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Both Chef and Co-Founder of The Kitchen in Boulder, Hugo Matheson certainly has a lot on his plate. His talent and perseverance have taken him from London to Colorado. After covering The Kitchen in our article on Boulder’s 10 best restaurants, we decided to speak to Chef Matheson and discover more about him and his views on food.
Why did you pick Boulder as the location for The Kitchen?
Boulder is where I was living and starting a family when I met Kimbal Musk, my co-founder, when we decided to start The Kitchen in downtown Boulder over 10 years ago in 2004.
What dish did you create that you were most proud of?
I would say the winter squash with chickpeas and wheat berries from Farmer John Ellis. It’s vegetarian but is eaten as much by carnivores – love a bit of meat, but not too much!
What can we expect from The Kitchen in the near future?
The Kitchen is a growing family of restaurants and we are thrilled to have recently expanded across Colorado into new communities including Glendale, Union Station, Fort Collins and, opening in late October, into the Chicago community. Our non-profit, The Kitchen Community, is reaching over 100,000 children with Learning Gardens in schools across the country and we are expanding to reach thousands of more kids this school year and beyond.
What’s one of the most memorable dishes you’ve ever had, and where did you have it?
Salt-baked bass at La Pinéde in Cap d’Ail (France). It was a dinner on my own while driving through Europe. It’s a memory that lives on.
When you have time to eat out, where is your favourite place to dine in Boulder?
When not eating at home or work I sneak in dinner at the bar at Frasca. It’s the perfect little escape.
For the best drinks in Boulder, head to…
I drink water all day long nowadays but Brian at Oak makes some fine bitters to liven up my Pellegrino! Oak has a great cocktail program. I also like our shop, The Kitchen Upstairs.
What’s your go-to place for local cuisine, and what would you order?
Black Cat. Although sadly I have not been in a while, Eric Skokan is a chef and farmer. I take my hat off to people who take on an entire farm while also running a restaurant. Between running the farm and restaurant he even wrote a book Farm Fork Food. He’s crazy to do all of that at once and I really admire him!
An exciting new arrival to the local food scene?
Excited to see Blackbelly opening. Hosea is going from a mobile unit to bricks and mortar.
In Boulder, culture lovers need to…
Slow down walk the streets. Catch a show at BMOCA or CU Art Museum. Sit out at Boxcar on the East end of Pearl St. to watch the people, and on the West end of Pearl St. watch the changing hills outside Spruce Confections.