Cafe Society

Scott Yosten, exec chef of Steakhouse 10, on politicians, food trucks and the weirdness of the customer who chewed the fat

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He stayed at Tante Louise for two years, working, he says, "as hard as I could and the best that I could for a hard-ass chef who finally took me under his wing" before getting the gig at the Quorum, where he cooked for five years. He danced around several more Mile High City kitchens following that stint, then left for the corporate world of fast food. "That's where the money was," admits Yosten, who was a "corporate cleaner" for Taco Bell. "I'd go into properties that were going down and clean up the messes that everyone else had made," he jokes. And, he confesses, he even had to sling burritos.

After a succession of other jobs in the corporate fast-food and fast-casual world, including managing multi-units of Qdoba Mexican Grill, Yosten took a major detour from food to help his brother run his construction company. "That was a weird change, I admit, but I just wanted to do something different," says Yosten.

But not for long. Yosten soon got a phone call from a server at Steakhouse 10, who revealed that the restaurant was looking for a chef. Yosten was interested -- and hired. "That was in 2005," says Yosten, "and I'm still as happy working here now as I was then."

In the following interview, Yosten retells a tragic restaurant horror story, sounds off on politicians and their issues with food trucks, and ponders the weirdness of the customer who chewed the fat.

Six words to describe your food: Crafted, rustic, traditional, straightforward and consistent.

Ten words to describe you: Loyal, truthful, moralistic, hardworking, creative, detailed, focused, aware and forever learning.

Favorite ingredient: Love. Love the food you prepare, because there's no better ingredient to bring people together, be it a family dinner, a catering event at the Denver Art Museum for 1,000 people, a baptism party for your first child, a holiday party, or a party with your closest friends. When love is the key ingredient in your food, you'll always be successful.

Favorite local ingredient: There's a jalapeno-bacon out there that all the big houses are stocking. It doesn't give off a lot of fat, the color is brilliant after it's cooked, and the flavor contrast it adds to dishes is wonderful.

Most overrated ingredient: Truffles are way overused. If chefs could incorporate them into a dessert, you can bet that they'd most certainly try. Don't get me wrong: I love truffles, but they have their place.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson