Cafe Society

A stage at Z Cuisine helped pave the way for The Plimoth

Restaurant stages, i.e. unpaid apprenticeships, are very different from the useless internships many of us endured in college. Far from killing time making copies, kitchen interns gain real-time, real-world experience that translates directly to necessary skills. For example, Peter Ryan says he wouldn't be where he is today without the summer he spent staging at Z Cuisine. See also: The ten best new restaurants in Denver for 2013

Ryan says he sought out the stage spot at Patrick DuPay's Z Cuisine because "I had been teaching at Cook Street eight or nine years and didn't have chops." A few months later, Ryan was hired as chef at the French restaurant, with "full disclosure" that he was trying to get the experience necessary to open his own place.

Clearly Ryan learned something, because his own place turned out to be The Plimoth, the charming spot that I review this week.

He clearly learned a lot more during his stage than I learned during one summer internship, when I was so bored I memorized the state capitals -- after I was done making copies.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz