

/ˈsāvər/ .v. to completely submerse oneself in complete gratification and appreciation.

Divergence

/diˈvərjəns/ .n. a deviation from the norm; a setting of dissimilar characters in an unlike environment

 

It was a strange night. It was different, as of late everything has been so fucking divergent.

And as I walked through the darkness of Colfax Ave, I eventually stumbled upon a building illuminated solely by the neon ‘open’ sign which gave the impression that only debaucherous things happened behind the doors. It was somewhere around midnight. The inside of the African Café was tinged with almost only the same neon glow. Where the hell am I?

A woman of unknown African descent, dressed in all black accented with a white tie approached me. She barely spoke English. After her inquiry of my business here, she escorted me to a table in the back corner of the restaurant. I simply just observed. Where the hell am I was right. I sat and realized that the static sound of voices had no trace of English. It was brilliant.

The server returned for my order. I ordered Doro Wat. A traditional dish of Ethiopian cuisine. Essentially it’s a spicy chicken stew made with what’s called a Berberé (a mixture of spices, usually a paste) and Niter Kibbeh (a clarified butter with an Ethiopian personality) and it’s served with a spongy dough of sorts made of teff flour called Injera.

As the dish landed on the table, the aromatic spices graced my senses.  I was midway through my meal when the absence of silverware and its peculiarity finally dawned on me. I had eaten most me meal by hand unknowingly, but rightfully so, it was way the meal was meant to be eaten.

I let the place be. I sat in complete curiosity absorbing everything happening around me. Men crowded the bar and drank the night away speaking their natural tongue, the ebb and flow of shouts and laughter guiding the night along. The women were on the dance floor, dancing (a subtle shimmy of the shoulders and a groovy lateral sway) to the live band playing what sounded like a taxi driver talking to me with an autotuned voice over some thoroughly disenchanting synthesized two step beat. The servers, all of whom were women, letting a little shimmy and laughter out here and there. A deal of sorts being made at the far end of the bar between two men. Again, it was fucking brilliant.

I slapped a twenty dollar bill on the table and left. The fade of that ridiculously odd music was replaced with the disgruntled voices of three men on the street arguing, and then yelling at each other as I walked away. I reached my vehicle and turned up the stereo. Play that motherfucking soulfax.

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Respect for Food is a Respect for Life

Stonington, Maine, a small fishing town found in Hancock County located on the southern part of Deer Island. Home to roughly 2,500 individuals and 300 fishing boats, it is an incredibly tight-knit community, where the natives make a humble living through means of the ocean and all that it has to offer. These true craftsmen of fishery make way to the possibility of us being able to enjoy the fruits de mer, as they rhythmically dance with Mother Nature on their boats and skiffs to supply Ingrid Bengis-Palei with her seafood.  It is a place, as Ingrid put, “As far as you can go while still being in America.”

Who is Ingrid Bengis-Palei? Simply put, she’s quite possibly one of the most sincere, heart-warming individuals I’ve ever met. She founded Ingrid Bengis Seafood in 1985 in such a fashion that only fate could bring her and her ‘vocation’ together.

In the confines of the Kitchen Denver’s wine room, we, the staff of The Kitchen, sat silently and listened to Ingrid tell her story. It began with chanterelles. She offered to sell some to Balducci’s Market in New York City and she did just that, while emphasizing the importance of perfection of each mushroom to Balducci’s buyer. That insistent perfection was noted, along with the fact that she lived amongst the waters of Maine, and Balducci’s then asked Ingrid to supply lobsters and crabmeat. And from there, Ingrid never looked back. She’s now one of the most sought after purveyors in the industry and supplies the best seafood on the market for only 25 restaurants. To name a few: Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry, NYC’s Le Bernardin, restaurants of Jean-George Vongerichten, Frasca of Boulder, CO, and The Kitchen restaurants. Even before these Chefs reached the pinnacle of their careers, they insistently sought Ingrid’s seafood.

Why Ingrid’s seafood? In a previous post of mine, I quoted Michel Bourdin, in saying that “Good cooking is the accumulation of small details done to perfection.” Good cooking doesn’t necessarily begin in the kitchen, good cooking stems from the very depths of nature and all its complexity. Because if it weren’t for the ingredients in which we acquire from nature and use to provide our sustenance, cooking would not exist. Small details include perfect ingredients. Ingrid believes this to her very core, going that extra mile to ensure that each ingredient she supplies is nothing short of perfect. Two weeks ago, there was an over-abundance of rain in Stonington affecting the oysters that The Kitchen receives for its raw-bar. Since Bagaduce oysters grow in brackish water, the influx of rainwater offset the salinity of each Bagaduce oyster and Ingrid won’t settle for sending her clients lackluster products. Ingrid cares about these very subtle details, which are often times overlooked or neglected.

