Cafe Society

Eric Cimino, chef of Luca, on the number one rule in Frank Bonanno's kitchens

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What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring chef? You have to stay focused and continue to make forward moves.

If you could train under any chef in the world, who would it be? I'd love to spend time training under Christopher Kostow, the chef at the Restaurant at Meadowood, and also chef Josh Skenes, from Saison in San Francisco. They're so incredibly talented and have so much to teach, and I love that their cuisines are very progressive without being gimmicky.

What skills and attributes do you look for when hiring kitchen staff? I look for passion, drive and energy when hiring kitchen staff. These are traits that can't be taught.

Favorite dish on your menu: Right now, it's the baccala ravioli with sweetbreads, hedgehog mushrooms and brown butter. The salt cod and sweetbreads really complement each other, and a squeeze of lemon balances everything out.

What dish would you love to put on your menu, regardless of how well it would sell? I really love skate, but people in Denver tend to have a hard time with unfamiliar seafood.

It's your night off and you're starving. What's your go-to quick fix? I'll make a breakfast burrito with bacon, eggs, cheese, salsa and potatoes if I have them. I could eat at least one burrito a day if my wife would let me get away with it.

Weirdest customer request: "Can the lamb tartare be made vegetarian?" That was definitely one of the strangest requests I've had from a guest.

What's your biggest pet peeve? Not owning up to your mistakes. If you drop it, spill it or break it, or if you make a mistake, own it. And if you make a mess, clean it up. It drives me crazy when someone in the kitchen won't take responsibility for his or her actions.

Your best traits: Patience, a positive attitude, a good work ethic, and a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson