Six words -- or whatever -- to describe your food: My food is, to an extent, an attempt to shine a positive light on misunderstood ingredients like blood, marrow and organs. The focus of my kitchen is on creating thought-provoking food through the careful consideration of balance and depth. Everything we do is deliberately crafted to accomplish something.
Ten words -- or whatever -- to describe you: The first thing to being a good chef is being a leader, and I would best be described as a passionate leader. For me, the keys have been honesty, confidence, staying real and remaining excited about what I do. I think of myself as progressive and motivated, and I'd describe myself as an analytical mathematician, in the business sense, and a thoughtful artist in the realm of all things edible.
Culinary inspirations: I'm deeply inspired by chefs like Marco Pierre White, for his no-nonsense technique, and Joël Robuchon for his roots and fundamental teachings. I'm also inspired by chef Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, England, for taking in a rough-edged and brilliantly green culinary student and turning on the light of inspiration.
Favorite ingredient: Eggs. They're a formidable platform on which to demonstrate technique on a beautifully balanced blank canvas.
Best recent food find: Slightly thick foie gras hollandaise, which was the result of a ten-ounce rendered foie trimmed and substituted for butter in the classic preparation. It could be the best-textured and most flavorful sauce I've ever had.
Most overrated ingredient: Can it be equipment-related? The technology of programmable ovens and thermo-circulated meats is fucking up the art of cuisine. I would much prefer to burn a duck the old-fashioned way than have an oven tell me when it's right. And who wouldn't prefer a real grilled steak to a vacuum-bagged one?
Most underrated ingredient: Codfish in any version. It's super versatile, cheap, clean and appropriately fishy-tasting. What do you have to say about that, Mr. "Ida-sea" rainbow trout?
Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: Pulling eggs from the chicken coop at the vegetable stand between Applewood Golf Course and Coors Brewery along 32nd Avenue yields some of the best and most delicious local huevos. There's a sign that just says, "Fresh Fruit and Vegetables" in front of a dirt driveway. You take a right at the driveway, follow it down and park on the left. You'll know when you're there by all the chickens running around. The eggs are the bomb, and the guy who runs it raises the chickens and lets them die naturally.
Favorite spice: Salt. Without it, there would be no Great Wall in China, no bacalao and no blanching water. Life would be dismal.