We had the good fortune of connecting with Kurt Eichenberger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kurt, what is the most important factor behind your success?
As a chef I believe that my staff is that backbone of the business. We as managers can’t do it all ourselves. I empower my staff to make decisions and be involved in the business. Our success can be seen in the happiness and creativity of our staff. I am full of pride when one of my cooks makes a special and it sells out and gets great feedback from the guests.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been working in the culinary industry for over 21 years. It started in high school with foods class and a part time job. When applying for college I was accepted into the art institute of Colorado. I entered a culinary competition for entering freshman. My foods class instructor helped me prepare for the competition. We have to show knife skills, cook a few basic dishes and show plating. I came in second place in the regional competition and third place in the nation competition, earring a scholarship for culinary school. I worked as a line cook while going to culinary school. Bounced around working in different restaurant and experiencing different types of food. I earned an opportunity to be a sous chef, then worked my way up to executive chef. I’ve worked in everything from family owned business to corporate restaurants. The best part of the business is that there are so many differ t types of restaurants and types of food that it’s never ending and you are always learning new things. I was lucky enough to take my 20+ years of experience into creating a new menu for a new restaurant, Black+haus Tavern. Having the trust of my owners makes it very rewarding.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Denver area there are many great restaurants and things to do. Have to start with some fishing in the mountains and grilling, enjoying the nature is one of colorados wonders. Sushi at sushi den is a must. Fried chicken from the post. A trip to elitches. Catch a Rockies game and have drinks at Jackson’s. Always have to take a trip to el taco de Mexico. And get some pho on federal blvd.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be the man I am today with out the love and support of my parents. I learned to cook from my mother at a young age and we bonded over food. I was always amazed she could work all day then make a home cooked meal for our family. I didn’t know my father could cook, until we went on a fishing trip together and I thought I would only be eating sandwiches all week, but he surprised me and kept us well fed all week. My parents pushed me to find a career I loved and helped immensely while preparing for culinary school. After my mother passed my father kept the love and support for the both of them. I love them both very much.