is turning sweet sixteen, and has given itself a birthday gift: new executive chef Garren Teich, who will give the classical French fare a twist and continue the restaurant's focus on molecular gastronomy. As Teich settles in, he and owner Gene Tang are coming up with a new menu and making plans to pair up with Metropolitan State University Denver for a molecular gastronomy class.
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Teich has been working for two and a half years at 1515, which occupies a beautiful Victorian building in LoDo, and shares Tang's love for both molecular gastronomy and environmental practices. "He's one of the most talented chefs I've ever worked with," Tang says. "Garren is really, really passionate. When someone is cooking, you can tell when if they put love into the food. And he is one of the few chefs I know who does that."
1515 was the first Denver restaurant certified for "sous vide," a French slow-cooking technique that involves vacuum sealing the food and placing it in 127-degree water for hours. "Everybody who cooks in Denver is doing pretty much the same thing, but molecular gastronomy puts us a little bit above that level," Tang says.
Wine pairing is another 1515 staple. Teich is in the process of becoming a master sommelier, having just passed the first level in the master course. "When it comes to wine pairing, we can sit down and talk intelligently about pairing wine with our food." Tang says. "A lot of chefs don't have that background."
While the new menu -- which will include dishes like Buffalo short ribs -- is still in the works, Teich is already heating up the 1515 kitchen. "He's really innovative, and he and I see things together," Tang says. "And when he does something, you can really tell it's something special."
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To take a look at 1515's current menu, visit the 1515 website.