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Chef De Cuisine Rachel Best, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, Boulder


Rachel Best started her cooking career in the dining hall kitchens at CU. Before graduating, she worked at the Dushanbe Tea House before taking a few years off from cooking to work in the agricultural field and then attend the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. As a culinary student, she worked at Aji Latin American Restaurant and then moved to Leaf.

Strongest food memory

I lived in Cameroon, Africa, for two years and got the chance to partake in the sacrifice of a goat. Afterward, we roasted some of the meat on sticks over an open fire in a windowless mud house and passed it around for everyone to taste. The meat was really good and the meal had a lot of meaning. The smell, taste and company are unforgettable.

Favorite place to eat:

In Boulder, breakfast and coffee at Spruce Confection, a picnic lunch on a trail, dinner at Sherpa’s and after dinner drink at the Bitter Bar.

Most memorable meal

When I was a kid, my dad and I grew a small vegetable garden every summer. At the peak of the season my mom would always cook a garden-only dinner…fried eggplant, stewed tomatoes and okra, roasted new potatoes and sautéed squash. Eating these meals on the back porch as the sunset and the lightning bugs came out is a great memory.


Broccoli Puree


• 4 C raw broccoli, stems + florets

• 1 tsp red pepper flakes

• 1/4 C lemon juice

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp pepper

• water

• 4 Tbsp butter



Put broccoli, lemon juice and seasonings in a pot. Add water to just cover broccoli. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft but not mushy (~10 minutes). Drain but save water. Put broccoli in food processor and blend, slowly adding the reserved liquid until desired consistency is reached. Add butter one tablespoon at a time. Salt to taste. Finish in the blender to get a smoother texture.  Can add ¼ cup goat cheese to create a creamier product.



Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google


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