Haven't made your New Year's resolutions yet? That makes two of us. But instead of focusing on ourselves, we prodded more than two dozen Denver/Boulder chefs to find out what they resolve to do in 2011.
Their answers ranged from the obvious (get in shape) to the romantic (spoiling a girl with food and drink).
Read on for the full list.
Max MacKissock, Squeaky Bean
I resolve to...get a real kitchen in the Squeaky Bean. It's been fun, but the butane and smoke are starting to get on top of me. I need to drop some pounds. This is my usual cycle: I'll be in good shape by May, and fat again by Thanksgiving. We want to build a green house behind the restaurant, too, and I want to make my restaurant better every day.
I resolve to...learn how to make cheese and pasta by hand, provide more education and growth-based opportunities for my chefs and cooks, cook with -- and learn from -- talented Denver chefs, cook more often with my kids and become close personal friends with TroyTulowitzki.
Paul Reilly, Encore
I resolve to...drive to work less, and after seven years of living in Denver, I will finally eat at Sushi Den. I will eat lunch with Wade Kirwan more often, and I will look at reviews on Yelp less -- and sleep better because of it.
Lon Symensma, ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro
I resolve to...reach out to more local farmers and source high quality, local ingredients to highlight on the menu. Also, since I moved to Denver, I haven't had much time to enjoy Colorado, so another resolution is to take some time and explore my new home.
I resolve to...I don't usually make any, because I feel it sets you up for failure when you have to make one, so I prefer to make resolutions at other times. That being said, I really want to loose twenty pounds; I want Rioja to get a James Beard award for Best Restaurant in the Southwest and I want Euclid hall to kick ass and get national publicity because I think the place is cool and Jorel is great. I really want to promote him
Aaron Youngblood, Dixons Downtown Grill
I resolve to...stop using my work out bench as a coat rack, treat myself to a vacation (if I have some time), spoil a lucky girl with food and drink, and to just relax more and enjoy life since I'm such a stress ball that doesn't stop to smell the roses.
Jorel Pierce, Euclid Hall
I resolve to...have a greater resolve, in all senses of the word. I resolve to make progress in bringing consonance from dissonance on the plate, the palate, the eyes, among my staff and in between my ears -- in the gray matter.
Samir Mohammad, Village Cork
I resolve to...accomplish the following: cooking demonstration classes in our larger kitchen space and offering three types of house-produced cheeses and two additional cured meats, with the help of ll Mondo Vecchio. We will continue to use our urban garden for growing and are looking for more growing space. I also want to get back to the classic recipes that started it all and get lost in a few good cookbooks this year, like Simple French Food and The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery.
I resolve to...take more time for Troy. I need to find more balance with work and family so I can be my best for both. We're planning on building a rooftop garden at TAG that's gonna be great; we're opening TAG|RAW BAR and will plan for restaurant number three for 2012. I want to travel more, see more of the world and keep on living, especially since I turn forty in May -- get busy living, or get busy dying! I want to make FIVE rock again in year four. And last, but not least, I just want to have fun.
Charles Sinden, The Lobby
I resolve to...give up the PBR and drink better beer. With all the great beer around here, there's no reason to ever drink the Blue Ribbon.
Jamey Fader, Lola and Big Red F
I resolve to...work on touching every table. I used to be able to get out on the floor and meet every guest -- it was my "must do" for getting input, cultivating relationships and showing that I personally appreciate everyone who sets foot in our shop. Life, biz and a hectic pace all seem to have tripped me up and I truly regret that. In 2011, I resolve to show the fine guests of Lola just how much I/we value their patronage and hopefully make a few new friends along the way.
Michael Long, Aria
I resolve to...try to garner some best new restaurant accolades, if we're deserving; finally start that book project with my favorite food writer (suck up); and travel to Germany to catch LEZ Zeppelin, the all-girl Led Zeppelin tribute band.
