Welcome to the Table For Flood Relief series, where Eater interviews the guests chefs slated to cook at The Stanley Hotel's Great Roads To Great Chefs dinners. There is a different chef for every dinner, with a roster of chefs from Denver, Boulder, and beyond.
[Photo courtesy Ian Kleinman]
Great Roads To Great Chefs debuts with Ian Kleinman of The Inventing Room, a catering company that's known for its Pop Up Donut concept. His already sold-out dinners will take place January 31 and February 1, and he teases us here with speak of the color-changing soup he's planning. He also spills on his dreams— a childhood one to cook at the Stanley Hotel and another to have the power to instantly ripen avocados.
How did you become a chef? I began working in my dad's kitchens when I was 11, doing dishes and bussing tables. At first it was a way for me to spend time with my father, but it quickly turned into my passion. I enjoyed the hours, the people and the thrill of the rush.
What cooking style are you the most passionate about? I believe food should be fun. Most people tend to take food too seriously, so I enjoy bringing a creative and unique experience to the table, something that they will never forget. Using science as a tool, you can better enhance the art of cooking— the possibilities become endless.
And how do you apply that cooking style at your current restaurant? The Inventing Room does not have a physical location, so I have an opportunity to create a new menu each time I plan an event. This gives me the chance to experiment with new ideas and creations. I customize each menu to every single event, turning a familiar dish the guest is comfortable with, into something they are not.
How would you describe Denver's (or Colorado's) food scene? Thriving, excited how our chefs are taking risks and being recognized for it
What restaurants in Colorado are you most looking forward to trying? I have two kids and my business that seems to take up all my time so I am behind on the dining scene. I still need to go to Old Major, Acorn and check out the Bad Apple dinner at Uncle.
You can have one food-related super power. What is it? A beam of light that I could use to be able to instantly ripen avocados. I hate when they are hard...
2014 will be the year of the... Donut
So why cook at Great Roads To Great Chefs? I have the opportunity to cook in a beautiful, historic landmark. I was born and raised in Colorado, and I have always wanted the chance to cook at the Stanley Hotel.
What do you plan to make? One dish I have created specifically for this event is soup that will change colors right before the guests' eyes.
What will you do with the percentage of the dinner's proceeds that you get? A portion of our proceeds will go toward our School & Library Science Program, where we teach kids about how food and science are used to make some of their favorite treats.
What are you most looking forward to about your stay at the Stanley Hotel? Not sleeping. My mind wanders and I can only imagine the thoughts that will be going through my head as I try to fall asleep.
· Great Roads To Great Chefs website
· Table For Flood Relief: Great Roads To Great Chefs [EDen]
· Ian Kleinman and the Denver FIVE on Building Food Memories [EDen]
· Is Denver Ready For Molecular Doughnuts and Coffee? [EDen]