We had the good fortune of connecting with Griffin Kuras and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Griffin, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Making the decision to leave full time restaurant work and move to Fort Collins was a difficult leap to make but it has been such an amazing decision. It was hard leaving a culture that helped mold me into the type of chef that I am today and all the people that had a hand in teaching me all the techniques and skills that I use on a daily basis. I did not go to school to be a chef, it learned everything I know on the job, through hard work, or teaching myself by reading or watching. There is always so much to learn and leaving restaurants took me out of their creative limitations and forced me to be independent and learn to compose complete dishes on my own. This has allowed me to focus on my favorite types of food and cooking. Attempting techniques and experimenting with interesting and unique ingredients to develop new flavor combinations to give people a personalized experience that only I can offer. The interaction and experience with the people and friends I cook for is what drives the passion and gives meaning to my cooking. Being brought up in the culture of hard-working chefs and restaurant staff is the reason I will have a successful business.
Moving to Colorado was a huge step for me in growing my client base because I have really been able to put in the time to network with other creatives and meet other small business owners who are all in on helping each other grow. Moving from Michigan, I have found that Colorado has a much more creative and accepting culture for small entrepreneurs, supporting local is a lifestyle here and I’ve been very grateful of that.
Deciding to start doing content creation was a big part of my initial success and I could not have done it without my best friend Corey Presley, we have been friends since we were little kids and we moved out to Colorado together. Corey is a Videographer/Photographer and we have been creating awesome food content for over a year now and it’s been so fun to be able to share a passion with my best friend. It been fun to be able to show off my skills and teach through videos and show everyone how fun and inspiring cooking is.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started cooking at a young age and first thought it was just going to be a job I had going through high school and college. After graduating college I stepped away from cooking to pursue a job in Sport information and Media Relations but I did not stay away for long. I soon found myself working in upscale restaurants again and moving up the ladder fast. I would go into work everyday with the mentality that I wanted to take the job of the person above me from them. I’ve worked every station from dish washing to prepping, salads and desserts, sauté and grill stations and eventually becoming kitchen managers and a sous chef. I did all of this at a fairly young age and competing for respect while also learning everyday was a serious challenge. Mentally and physically outworking people everyday for years is a grind but its how I handled earning respect from people who had been in the industry much longer than me. It was always exciting to walk into a new job/kitchen and show everyone what your made of.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Fort Collins is an amazing little town. I moved here in the thick of a COVID year so I’m still exploring a lot of the cool local places but a few of my favorites where I would definitely have to take a friend to eat and drink are Social, The Still, and 5003 Distillery. I really like the vibes and the atmosphere of Social, its like an old school speakeasy and the drinks are amazing, the bartenders are very knowledgeable and they have some of the best cocktails in town. The Still is an amazing place to get a steak dinner and some whiskey, probably been my favorite place in the last month or two to go out for dinner, the guys in the kitchen there really know what they are doing and the owners and staff are great people. Another awesome place for some great locally crafted whiskey and bourbon is 5003 distillery, some of my favorite cocktails I’ve ever had are from here and I would highly recommend taking a friend there.
For some time outside I love going up and driving the Poudre Canyon Road and finding a spot by the river and grilling out with some friends. I also cant stay away from the horsetooth reservoir, so many fun things on the water to do up there, Corey and I have even shot a few cooking videos up there. A more secluded spot for a day by the lake I like going to Carter Lake and hanging out at the inlets up there and having a relaxing day by the water. Moving from Michigan I really miss the lake life and being out on the water.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This dude is the most professional and amazing videographer I know, his ability to make an entertaining video is bar none. He is the reason I have such an elevated social media product. Social media is such a key component to what I do because its how I get the local exposure I need to meet clients, I also use it make professional connections with other like minded chef and entrepreneurs. Making content with Corey has been such a fun experience I never thought I would have as much fun as do creating cooking and food videos for people to enjoy.
Chefs & Co workers
I could not be the person or chef I am today without the guidance and support of my many co workers and chefs throughout the years.