But that’s not even the best part of what Ingrid Bengis Seafood does. Ingrid, her husband, and Susan Buxton are the three individuals who comprise Ingrid Bengis Seafood and they only work with people they know and trust. Ingrid and Susan know the fishermen and their families personally, all by name, whose kids are doing well in school and whose is not, who’s dating who, and so forth. In the restaurant industry, there is such a large void between consumer (dining patron) and source of food (fishermen of Deer Isle) and Ingrid Bengis Seafood makes that connection of paramount importance. All of Ingrid’s scallops are labeled with the diver who caught them and when lobsters, crabmeat, oysters and clams are delivered, a point is made to let you know who caught them as well. Too often we walk into a restaurant and ‘savor’ a great meal and thank the Chefs and the servers, but the craftsmen who live and risk their lives to provide the ingredients are almost always never thanked.

To truly submerse yourself in complete gratification and appreciation is to acknowledge every hand that gave way to the meal you enjoyed. Ingrid ended her day with us by mentioning something a server at The Kitchen Boulder said; it was along the lines of, “We are the last line between the guest and the meal, and we have the biggest influence on whether the meal is a great one or not.” Such privileged positions, we culinarians, play in the lives that revolve around food to be eaten. It is true. We are the last line, delicately and poetically imposing our culinary prose making nature’s ingredients dance harmoniously with every individual’s taste buds.

“Respect for food is a respect for life, for who we are and what we do.” –Thomas Keller

In Veritate Et Caritate

Shake the Hand that Feeds You

As I sit in the antique chair that squeaks ever so lightly between the bookshelves of the Tattered Cover Bookstore, I reflect on my past year as a culinary student at Johnson and Wales University.  In 8 months or so, I completed 15 lab segments, the foundation of my future as a culinarian. It’s only the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come, certainly. But my time in the kitchens of the Johnson and Wales culinary building have allowed me to develop immensely, both as a person and a culinarian. It’s the time spent with the sincerely passionate and talented chefs of the school that’s definitely made all the difference.

‘Twas Michael Pollan who said, “Shake the hands that feeds you.”
So I thank you for feeding me, both figuratively and literally, with your knowledge, wisdom, and food.

Chef Deja Walker
Chef Robert Corey
Chef Max Ariza
Chef John Woolley
Chef Emil Bigler
Chef Birch DeVault
Chef Christopher Stone
Chef Carrie Stebbins
Chef Jamie Daugherty
Chef Michael Angelo
Chef Stacy Griest
Chef Kristen Harkness-Cofrades
Chef Adam Sacks
Chef David Dawson
And to all the other Chefs, of whom our paths never crossed, who make our learning environment what it is.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to us students, thank you for planting the seeds of my culinary imagination, the fundamentals, and the techniques of what it takes to make it in this ever-changing industry. Thank you for always inspiring.

In Veritate Et Caritate

Polyface Farm, Virginia

Thank you to Chef Corey for sharing this piece through your blog, thank you to Erica Bleeg for letting us revel in your experiences, and lastly thank you Joel Salatin and his family, and to all the hands at the Polyface Farm for continuing to be true stewards of our Earth.



Feeding the Future

Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Salatin family’s Polyface Farm encompasses 550 acres of woodland and pasture. A working farm, it has also become a mecca for the local foods movement. (All photos © Erica Bleeg.)

By Erica Bleeg

Walking through cow pastures and hog paddocks is part of my research. I teach two university courses on writing about food, and have a keen interest in where it’s sourced. Spring is the time to see a farm’s operations in full swing, so I recently headed over to Polyface, a Swoope, Va. farm that thrives without using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, hormones, or antibiotics.

Once known predominantly among readers of the trade journal Stockman Grass Farmer, Polyface’s owner, Joel Salatin, has gained a broader audience through trumpeting his humane and ecologically sound approach to agriculture. The 55-year-old Salatin has also made a mission of cultivating new farmers. For every farmer under 35, there are six over 65, and the USDA predicts that within the next 20 years a quarter of all farmers will retire. “There’s a brain-drain of knowledge about agriculture,” said Salatin.

