Galvanize founder Jim Deters discovered the bagel man at last year's University of Colorado Denver Bard Center Business Plan Competition, where Pollack came in third. Pollack, who'd moved here from the East and missed authentic bagels, had a dream: to make an authentic New York bagel in Colorado. Although he had no formal culinary training, he understood that the water was a key ingredient in a New York bagel. So Pollack collected samples from the Big Apple, then began molecularly engineering Denver water to create the same mineral content and chemistry.
"I focus on one thing, and that is making the best bagels outside of New York City," says Pollack.He started out baking bagels in in his own kitchen, then did a brief stint at the Cook Street culinary school before landing at Gather last fall. After the dough bakes on burlap-covered bagel boards for the first four minutes, Pollack then flips the bagels over and they finish baking on stone shelves in the oven. The bagels come in four varieties — plain, sesame, poppy and everything — and can be topped with triple-whipped cream cheese for a light, almost fluffy schmear. But there are other options, and Pollack is particularly proud of his signature Reuben flavor, that combines corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing in a high-powered blender that produces a smooth spread that tastes like it's right out of Carnegie Deli.