The Ever So Creative O’s Chef

Published on: October 31st, 2008

For those of you not in the know, the Taste of Elegance is perhaps the premier food and wine event on the Colorado culinary calendar. It’s part of the Denver International Wine Festival and it features top chefs in the region in a food and wine paring competition.

It was last night, so if this is news to you, you’ll have to wait until next year to enjoy the event at the University of Denver. But one of our favorite chefs, Ian Kleinman of O’s at the Westin Westminter, took home judges’ honor for most creative chef—beating out the likes of Daniel Joly of Mirabelle in Beaver Creek, Hosea Rosenberg of Jax in Boulder and Goose Sorensen of Denver’s Solera.

Not that his victory was much of a surprise. Kleinman was the only chef to bring along his own liquid nitrogen tank to help with his cooking. Featuring a Mexican Fried Ice Cream topped with caramel frozen with nitrogen turning it to a fine powder, Kleinman was able to showcase his molecular gastronomy sci-fi cooking techniques and become the buzz of the competition.

He lost out to Jax’s Rosenberg for people’s choice in the paring comp, but he seemed happy enough to have the creative title. That’s not to say his cooking act is all show—his ice cream dish and an accompanying ultimate wonton (a flash-fried mix foie, tuna, lobster, truffle shavings topped with soy bubbles) won my vote for people’s choice. Many others voted for Kleinman, too. He stood out with Rosenberg for best food at the show, regardless of cooking style.

But the reality is few chefs have a chance in beating Kleinman in terms of creativity (no one in the region is messing with changing the complexion of food using chemical reactions), but we are eager to find someone who can.

That would be seriously interesting food.

Check out Ian’s blog for more on his molecular gastronomy.

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