Reader: I applaud all the chefs who put it out there, including Mitch Mayers

Mitch Mayers always knew he wanted to be a chef, even when his parents insisted he go to Cornell. So he paired that with classes at culinary school, and after a stint with Hillstone -- which sent him to Denver to run the kitchen at the Cherry Creek Grill -- he's now the exec chef at Black Pearl.

And the focus of this week's Chef and Tell interview -- as well as the subject of a few snarky comments. See also: - Chef and Tell: Mitch Mayers, exec chef at Black Pearl, on Mohawks and Agio - Black Pearl owner Steve Whited and his chef, Mitch Mayers, will open Agio in Baker early next year - Ed Kammerer, exec chef-owner of Highland Pacific Restaurant & Oyster Bar, on clams, Coastal cuisine and his career

But others have come to his defense...and the defense of Denver chefs in general. Says Derek:

I don't know Mitch real well, but I've spent some time with him at industry event and I cross paths with him through the normal course of business. I've found him to be professional, passionate, and funny. I respect him and his food.

It strikes me as somewhat sad that a good number of the chefs in the Chef and Tell articles become punching bags for hate driven missives and rants from anonymous posters. I've traveled to other cities and I haven't found one that exemplifies the philanthropically chef driven culture that we enjoy in Denver. I applaud the chefs that put it all out there in the interviews -- that's part of their DNA -- it takes guts and it's why the chefs have been so successful growing our food culture in Denver.

Why are some of these Westword readers so hateful? Can't blame the cost of the Westword. Time to stop the cheap shots!

Are cheap shots invariably part of free speech? And how invaluable is the generosity of Denver's chefs? Post your thoughts below -- and watch for the second half of the Mitch Mayers Chef and Tell later this morning.

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