Just Be Kitchen, Denver's only completely paleo restaurant, opened in April in the former home of Mona's at 2364 15th Street with chef Carrie Baird as the executive chef and partner. But Baird wasn't in the kitchen very long. After taking some time off to pursue another opportunity, she's emerged as the new executive chef at Bar Dough, the wood-fired Italian eatery at 2227 West 32nd Avenue run by Highland Tap & Burger owners Juan Padro and Katie O'Shea-Padro.
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“We supported Carrie wholeheartedly to pursue the opportunities she was given this past spring — we know she ultimately wanted to open her own restaurant," Just Be Kitchen, which is owned by Jennifer Peters, announced in a statement. "While Carrie has been adventuring, our extremely talented sous chef Britt Morris stepped up to steer the ship — she worked with Carrie on the menu creation and is now developing some fun menu additions for fall. Carrie will always be a part of a female strong team that designed a menu to meet the needs of those suffering with food sensitivities or who want to BE their best selves.”
Baird's new role at Bar Dough comes on the heels of the Padros opening Señor Bear, at 3301 Tejon Street, just last week; Bar Dough's previous chef, Blake Edmunds, is heading the kitchen at the new restaurant. Baird had also previously worked at Brazen in West Highland, and Juan Padro says his team's culinary director, Max MacKissock, has known her for more than twenty years. "We think Carrie is the perfect fit...and she brings a personality to the role that we haven't seen; she's so engaging and bright," Padro adds.
We loved Baird's late-night ramen with handmade noodles at Brazen, as well as her grain-free pizza at Just Be Kitchen — both good signs, since pizza and pasta are the centerpieces of Bar Dough's menu.