Chef Brandon Biederman exited the Secret Sauce restaurant group a year and a half ago after sixteen years presiding over the culinary programs of Vesta, Steuben's and Ace Eat Serve. In the time since then, he's served dinner to some real animals.
The chef took a job for a year at the Denver Zoo, working with animal nutritionists to manage the feeding program for all of the zoo's inhabitants — feathered, furred and fanged. "The biggest shock to me was all of the live bugs and frozen rodents I had to bring in," Biederman explains. "It was everything I've tried my whole career to keep out of the kitchen. There were even quarts of blood for the vampire bats."
But now Biederman has taken a job serving a different kind of animal: hotel guests. He's the new executive chef for The Source Hotel, which will open at 3330 Brighton Boulevard later this summer. While the hotel, the latest project from Zeppelin Development, which also launched the Source and Zeppelin Station nearby, will have several culinary attractions, Biederman's purview will be the Woods, the top-floor restaurant that will also serve as New Belgium's taproom for experimental and barrel-aged beers.
Biederman says the Woods is being billed as "an American gastropub...not like the comfort food I used to cook at Steuben's, but a little more upscale."
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The restaurant will boast more than 48 tap handles of local beer, wine and batched cocktails; twenty or more of those handles will belong to New Belgium. Biederman adds that he's been working with New Belgium to come up with some food-and-beer pairings, but that otherwise the brewery is not involved in the food menu.
Room service and food service at the hotel's 200-person banquet room will also fall under Biederman's responsibilities. While an opening date for the hotel has not been set, he's currently hiring sixteen to eighteen back-of-house staff, and he's also busy planning menus and lining up suppliers.
Biederman's career with Secret Sauce, which was founded by Josh and Jennifer Wolkon, began in 2001 at Vesta, where he rose to executive chef before moving on to open Steuben's in 2006. Once the company launched Ace in 2012, he became culinary director for the entire group. Before Vesta, Biederman worked for a year at flash-in-the-wok Pacific Rim bistro Tommy Tsunami on Market Street.
The Source Hotel will also be home to Safta, an Israeli restaurant from New Orleans chef Alon Shaya, and Smok, a barbecue eatery from chef Bill Espiricueta.