April 12, 2010

Community Connected: Denver Chef Gets National Nod for Local Cooking

Last week, Food & Wine magazine released its list of the country's 10 best new chefs. In the world of food, garnering a spot in this annual story is akin to winning the NBA's rookie-of-the-year award. So it was quite an honor that Alex Seidel, the chef and owner of Denver's Fruition restaurant, snagged one of the few accolades.

Food & Wine was particularly interested in Seidel's commitment to local food. The chef has his own farm in Larkspur, Colorado, where he grows greens for his restaurant and 24 others. He also raises chickens and is working to pull together a sheep dairy so that one day he can make own cheeses.

Seidel's farming efforts stem from a deep commitment to serving his dinners the freshest, most true-to-Colorado food. Eating at Fruition is like eating at a lovely French, countryside restaurant. At both, you can taste the terroir, or the earthy characteristics, of a certain region. In Fruition's case, this means very brightly and precisely flavored dishes of chicken spring vegetable soup (confit chicken legs and chive dumplings) and bacon-wrapped scallops with a bright, spring-y English pea emulsion.

These delicious dishes certainly do set apart the Fruition menu--but interestingly, the farm-to-table philosophy behind them doesn't. Increasingly, chefs and bartender across the country are planting their own gardens or foraging for food. In Boulder and Denver alone, chefs like Eric Skokan of Black Cat, Amy Vitale of Tables, and Goose Sorenson, of Solera, all have farms or serious gardens. So what Seidel is doing at Fruition simply represents the best of a trend that's sweeping the nation.

Fruition, 1313 E. Sixth Ave., Denver, 303-831-1962

Kazia Jankowski
Associate Culinary Director

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