Beginning wasn’t easy for Salatin. After a stint as a newspaper reporter, he returned to the family farm in 1982. “It was nip and tuck,” he remembered. “We lived on $300 a month.” Now Polyface brings in about eight summer interns in their teens and twenties to help with the season’s blaze of production, and two full-time apprentices work year-round. Salatin’s son, Daniel, lives on the farm with his wife and three children and manages the operation, often directing Salatin the Elder on chores.

Polyface rents an additional 1,200 acres where younger farmers live and work as independent contractors, borrowing equipment and raising livestock that feed Polyface’s business. “They can begin with zero capital,” said Salatin. Two such contractors have since successfully launched their own businesses. “In the end,” said Salatin, “This germinates new young farmers.”

Joel Salatin encourages visiting college students to smell the mix of manure and wood chips lifted from a hog paddock. The hogs aerate it while rooting with their snouts, transforming what could be toxic waste into rich, nearly odorless fertilizer.

Just two to three months old, pigs huddle together for warmth on a brisk April morning. At nine months and weighing about 300 pounds, they’ll be “ready to go,” says 26-year-old apprentice Noah Beyeler, farm talk for “ready for slaughter.” Polyface sells about 50 percent of all pig shoulders and hams to nearby Chipotlerestaurants.

With the aid of a forklift, apprentice manager Eric Barth, 26, moves a 308-pound hog feeder toward the barn paddock. Expensive equipment contributes to steep upfront costs for new farmers. According to a surveyconducted by the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, 78 percent of farmers cite lack of capital as the biggest challenge to beginners, followed by access to land and credit.

Eric Barth, Daniel Salatin, and Noah Beyeler select pigs whose post-slaughter weight appears to be less than 100 pounds, typical for barbeque. These would fill orders from the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. and an Arlington, Va. restaurant. Polyface also sells its meat and eggs in an on-site store. Seeing these men capture pigs recalls a Ralph Waldo Emerson observation Michael Pollan cites in The Omnivore’s Dilemma: “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”

Homemade pens keep broiler chickens on grass and safe from predators. The broilers go out on pasture at three weeks of age; they’ll grow for about five more weeks before reaching processing weight. Here Daniel Salatin refills their water supply. In the last three weeks of life the broilers grow over an ounce a day, he says, and “if any stress—like not enough water or feed—interrupts that growth process, you can’t get that back.”

Barred Plymouth Rock hens roam the pasture that cattle grazed only the day before. The hens follow the cattle, picking protein-rich grubs from cow patties, aerating the soil as they peck, and fertilizing it with their own nitrogen-dense droppings. In the backdrop is one of Joel Salatin’s inventions, the portable eggmobile where hens lay eggs in interior cubbyholes.

Unlike cattle finished on manure-laden feedlots, and fed a potentially poisonous mix of corn and antibiotics, the cattle at Polyface feed on grass, their natural diet.

“What you never, ever want to do is violate the law of the second bite,” Joel Salatin once advised Michael Pollan. A single bite at the top of the grass is optimal for stimulating regrowth. To prevent overgrazing, the cattle at Polyface are moved almost daily to fresh pasture, a process that takes Daniel less than five minutes.

Daniel points to two cattle bringing up the back: “See how the mother cow walks a little and then she’ll stop, waiting for her calf to catch up?”

Of continuing the work of his father’s business, “I’ve never thought of doing anything different,” Daniel says. The chore he most enjoyed as a child was herding cattle. Here, his two sons lend a hand.

Joel Salatin, a Christian, considers his work “a ministry in every sense of the word, except we’re for profit. We are in the healing business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the culture. Ultimately, if our work is not healing, it’s not worth doing.”

Garden Club and the Growhaus

Hello Blog world!

It’s been some time since I’ve mustered the motivation to get on here. Quite frankly, I’m lacking motivation in many areas, mostly with school. Plainly put, I’m thoroughly drained and in need of a summer vacation.

However, a recent personal endeavor of mine has pulled my attention away from the arduous tenacity of school and work and has helped to invigorate my culinary wellbeing and my state of mind in general. The new undertaking? Garden Club. (Insert laughter and jokes here)

The club is led by Chef Deja Walker of Johnson and Wales University – Denver. Chef Walker’s passion for food sustainability and eco-consciousness shows so vibrantly when she speaks of our Earth’s environmental issues. It is beyond inspiring.  Thank you Chef Walker for inspiring me.

