Dialing in the right chef-owner combo is not unlike finding the right husband or wife. There are the long hours occupying the same space, sacrifices made to operate the business, accountability to show up, keep your word, and work hard to put food on the table. You gotta work together well, particularly in stressful times, share a common vision, drop the ego battles and communicate effectively. In this regard I feel lucky to have crossed paths with Chef White, a man who loves to cook, works collaboratively with others, takes a lot of pride in the food he plates, and enjoys the heat of the kitchen.
We met this summer at a 4th of July BBQ at Boulder Lamb and hit it off. Typical of any good candidate, he was happily employed and not particularly looking for a change, but after a few visits to Zeal and several conversations the opportunity looked promising. And not only did we get Chef White, but he brought along his trusty sidekick as well, helping us secure a team at the helm of the kitchen crew. So the dynamic duo, or dream team, as I rotate calling them, Chef Leslie White and Chef Patrick Cook, took over in early October and have been superb at refining the menu and operations of our all important food program. Come in and try some of their new contributions to the menu.
Their first change was to bring all of the desserts in-house (the vegan fudge and cheesecake are must trys). Then they got started on the new seasonal fall menu released at the start of the November. A delicious new Seared Rainbow Trout dish with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash, a new Lamb and Beef Braise, Chicken and Water Chestnut Butter Lettuce Wraps, Shrimp Piccata and a Waldorf Chicken Sandwich, just to name a few of the delicious new contributions to the Zeal menu. NEXT UP: New Breakfast Dishes….I can’t wait!