Garlic Fries and Lamb Burgers

(And don't forget the Brandy Shakes.) Delicious recipes from the West's greenest restaurant

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The bar at the Kitchen in Boulder Colorado

At the Kitchen recycled lab beakers serve as light fixtures above the bar.

Laurie Smith

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When Hugo Matheson says he's in one of his "moods," that means he'd rather be out on a farm than inside the Kitchen, the popular Boulder, Colorado, restaurant that he opened as chef and co-owner in 2004.

It makes sense, given that nearly everything this man does connects to the Earth: With his business partner, Kimbal Musk, he's created a restaurant that recycles or composts nearly all of its waste, down to the cooking oil (a neighbor uses it for biodiesel) and the take-out containers (biodegradable). Its electricity comes from wind farms. And the names of its food suppliers, mostly local, are proudly displayed on wall chalkboards.

It's this last part of the green ethic that appeals to Matheson most: "There's more excitement to me in having relationships [with farmers] ― because it's real, not just a trend." Every chance he gets, he stumps through the fields of local farms, rhapsodizing about the crops, chatting with farmers, learning something new ― including, last year, how to raise pigs. "We found a family farm that sold us a couple of little porkers," he says. "Some people think we were a little mad to do it, but what fun it was!"

 

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