Simple Pleasures

John Duran keeps things casual at Canopy Grill.

Restless, Duran next tried a few out-of-the-kitchen careers -- cosmetology school, construction, a butcher shop -- before eventually deciding to go to cooking school in Louisville, Kentucky. He paid his way working at nearby restaurants.

Degree in hand, Duran returned to Colorado, and jobs at various Boulder eateries followed. At the original European Cafe, where he met Price, he learned a great deal from Cerny's sophisticated cuisine. "Doors were being opened for me," he says. Then came stints at the Med and Dandelion and, eventually, in the kitchen of Full Moon Grill, under Tim Bouse.

Bouse helped Duran get a job in Las Vegas, opening Lupo's for Wolfgang Puck; he stayed there for a year. But after Heap got the contract at Chautauqua Dining Hall and Bouse moved to that kitchen ("Food for Thought," February 28), Duran took over Bouse's slot at Full Moon.

Tropical breeze: Chef John Duran cooks up Cuban-Caribbean fare at Canopy Grill.
Anna Newell
Tropical breeze: Chef John Duran cooks up Cuban-Caribbean fare at Canopy Grill.

Location Info


Canopy Grill

2770 Arapahoe
Lafayette, CO 80026

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: Boulder


Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday
8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday
Sunday brunch 9 a.m.-2p.m.
2770 Arapahoe Road, Lafayette

"I enjoy making good food," he says. "I try to keep it simple -- not necessarily simple to make, but so that people understand what's there. I'm not into high food or arty food or a lot of sauces."

As time goes by, Canopy Grill will introduce a few more high-end dishes, but it will stay true to the owners' original vision, Duran says. "I want my food to be accessible to a lot of people. I don't like feeling I have to put on a suit and tie to eat dinner."

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