Alex Porter’s start at Flatz Restaurant was far from glamorous. A little less than seven years ago, he was simply an intern at the flashy eatery in the Renaissance Hotel in Broomfield.
My how things have changed.
Porter, a Canadian-born ski racer, worked his way up to head chef and was recently tabbed the Renaissance Hotel Chef of the Year.
He’s been in Colorado since his internship started, and at just 32, he’s enjoying life as one of the region’s top chefs. Perhaps the award—meaning he bested more than 170 other chefs—also places him in the upper echelon on the national level.
Lucky for us.
Cuisine Scene: What was your initial reaction to receiving the Chef of the Year? And what did the award mean to you?
Alex Porter: I think my initial reaction was, “Wow, what does this mean?” And I was a little shocked…there are 174 Renaissance hotels worldwide, so that’s a big pool to be chosen as the top chef. It means the hotel has been extremely successful.
CS: What inspires your menu?
AP: Renaissance (wants) its hotel restaurants to be places that you would eat at outside of a hotel. What we tried to do with the menu was fitting into this market. We try to offer a Rocky Mountain grill, with a seafood emphasis.
CS: How do you feel the fine-dining experience of Flatz fits into the Broomfield cuisine scene?
AP: I think that it’s one of a kind. I think that what it offers is an elegant, romantic escape from a more suburban area. It gives you a sort of romantic escape and a mountain feel without having to actually be in the mountains. I think it also is, and hopefully won’t be forever, a hidden gem in the market. Anyone that has been here has spoken highly of it. As the press of this restaurant grows, I think it’s going to become known. That’s already true for Sunday brunch…We’re the only hotel in our market that actually sells out weeks in advance.
CS: What is your favorite meal to cook that is not served at the Flatz?
AP: That’s a tough one; let’s say southern barbecue.
CS: When you are not at the Flatz where would we find you?
AP: I’m always here (he gives a hearty laugh). Or in Glenwood Springs fly fishing; that’s where my Colorado family is.