Jorge de la Torre, Johnson & Wales
I resolve to...keep tasting product that my students make -- just not finish the whole pastry or plate or go back for seconds. I'm trying to start every day with a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with chia seeds so I'm not so hungry when I go to the classes.
I resolve to...drink a different wine every day. With close to 60 wines by the glass at the wine bar, I'll never get burned out any one.
Brad Rowell, Colt & Gray
I resolve to...eat twenty percent less pork fat per day and replace that with twenty percent more Schlitz. I'd also like to travel more, snowboard more and spend more time making terrines and charcuterie.
Daniel Asher, Root Down
I resolve to...return my physique to its former glory when I was a super ninja vegan chef living in a tepee without electricity or running water. Gluttony is not a quality I wish to entertain much longer, and there is beauty and balance in moderation. I also want to help successfully launch Linger, and make sure it becomes one of this country's' greatest examples of food service sustainability. It would be so satisfying to look back at the end of this year and to know I reached levels of excellence in my professional and personal life that I never would have imagined possible. Deep down, isn't that what we all want -- to maximize our potential, get out of bed each morning, and into bed each night, firm in the knowledge that we totally kicked ass and fought the good fight?
Mark DeNittis, Il Mondo Vecchio
I resolve to...welcome 2011 with a warm embrace and all the grandeur and prosperity it poses toward my continued goal of global salumi domination. 2010 has been an enormously challenging year for me, both personally and professionally, a reality bitch slap of sorts, as if from the hand of God himself. With that I bid farewell to 2010.
Eric Skokan, Black Cat
I resolve to...expand our ethno-botany garden at the farm with the help of the team I'm pulling together -- a USDA field expert, a CSU professor and a few local master gardeners -- to add foraged herbs to our dishes. I also want to have more animals at the farm: fifty endangered Mulefoot hogs, 55 heritage breed sheep, 900 ducks, thirty Toulouse geese, thirty wild turkeys and 400 chickens. I plan to add two more greenhouses, as well, and we're moving through the legal maze to have dinners at our farm.
Hosea Rosenberg, StrEat Chefs
I resolve to...buy a house, open a new restaurant and travel to Australia and New Zealand.
Yasmin Lozada-Hissom and John Browning, Olivéa
We resolve to...plant, weed and harvest an organic vegetable garden in our backyard. It's been a resolution for years, but like most resolutions, we never seem to pass the first stage. No matter how careful John and I think we are, very soon our promising project turns into a mad jungle, and the whole thing has to be hacked through with a machete. The most we've ever harvested was a handful of Sweet One Hundred tomatoes and two -- yes, two -- lemon cucumbers. I remember we sliced them see-through-thin and proudly shared them with our visiting friends like they were white Alba truffles. Pathetic.
Rhett Songer, Z Fusion
I resolve to...spend less time obsessing about my job and more time building a life worth being present for. Food is wonderful and beautiful, but in the end, it's just that: food. I also want to find a setting to do my style of Italian; I think my take on it would blow people away.
Brandon Biederman, Steuben's
I resolve to...take better care of myself, and to expand the palate of my three-year-old, Lilly, beyond Steuben's macaroni and cheese. On a professional level, I'd like to expand the vision of the Steuben's Truck to serve as a "test kitchen" for both Steuben's and Vesta chefs, transforming Pearl into more than just a burger and fries operation, and giving the chefs from both restaurants a platform on which to play around and try some new things in a more casual setting.
Jeff Osaka, twelve
I resolve to...lose weight, eat right and exercise. Actually, all that went out the door when I ate at Lou's last week. I want to manage my time better, respond to e-mails quicker, and since I don't have a budget to donate, maybe volunteer my time and skills more. An I want to improve our guests' experience at twelve -- not just this year but year after year.
I resolve to...make an effort to eat something by 4 p.m. every day -- maybe even have breakfast a couple times a week. I guess I just want to try to take time from a busy schedule and eat three square meals or maybe even two-and-a-half.
Goose Sorensen, Solera
I resolve to...take some time for myself and make a list of places in Denver to eat at every other Sunday.