Michael Pollan wrote in his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.” So the Garden Club, with ambitions and aspirations placed sky-high, look to connect with food in its truest and most beautiful form in hopes to inspire and inform others that there is in fact a difference between food and food-like substances rendering us into processed corn in walking form and that our relationship with food is more important than usually conceived.

Continuing on, my first venture with the modest Garden Club was a trip to the Growhaus, an indoor farm of sorts and educational center. According to their website, they pride themselves on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Their mission: to grow food in a sustainable fashion while educating and providing healthy food in a community not fond of such things. A beautiful thing indeed.

Growhaus grows crops in two different fashions in that of aquaponics and hydroponics. Aquaponics is the concept of using aquaculture in conjunction with hydroponics. In other words, fish poop in water, pooped-in water is then used to water and nourish plants. No soil is used and water is filtered and recycled, thus water usage, compared to that of conventional farming, is significantly lower. Crop growth is up to four times quicker than conventional farming, plants are naturally fertilized, no pesticides are used and all this can be achieved in the most urban of settings. However, the fish aren’t in their natural habitats and last time I checked, being in effluent water isn’t exactly the greatest thing. And there’s always that issue of a product produced by a happy species compared to an over-stressed counterpart (battery farming in poultry/egg production for example). So are the fish really happy in this environment? Fish weren’t made to grow plants so why make them machines to do so? And if aquaponics suddenly became the planet’s latest rage? Fish populations would be greatly disturbed and that really isn’t the idea of sustainability. And this claim isn’t too farfetched, the Orange Roughy, Bluefin Tuna, Beluga Sturgeon and many other fish species have almost all been completely decimated from our oceans because of overfishing. Although an entirely different issue, the premise remains the same.

In comparison, hydroponics is the method of growing plants using water enriched with minerals and nutrients in an entirely controlled environment. Zero soil is used making it ideal for urban farming. Water usage is also drastically cut since the water remains in the system and is recycled and pesticides are eliminated as well. Theoretically, hydroponics should create a stable and higher crop yields, but so many factors can greatly disrupt the crops; disease outbreak, power outages disrupting controlled environment, etc. There is also the notion that the supplemented nutrients come nowhere close to comprehending the complexity of nature’s soil. Lastly, hydroponic farming takes all the fun out of conventional farming, getting your hands dirty in the most therapeutic way underneath the rays of the sun and the pure satisfaction of eating the crops you harvest after a long days work.

At any rate, Growhaus is doing an amazing thing in connecting a community through food and supplying a community with healthy food and food education. While certain aspects of our food culture are spiraling out of control, Growhaus is taking steps in the right direction in aiming to slow the destruction. Now whether hydroponics and aquaponics are truly sustainable and just is entirely up to you.

Here are some pics from the trip!

Mural on outside wall, pretty cool.

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The aquaponics system

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ImageThe fishies

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Here’s the hyrdoponics farm

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We got to witness the first harvest over at the Growhaus

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and I found this sign below their daily duties board..very true indeed

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In Veritate Et Caritate

Perfection

‘Good cooking is the accumulation of small details done to perfection.’
– Michel Bourdin

Thank you, Chef Robert Corey for introducing this quote to me.  Although, we as humans, may never reach perfection, it pertinent to always strive for perfection. An individual’s potential is cultivated through their capacity for excellence.  For a culinarian, every detail matters or at least it should because every detail leads to perfection. No detail is too small, no task is too menial.

Perfection. Excellence. I went face to face with both this past weekend. Soft openings at The Kitchen Denver were in full swing and I can only imagine the pressure our Chef de Cuisine, Eric Lee, felt because quite frankly, it was the longest three days of my life and I’m just a cook.

Friday night, the restaurant held an industry party and I made some new friends. Oysters. Well over 200 of them. I manned the raw bar and shucked oysters non-stop for close to four hours. The little bivalve mollusks were clearly the night’s rage, because servers couldn’t even make it around the bar before their platters were wiped clean.  So I shucked the night away with the loud and jovial atmosphere at my back and the little nicks on my fingers reveal a hard day’s work. That, and the smell of the ocean that permeated my hands by the end of the night.

Saturday night was slightly different.  I was stationed on the line, so my mise en place included several items to be plated for hors d’ oeuvres for service. And all night I was constantly grilled by my chef, CONSTANTLY. There are many times in the kitchen when the fastest isn’t fast enough. Keep composure and embrace every single word of coercion. Perfection. Excellence. Thank you, Chef Eric.

