This week we have a talk with chef Shaeffer of Chimney park and a recipe he shared with us.
1. What attracted you to cooking?
At a young age I was taught simple things like how to scramble eggs, make grilled cheese sandwiches and assist with the prepping of the food my family would prepare. This preparation included; gathering eggs from our chickens, attending the garden by watering, weeding, picking of vegetables and fruits.
2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen?
Most of the time, simply let the ingredients do their job. When the best quality ingredient is sourced and brought into the back door – respect the integrity of it.
3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook?
Season and weather – which drives product availability. We’ve had a run of warm weather here in Northern Colorado for November – we really haven’t gotten into heavy braised items yet…running lighter fish specials.
4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with?
Wolfgang Puck because I would pick his brain of how he transformed from a talented young chef in LA to a globally successful businessman.
5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others?
One in particular, no but as a whole – garden fresh vegetables due to how I grew up raising them in Virginia.
6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be?
Simple pasta with asparagus (or green beans) with garlic, olive oil, lemon, Parmesan and pine nuts.
7. Is someone asked you for two Colorado restaurants to try other than your own what would you suggest?
Well, I really haven’t been out much since living here! Undoubtedly, Frasca in Boulder rivals any “big city” restaurant. Had a very good experience at Juniper in Edwards.
8. How about one restaurant any where in the world?
9. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us?
1. How was it working at Per Se?
Working at per se was the most intense and rewarding experience I have encountered. It was a constant pursuit of perfection every night, every guest, every dish. Thomas and Jonathan are, by far, are two very driven chefs who do not compromise quality or integrity on a single item within the restaurant…down to the hand soap in the employee restroom!
2. How did you end up coming to Colorado?
Kind of both happening at once – I found Chimney Park and it found me!
Chef Shaeffer was also kind enough to share a recipe with us
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hazel Dell Mushrooms
1-2 butternut squash, weighing about two pounds
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb. fresh assorted Hazel Dell mushrooms
1/2 bunch fresh basil, slice thinly
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 450º F.
Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Place flesh-side down onto an oiled baking sheet and roast until easily pierced with a knife, remove from oven and let cool.
Peel and thinly slice the onion and garlic cloves, toss with olive oil and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes or until softened, Scoop out the inside of the squash and pass through a food mill.
Combine the squash puree and roasted onion/garlic mixture in a soup pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour.
Season with salt, black pepper.
Slice the mushrooms, sauté over medium-high heat until soft, add to the soup just before serving along with the basil.
Divide among eight heated soup bowls and serve.
As always thanks for stopping by our Colorado food blog and if have any questions or comments feel free to ask them here or email us at jonathan or barb at milehigheater.com
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