Chef Amos Watts, who spent the couple of years manning the stoves at Jax Fish House in Lodo, will find himself behind the stoves at Acorn, the Denver outpost of popular Oak at Fourteenth. Acorn, a more casual iteration of the Boulder eatery co-owned by bartender Bryan Dayton and chef Steve Redzikowski, will open its doors in the Source, a restaurant-driven European market in late August.
"Steve Redzikowski and I used to work together at Cyrus in Healdsburg," Watts says. "When we started at Cyrus, we were both on the line -I was on meat and Amos was entremetier, then I became saucier and Amos moved to being sous chef," Redzikowski remembers.
The two chefs kept in touch after their stint at the acclaimed two Michelin star California restaurant that shuttered last fall when landlords changed in its space.
When he moved to Denver, Watts ended up at Jax in LoDo. "I always wanted him to come to Oak, but when he moved to Colorado, he moved to Denver," Redzikowski explains. But the geographical barrier was not going to last long with Acorn planned for Denver. "When Steve started looking for chefs for Denver, we talked and it seemed like our collaboration was one that I could not pass up," Watts says.
The space is still under construction and menu planning is not at the top of priorities for this new team. They promise that some of the staple Oak at Fourteenth items - think Kale Salad- will be served in Denver, but that new items will be added to the offerings as well.
Watts will be in the kitchen at Jax until the end of July and he hopes that will give him plenty of time to train his replacement. He will then spend a few weeks at Oak at Fourteenth getting accustomed to the some of the dishes and techniques that Redzikowski wants to bring to the Denver dining scene.
Disclosure: the author of this post is married to Kyle Zeppelin, one of the developers behind the Source.