After a long day of prepping and longer night working a busy line, what do Denver's chefs eat? Eater asked around to learn the habits, the guilty pleasures, the little-known comforts that chefs indulge in when they get done making our dinner.
Hunter Pritchett from Luca d'Italia provided the most colorful response: "So many nights after work, the creeping hand of hunger claws at my gut. After many failed attempts to pursue late night dining, I usually just opt to eat at home. Some nights, nothing beats my shitty, off-white electric stove with some droning stoner rock on the radio. I have two go-to, post-work meals, and it usually goes one of two ways, depending on my BAC.
Option 1, the booze-free weeknight meal: I've been making this for years, since I was young, single, and slumming it: canned tuna, Tuscan Paniole olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mayo, lettuce, and cannelini beans. It's the perfect meal — filling, high protein, low fat, tastes great, and it's just dressed up enough to not make me feel like a slob in the morning.
On the weekends though, my preference is a bit different?
Option 2, post-service/after 2 AM meal: Even with one eye open, wasted, I can still flip an egg. I've had plenty of practice, believe me. There are rare nights that I come home with a serious drunk hunger that can't be satisfied with anything but hard calories. I break out the egg quesadilla: over medium eggs, Tapatio green hot sauce, and whatever stinky cheese we have around the house (usually taleggio or some VT cheddar) — I melt that shit, triple check that I turned the stove off, devour it in five minutes, and end up face down in bed, DONE.
What else do chefs eat late night?
Chris Cina, Executive Chef for Breckenridge-Wynkoop, stops into the College Inn in Mayfair (near his home) for their smoked wings and microbrews on his way home from work.
Executive chef Jeff Bolton and sous chef Denis Zvekic, both from Second Home Kitchen + Bar in Cherry Creek, head to beloved staple - The Cherry Cricket - for late night burgers or Pete's Kitchen for breakfast burritos or gyros.
Paul Reilly, formerly of Encore, currently planning Beast + Bottle in the Golden Triangle, keeps it super simple with egg salad on an english muffin.
Olav Peterson, chef and owner at Bittersweet, craves an Italian sandwich with giardinera from the unassuming Fat Jack's Subs.
Hunter Pritchett, Executive Chef at Luca d'Italia [Photo: Courtesy of Bonanno Concepts]