Sunday night’s service was a glance at the real deal. Full blown service with a limited menu. I, however, found myself not on the line, but in the back prep area doing prep. As soon as the tickets started rolling in, they seem to have never stopped coming. My prep work was accompanied by the echoes of orders and the hustle and bustle of the line.  In moments, I became a part of the hustle and bustle. Racing to restock every station’s needs becoming a crucial part of the line’s strides towards perfection.  Remember, no detail is too small and no task is too menial. And at The Kitchen Denver every single task you do is acknowledged and appreciated. Thank you, Kitchen family.

Anyone can shuck an oyster or 1000 oysters, but no matter what, make every single detail matter. No matter how small, no matter how redundant. Precision: the meticulousness of making sure no shell fragments or other unpleasant factors are present in an oyster. Efficiency: doing the previously stated your fastest to accommodate demand. Remember, sometimes the fastest isn’t fast enough, but you make it work. Perfection: guest with oyster in hand and a simple, undisturbed slurp of salty goodness that’ll bring someone back to their fondest memories of breathing in the ocean air or the taste of the ocean water or the feeling of sand between toes.

In any situation, no matter the circumstances, always strive for perfection. No single detail should ever be over looked because every act is a gateway to perfection.

In Veritate Et Caritate

Food and Family

I swear its pretty tough trying to get into the swing of things in the blogging world. I’ve been meaning to blog for the past week or so but with school and work its been kind of rough. But let’s get down to business!

What I’ve really been meaning to write about is my time at The Kitchen Denver thus far. This past weekend was my first look at food production from our menu. Due to a very unfortunate and hindering school schedule, I’ve missed the past two weeks of training and have only been able to muster up a total of two days of training before soft openings this weekend.

With that in mind, I walked in Friday morning eager to get things rolling. I was beyond excited to finally get my hands on some food in my new home away from home. So after gearing up for the day in the basement locker room (uniform consists of: clean and pressed white, short-sleeve chef coat, black skull cap, black pants and black non-slip shoes, and navy, striped apron) I headed up stairs, mind set on absorbing as much information as possible. First things first though, sharpen knives – 3 sided stone sharpener gets the task done. Then the briefing: Chefs Kyle, Eric, Gabe and Sous Chef Justin inform the kitchen staff of the day’s mission – 6 rounds of food service for the front-of-house staff to get a taste of certain items on the menu.

And just a quick word on our front-of-house family members. For the past 2+ weeks, they’ve been under intensive training. Wine director, Tim Wanner, leads lectures on in-house wines, spirits, and beers, Chefs bring in and show certain food products, so each member knows how everything looks and tastes, and other members of The Kitchen Community feed our FOH staff with an abundance of knowledge. I believe they’re even tested on these things! I’ve never witnessed training like this for a restaurant, but it truly emphasizes the idea of being passionate about what we do at The Kitchen Community thus providing a wonderful, memorable experience for the guest. Our FOH staff is top-notch, chock-full of knowledge, well-versed in all things ‘The Kitchen’ and beyond passionate.

But back to kitchen matters, because that’s were the real fun is 😉
My station today: pantry/garde manger. We have a few hours of mise en place before our first round of food is in the pass, but since I haven’t witnessed any sort of prep or production, I was a little uneasy. Everyone is tremendously accommodating though and with a couple dozen questions asked on my part, I easily get into the groove of things.

Every round we cook, food is in the pass, FOH staff takes a break from their studies to taste, then a flurry of ‘mmmms,’ ‘oooohs,’ and nods of approval follow their bites. Then we clean, prep, clean and do it all again. Of course, all the kinks are still being worked out with the Chefs – plating, portion control, seasoning, timing, etc. Things are constantly being changed, but this is nothing but an extraordinary thing. We care about our food, we care about the moments and memories that will be shared around these dishes, and truthfully, we just want our food to be the best damn thing you’ve ever eaten.

At the end of the day my notebook is filled with indispensable notes:

CICI BRUSCHETTA
-toasted bread
-hummus
-toasted cumin
-paprika
-EVOO
-celery sprouts
-oval plate

GRILLED ARTICHOKE
-romesco
-chokes
-parsley
-toasted almonds
-lemon vin
-fleur de sol
-lemon wedge

LARDO TOASTIE (amazing by the way)
-30 grams white spread
-rosemary, garlic, parm
-potato roll
-brush w/ EVOO
-press

ESCAROLE (best salad that has ever graced my tastebuds)
-fine herbs
-parsely
-marj
-tarragon
-chives
-Sherry/shallot vin
-pecans
-bleu d’veregne

Just a few of the things we plated that day.

