Cafe Society

Jimmy Bernat, exec chef of Jimmy's Urban Bar & Grill, on chewing, spitting and Go Fast

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In the following interview, Bernat recalls his encounter with spit and chew in a can, issues a plea to Linger to please bring back the damn duck wings, and contends that anything ordered well-done, especially bison, is blasphemy.

How do you describe your food? Simple, delicious and familiar, but with my own little twist on things. I love traditional American dishes, but at the same time, I'm an Indian and Asian spice junkie; adding more exotic spices to simple American dishes is delicious on so many different levels.

Ten words to describe you: Energetic, confident, funny (at least in my own mind), loud, strange, laid-back, calm, cool and collected.

What are your ingredient obsessions? Nothing particularly exotic, but I'm obsessed with sriracha and bacon. I use both in just about everything I make at home, as well as in many of my dishes at the restaurant. Sriracha isn't just for spice, either -- adding a small amount to certain cream sauces really adds a nice flavor. I don't keep much food at home, as I'm never there, but you'll always find some sriracha, bacon and bacon fat.

What are your kitchen-gadget obsessions? I keep it pretty simple, but I love my Vitamix and experimenting with different drinks, soups and sauces.

Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: I get some great hot sauces from the Captain Spongefoot Trading Company. Paul DiBello, the owner, has a great wing sauce, and while it's not locally produced, it's a Colorado company. I'm also a huge fan of heirloom tomatoes. I get some pretty great heirlooms from a family-owned business in Park Hill called Colo-Pac Produce.

One ingredient that you won't touch: Iodized salt. I can't stand it and don't use it in any of my cooking.

Food trend you'd like to see in 2013: I ate at a dim sum restaurant just the other day for the first time and would really love to see some other ethnic cuisines served that way, especially Indian cuisine.

Food trend you'd like to see disappear in 2013: While I enjoy pho, I don't quite get the obsession with it. Also, what's the deal with all the "deconstructed sandwiches" popping up all over menus? Maybe it's because sandwiches are my life, but why would you want to pay extra in a restaurant to have a sandwich that isn't constructed? But, hey, who am I to judge? And you know, come to think of it, every one of those sandwiches I had was great...but I could have skipped the assembly.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson