In an interview with Colorado Public Radio, “Top Chef” judge Graham Elliot weighed in on Colorado’s culinary scene and our “famous” cuisine.
Season 15 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” premieres Thursday, December 7, and Colorado — as the setting for the competition — will finally get its chance to take the culinary stage. And while the show was taping episodes this past summer, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) sat down with “Top Chef” judge Graham Elliot to pick his brain about our state’s place in the world of food.
I think that Colorado is kind of this mix,” Elliot told CPR. “It’s capturing the culinary zeitgeist with what’s going on and back to nature and great local stuff. You have the Denver cityscape with a lot of chefs coming and doing good stuff, and people [living there] that are very open to cool food. On the same token, you’ve got the mountains, the woods, lakes and streams, and all of that nature that chefs like to work with.”
He went on to poke some good-natured fun at Colorado’s infamous home-grown dish — Rocky Mountain oysters (or bull testicles).
If I say ‘Chicago,’ which is where I’m from, everyone immediately thinks deep-dish pizza or some kind of hotdog. And I think when you say ‘Colorado,’ people will shoot out Rocky Mountain oysters, even though I’m guessing that you don’t wake up every day in Denver asking,’I need my Rocky Mountain oysters now.’ But you’re never going to get away from that.”
So, with tons of experience as an award-winning chef, how would Elliot recommend Rocky Mountain oysters be prepared?
I’m pretty convinced that if you deep-fry something enough, you’re going to eat it. They were nice and fried and crunchy [referring to the ones he tried at Coors Field]. … The fact that you can poach them, slice them, hit them with a little flour, bread crumbs, sauté them in brown butter — now that’s gorgeous. That’s beautiful. That’s cuisine.”
That’s all I needed to hear, folks. Graham Elliot approves of deep-frying something within an inch of its life — and still calling it cuisine!
But what does he really think about our state’s food scene?
What’s great is that there’s nobody really putting on airs and thinking of themselves as the greatest restaurant in the world, so there’s a lot of ego that’s set aside which I find refreshing here.”
To listen to the full interview, visit CPR’s website.
What do you think about Colorado’s culinary scene? Favorite restaurants? Best recipes for Rocky Mountain oysters? Share them all in the comments below!