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February Is For Lovers: Dave Query of the Big Red F Group on Restaurateur Cliff Young

Cliff Young
Cliff Young
Photo: Cafe Society

This is the last week of the month-long pay-it-forward love series at Eater. Early February, restaurant critic Stacey Brugeman of 5280 Magazine launched the series with praises for chef Mary Nguyen and her new café, Olive & Finch. Each day after, the chef named in one post wrote about their own personal hero. Nguyen spoke of Mark Dym of Marco's Coal Fired Pizza who praised chef Troy Guard's TAG who then shared his love for chef Jeff Osaka of Twelve. Osaka praised Beast + Bottle' Paul Reilly who talked up Bob Blair of Fuel Cafe who wrote a heartfelt note about Potager's Teri Rippeto. The chef and owner of the 17 year old Cap Hill restaurant continued the series with praises for Rob and Karin Lawler of the Truffle Cheese Shop and the Truffle Table . They expressed gratitude for the friendship of chef Brian Laird who talked about his former sous chef, Darrell Truett of Barolo Grill. Truett shared his thoughts on Alex Seidel of Fruition who passed along the love to Keegan Gerhard of D Bar. When it was his turn, Gerhard wrote about chef Jamey Fader who recognized his mentor, boss, and friend, Dave Query. Query now shares his thoughts on Cliff Young of CY Steak, a role model for the restaurateur.

One of the most iconic restaurateurs and front men Denver has ever had make a Caesar tableside and pop a big cork, is Cliff Young. A philosophy major out of Colorado College, Cliff worked the French room of Le Profil across from the capital building as a young buck before opening his restaurant, Cliff Young's on 17th Avenue. It was there as the chef for two years, that I learned what it means to try and do your best everyday and to have others, Cliff mainly, expect it of you without exception.

It was a different time before the food shows, the internet, celebrity chefs and all the hype. You lived and died by the reviewer's pen and waited by the mailbox to see what was new and newly fresh in the mags. Cliff's style and dedication to creating memorable experiences was one part Mr. French from Family Affair, and one part crazed MMA cage fighter complete with dojo skills to back it up. Relentless, dapper and educated, Cliff would be there to greet you at the door with his baritone voice and a clear and distinct thought about what type of wine and fun you might want to get into tonight.

He hosted governors, quarterbacks, rock stars, actors, and the Denver glitz nightly with a tireless commitment to a type of dining room hospitality that is becoming a rarity, like men's hats after JFK. Cliff taught a lot of us a lot of things and is still fascinated by all of it, working as hard as ever at CY Steak and teaching restaurant love and lore at the Front Range Hospitality Program.

You are a friend, mentor and amazing restaurateur Cliff.

Every day, the recipient of the praises will have a chance to pass the love around. Come back to hear what Young is obsessing over this month.

· Cliff Young Adds a Chef de Cuisin and Weekly Menu at CY Steak [Cafe Society]
· Chef Jamey Fader on Dave Query of the Big Red F Group [EDen]
· February Love: Restaurant Critic Stacey Brugeman on Olive & Finch [EDen]
· Chef Mary Nguyen on Marco's Coal Fired Pizza [EDen]
· February Is For Lovers: Chef Mark Dym on TAG [EDen]
· Chef Troy Guard on Twelve Restaurant and Jeff Osaka [EDen]
· February Is For Lovers: Chef Jeff Osaka on Beast +Bottle [EDen]
· Paul Reilly of Beast + Bottle on Fuel Cafe's Bob Blair [EDen]
· Bob Blair of Fuel Cafe on Potager's Chef and Owner Teri Rippeto [EDen]
· Potager's Teri Rippeto on Rob and Karin Lawler of the Truffle [EDen]
· Karin Lawler of the Truffle Table on Brian Laird of Sarto's [EDen]
· Brian Laird of the Upcoming Sarto's on Darrel Truett of Barolo Grill [EDen]
· Alex Seidel of Fruition on Keegan Gerhard of D Bar [EDen]
· Keegan Gerhard of D Bar on Chef Jamey Fader [EDen]

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