Over the past year, Lori Midson asked chefs, cooks and pastry experts across the metro area to spill their secrets in her weekly Chef and Tell feature. Here are some of our favorite responses from those fifty interviews... See also: The 13 most overcooked food trends from 2013
Derek Dietz of Bocadillo on chef titles: "My greatest accomplishment as a chef will be when I become a chef. I am only 24 years old, and the term 'chef' should not be used for me. I know many great chefs who have been cooking better than me for longer than I have been alive.... My goal as a cook is to one day earn the title of chef. Yes, I own my own restaurant and run the entire operation, but I don't think this automatically makes me a chef. If I'm already a chef at 24, then what am I striving to become? Nowadays, 'chef' just means a person who cooks professionally for other people, but to me and any old-schoolers, it means a highly skilled cook who is overly proficient in all aspects of food. I do not enjoy chefing, I enjoy cooking."
Ian Clark of BRU handbuilt ales & eats on food trends he's seen enough of: "Immersion circulators. These things are crutches. Whatever happened to cooks being able to execute a perfect braise? Cooks are getting praise when they can't even execute the basics because they rely too much on technology."
Nadine Donovan of Old Major on memorable desserts: "A piece of vegan wedding cake, which is only memorable because it was so horrible. From that day forward, I vowed to never let anyone eat a dessert as bad as that one. More power to vegans, but for the sake of humanity, leave the cake to us."
Steve Redzikowski of Acorn on advising young chefs: "Put yourself in the toughest kitchens you can find and work for free, because it'll make you humble and allow you to just focus on food and motivating those around you. And for God's sake, lead by example. Don't be afraid to jump in the dish pit and get a little dirty. If, on the other hand, you're after money, then work at a country club where food isn't the primary focus."
Iain Chisholm of Amerigo Delicatus on what he expects from Denver diners: "Aside from please make a reservation, I would ask that they put their restaurant experiences into context. I hate it when people come to our restaurant and act put out because we aren't exactly what they thought we were going to be. We're small and pretty casual. I can't be everything to everyone, and we're doing a very specific thing here: We're serving good, handmade food in a casual setting, and we're unapologetic about not being a white-tablecloth type of place."
Kris Padalino of Bittersweet on cursing cupcakes: "I despise cupcakes. The ratio of cake to frosting is just absurd. I mean, who the hell wants to eat only sweet, stomach-aching frosting and pay $8 a pop for a damn cupcake? If that's the case, you're better off just going to the grocery store and buying a couple of containers of Betty Crocker frosting mix and sitting on your chair with a spoon. What happened to the rest of the cake?"
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Read more of our favorite quotes from the 2013 Chef and Tell interviews tomorrow on Cafe Society.