CHEF TREVOR BURT
I knew right away that Chef Burt was someone who would influence my culinary journey in profound way. I was at Jax for a working interview, and was placed in the kitchen to see what I could do. Chef Burt was the man with the plan that evening calling out new tickets coming in, and cranking exquisite dishes out of that kitchen left and right. He noticed every little nuance on the plates, and strived for perfection. To be honest it was one of the most intimidating situations I had ever been in, but in the best way possible. Being that I strive to learn, I knew that being guided by someone who pays so much attention to detail would not only keep me on my toes but influence me to be better in my craft every day! - And he did just that!
Burt knew at the young age of 14, when he began making take-and-bake pizza's at Papa Murphy's, that he wanted to be in food. His parents, who also met each other working in food, influenced their son to follow his passion and focus his energy on an introductory culinary program in Utah. He stayed there for a year excelling in the program due to the vast amount of knowledge he had already gained from his parents, while simultaneously working as a chef for the Snow Basin Resort in Huntsville Utah. Talk about having dedication to your craft!
This chef has worked hard to become who he is today. When asked what advice he would give to an upcoming chef he said “Push yourself harder than you think you can handle” “Come in off the clock, and learn as much as possible about the many different aspects of the restaurant. Not just cooking, but the numbers, orders, what works with dishes, what doesn’t work with dishes,” and so on. It's the mentality of 'what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger' - and you can see that this theory has lead him to have the discipline he needs to create his beautiful culinary masterpieces!
Chef Burt went on to explain that one of the best things you can learn, is not to let your ego get in the way of your career. Although he admits that ego can take him over at times too, he relayed the importance of not letting the inevitable criticism interfere with your determination to succeed, due to the fact that you took it personally. It’s what teaches you to be better at your craft. “If it’s negative criticism, learn from what you did and turn it around into something positive the next time.” “Self motivation and the drive to learn are some of the best things you can teach yourself,” which for Burt meant stepping out of his comfort zone recently to stage at Jax Fish House, and Lola Mexican Fish House, in Denver. 'Staging' by the way is when a cook or chef works briefly, for free, in another chef's kitchen to learn and be exposed to new techniques and cuisines – Thanks Wikipedia ;) – Burt learns these different techniques to push himself out of his comfort zone in order to experience a world of fresh possibilities.
“Springtime and summer are my favorite seasons. I like to focus on keeping my ingredients as local as possible. Simple, light, and fresh”
Around 80% of the dishes that Chef Burt creates have been starch-less, due to his love for seafood-inspired cooking. When he envisions owning his own place he sees a menu that is constantly changing, with a combination of what’s available to him locally and what he feels in his soul he wants to create that evening. - I personally can’t wait to see this chef have a place of his own, and share his love for food with as many people as possible! I’d dine there every (other) day, and definitely have to take up bikram yoga due to my new found food addiction.
Although this young chef has been a part of many different events, Burt was particularly elated to be putting on a dinner at Spring Kite Farm, this past Thursday, for The Coloradoan series “Secret Supper.” What is a Secret Supper exactly? It is where you buy tickets to an exclusive dinner, knowing who will be catering it but not the location of where it will be. Chef Burt collaborated with Derek Prester, Dana DeMarco, and Ryan Damasky of The Kitchen as well as with Timothy Meador, and Brandon Spain of The Tramp About to create a spectacular pairing of food for their guests. The most amazing part to me is that, once upon a time, all of these inspirational foodies worked together at Jax Fish House and have since spread their culinary seed all throughout the Northern Colorado region. The crew hit this event out of the....farm....and Burt has left us with the imprint of his sheik, yet homey, cooking.
Burt also worked alongside the beautiful Chef Amelia Mouton, from Restaurant 415, this past Sunday when she hosted her dinner at Happy Heart Farm! I had the privilege of being a guest at this event, and I have to say you could feel the love on every plate! The guests were having the best time, and it's all due to the heart that these chefs pour into what they create - ok and the New Belgium beers that were paired with each course helped a little too ;)
Psssst....Thank you to Derek Prester for the use of your Spring Kite Farm Pics!
Speaking of great chefs - Kevin Grossi, Chef De Cuisine at Lola in Denver, is Burt's right hand man when it comes to evolving his career! Although it pains me to say this, due to Chef Burt being such a delight in my life, he is indeed moving on to Denver where he will be under the guidance of Chef Grossi come August! That's right! You can now delight in his tasty creations in the Mile High City, where he will be joining the Lola team as their new Sous Chef! I have to say Chef Grossi you are one very fortunate man to have Chef Burt joining your team, as I know the two of you will create some amazing dishes together! Even though I don’t know you personally, I look forward to meeting a person described as someone who “takes people in and fully develops what you can learn. "He teaches you instead of just telling you how to do something.” - Chef Grossi’s style was further described as beautiful, and technical by Burt and that it represented many different culturally influenced techniques all throughout his culinary expression. I mean when you put it like that it kinda makes you wanna hop on the band wagon and take a trip to Denver, right?
OVERALL IT MAY BE SAID....
You can see the gratitude that this chef has for everyone who has helped him along the way, and I know there are many great things to come from Chef Trevor Burt! - But before he goes....Some of you, who knew I was interviewing this great chef, were looking forward to knowing where on earth those red pants of his came from?! Although he did answer the question I am leaving you with this...I imagine Chef Burt finding these pants one day at a thrift store. Upon purchasing them he would start to experience many fortunate events, leading him to believe his pants were something very special that needed to be shared. They would travel to places like The Kitchen, The Tramp About, and then back to Jax where inspired dishes were created for the great people of Fort Collins to delight in, all because of….The Brotherhood of the Traveling Red Pants….Too much? I think not! ;)
Thank you to incredible Chef Burt for being such a doll to interview! You have given me my culinary backbone, and so much excitement for what's ahead, and I will miss you dearly! Here's to all your new adventures in the Mile High City, and you will definitely be seeing us soon, when we come in to Lola for some delicious food!