Reader: Give thanks for Kevin Taylor, a Denver trailblazer

Cafe Society had people talking, and squawking, yesterday, about everything from Rockbar's new plans to Sean Kenyon's mezcal-tasting trip to the Pinyon's commitment to local ingredients to how to get the best service at wine shops. But one comment in particular stood out, for both for its erudition and its generosity of spirit.

Sean Kelly, no slouch as a chef himself, served up this accolade for Kevin Taylor, the subject of the current Chef and Tell interview:

I have proudly known Kevin for twenty years now, and like so many other Denver chefs, I owe a great bit of gratitude to this man, he taught me more in one year of employment than any other chef I had ever worked for. He earned my unwavering respect in the kitchen long ago because not only is he one of the most food-intelligent people you could find anywhere, he is a self-taught artist with uncompromising standards. Kevin was getting heaps of national praise and press two decades ago, one of the guys who cut a wide trail for all of us to follow in this town.

Kelly, of course, followed with his own Aubergine, Clair de Lune and Something Else (read Jason Sheehan's account of that Kelly restaurant here), among others, and then, after a gig with the Little Pub Co., wound up with the Larimer Group, partnering on LoHi SteakBar and helping to envision Ernie's. Lately, he's also been working with Frank Bonanno on the kitchen at Green Russell. But clearly, he remembers who helped him along the way.

The second installment of the Kevin Taylor interview will be posted later this morning. And in the meantime, keep reading...and commenting.

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