My second day of training was a replay of the first, except all staff got their hands on our salumi boards, delectable cheese boards of Ossau-Iraty (sheep’s milk), Bûcheron (goat’s milk), and Bleu d’ Avergne (cow’s milk), along with seafood platters of smoked salmon and mackerel, raw oysters and clams that were reminiscent of my days near an ocean, poached shrimp, crab legs, caviar, and dessert. A dang good way to spend any day if I must say so myself.

And At the end of the day, we deep clean, as we will do every single night. Everything is scrubbed then sanitized. Every nook and cranny is swept then washed. EVERYTHING GETS CLEANED. However tedious the cleaning may be, it bothers me not one bit nor anyone else. There’s a sense of pride and joy each member of our kitchen crew emanates whilst cleaning our kitchen. We have the privilege of cooking in a brand-new, shiny kitchen and we all make it a point that our kitchen stays that way. And as the cleaning came to a close, I found myself standing amongst such extraordinary individuals. Every member of the FOH thanked each of us for serving them food and the kitchen staff was all smiles, all day. As corny as it may be, the simplicity and sincerity that was found in each of those ‘Thank-yous’ allowed the idea of family at ‘The Kitchen Community’ to permanently settle in.

In Veritate Et Caritate

The Kitchen

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

The Kitchen Community’, as it is known collectively, is a series of restaurant venues founded by Hugo Matheson, Kimbal Musk, and Jen Lewin. Founded in April 2004, ‘The Kitchen’ was opened as a community bistro of sorts in Boulder, Colorado and the restaurant has since then found its way onto 5280’s top 25 restaurants of the region. Just a year later in ‘05, [Upstairs] opened their doors as Boulder’s community cocktail lounge followed by The Kitchen [Next Door] in 2011 providing the Boulder community with pub style food and atmosphere. The Kitchen Community’s latest addition: The Kitchen Denver, slated to open its doors to the public March 20, 2012 and also where I find myself among the restaurants opening back-of-house dinner crew..or family I should say.

Family. Community. Passion.

These were the words that constantly resonated through the unfinished office space above Blake Street that morning during The Kitchen Denver’s new-employee orientation. The hierarchy of management spoke to about 100 or so brand new employees of the restaurant’s history and philosophy. The philosophy: Community through food.

Food truly is not just sustenance for one’s body. It is memories forged around the dinner table with family and loved ones. It is love and laughter being shared in the company of others. Food is happiness. Food is magic. The founders and every member of The Kitchen family believe this with their hearts and souls. They believe that through good food, a special moment is created, a memory forever cherished. Thomas Keller said, ‘A great meal is not one that fills you up. A great meal is a kind of journey that returns you to sources of pleasure you may have forgotten and takes you to places you haven’t been before.’ Ahhh, the power of food.

And tomorrow, I begin my journey with my newly acquired family members at The Kitchen Denver. Nails are trimmed, shoes are polished, knives are sharpened and I look forward to all the new and exciting opportunities and experiences ahead.

In Veritate Et Caritate

The Beginning

‘Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change’

-Ingrid Bengis

So where did the sudden urge to blog come from? I can assure you, I don’t even know myself. But something within provoked this ‘urge’ and as I type these words my brain is trying to formulate a reason. Perhaps there is none. But now I think that my passion should be shared with the world and everyone in it (or lack thereof) through this blog. I think before I continue, ‘passion’ should be more clearly defined in this context. I’m referring to my passion for the culinary arts, the skill to transform ingredients into ravishing and nourishing works of art. The ability to capture all 5 senses with a meal; simply said, but its complexity certainly beyond measure. And yes, ALL five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, AND hearing. ‘Hearing?’ you’re probably saying to yourself, so take 5 minutes to stop reading here and listen to one of my culinary heroes and mastermind, Heston Blumenthal because he explains the multisensory experience far better than I ever would.

Now, moving on. Let my words guide you alongside me in my journey as a culinarian. Let my words allow you to envision my dreams and feel my failures as I do. I’ll tell of all the wonders and sorrows I encounter along the way. I’ll share my gained knowledge and wisdom with truth and love so in some way, shape, or form they may plant a seed of change in the world.

In Veritate Et Caritate