1. What weird food combinations did your family eat that you only realized later wasn’t normal?
We were raised almost entirely on grain fed venison that my dad had hunted or as an amateur butcher, had helped process and wrap. As a result, there was always a deer and elk or two in our freezer and most any dish that called for round steak was instead venison – stroganoff, fajita’s stir-fry, pan-fried steaks etc. It wasn’t until I got to college and started eating cafeteria food and the like that I learned what beef strips cooked up in a sauce of some sort actually tasted like.
2. What is that weird thing that grandma used to make that is difficult to explain to others?
I may have shared this before but my grandmother was a great poacher of rainbow trout, running a virtually canning factory out of her motorhome at the various lakes in Colorado. she and her husband would fish early in the morning, run up to the camper, clean them, chop them up and then can them in mason jars. And then, head back out to the lake to do it again. At her house, she had shelves and shelves of canned trout and would always foist some upon visitors. As a college student in Gunnison, I would return from a weekend visit to her home in Clifton with jars of trout and perfected over time trout salad sandwiches (think tuna salad but with trout instead.) It was poor college student survival food.
3. As a kid, did you ever go to someone’s home and eat a meal and their food is something so different from what your family served?
I ate at the Runnels’ home once and I don’t think they had planned on me being there and they made hamburger sandwiches (ground beef burgers served on white bread.) I came home realizing how poor their family was and actually felt bad taking food from them.
4. What’s the best smell in the world?
Freshly baked bread in the oven.
5. At your new restaurant, what would be your lowest cost/highest profit item on your menu?
Deep fried celery sticks. Always a winner.