Chef De Cuisine Rachel Best, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, Boulder

Published on: September 17th, 2012

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.




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