It's good to be Biker Jim, who just keeps expanding his fifteen minutes of fame. First, there was Anthony Bourdain, who featured Biker Jim's 16th Street Mall cart on an episode of No Reservations, in which the acerbic, lanky, big-footed chef, nomad and book author found "enlightenment" in Jim's swollen sausages.
Just last week, Jim's new brick-and-mortar, Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, was the subject of Ludo Bites America, a new show on the Cooking Channel hosted by Ludo Lefebvre, the sexy chef with the French accent who took a bite of a bison heart -- oh, the drama -- insinuated that Jim was perpetually stoned (for the record, he's been alcohol- and drug free for nearly thirty years) and kicked everything within reach of his feet.
"I had a great couple of days with Ludo, he's a fantastic chef, and I loved hanging out with him, but I wish they would have concentrated more on the dishes we put out during the pop-up dinner and all the fun we had, rather than putting so much emphasis on what a challenge it seemed to be for them," muses Jim, adding that, unlike some people, he has a "relaxed attitude toward life," which may not make for heart-palpitating theatricals, but when you're swaggering hot dogs all day long, to the tune of hundreds, that's an attribute.
And Jim was just as easygoing a few months ago, when a production crew buzzed around him -- and his cart -- for hours on the 16th Street Mall, while capturing footage for the Best Thing I Ever Ate, which airs on the Food Network. And tonight, on the Denver episode, celebrity chef Susan Feniger, who's a huge proponent of street food, goes all giddy for Jim's elk-and-jalapeno dog, which, she insists, is the best thing she's ever eaten. "She was here in 2006, during the Parade of Lights, and found her way to the cart," recalls Jim, adding that Feniger even got behind the grill and slung dogs. "She had the elk dog, and I guess she liked it a lot, since we're going to be featured on the show tonight."
And you can watch it at Biker Jim's during a viewing party tonight, beginning at 8 p.m. which is when the episode hits the television screen. "Susan is actually supposed to call in tonight during the show," says Jim, who will mark the occasion by serving elk-and-jalapeno dogs with a can of Dale's Pale Ale for $7.50.
But his fifteen minutes of stardom doesn't end tonight. Later this week, the filming crew from Unique Eats, which airs on the Cooking Channel, will touch down in Denver to to shoot footage at Euclid Hall, the Denver Biscuit Company, Vesta Dipping Grill, Frasca Food & Wine, Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace and Biker Jim's. The camera crew will descend upon his storefront on Friday and film throughout the day, beginning at 5:30 a.m. "I need to get some sleep before then," jokes Jim.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.