This past week we sat down with our Executive Chef, Alex Tafoya and got to know a bit about him and his culinary inspirations. Here is what we learned!
Q: Tell us about yourself:
A: I was born and raised in Colorado Springs Colorado, and moved to Denver Colorado in 1997 with my Mom and Sister. I was raised by my wonderful mother who had a tough time raising two kids as a single parent but did a fantastic job in the end
Q: What is your earliest food memory?
A: My earliest food memory was when is was around five. I loved being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother. My grandma would teach me how to cook beans and enchiladas and I loved it, and my mom would teach me how to make her famous beef stroganoff that I still make to this day at home
Q: How did you become a chef and get into the restuarant industry?
A: I got into the restaurant industry when I was 17 years old at a seafood restaurant downtown called Del Mar Crab House. I started as a food runner part time while I went to school at ACC. I enjoyed watching the chef’s so much I asked for a chance to step into the kitchen. When I did I loved the fast paced environment so much that I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and enrolled into culinary school as soon as I turned 18.
Q: What was your first job as a chef?
A: My first chef job was at age 19 for a company called Buff Brothers at a restaurant called Dirk’s right after culinary school. It was there that I developed my skills as a chef and leader in not only the back of the house but the front of house as well.
Q: How long have you been with The Original Pancake House in Denver?
A: I have been at the Original Pancake House now for 2 years after a brief leave were I worked at the Original Pancake House for 3 years as a server, cook, busser and host.
Q: What is your favorite dish to make at OPH?
A: My Favorite dish to make at the Original Pancake House would have to be the Dutch baby and the Apple Pancake because that was a dish my mother used to make us as kids. Don’t tell my mom that ours are better.
Q: What do you cook for yourself when you are home?
A: When I am at home I love to cook beef wellington, beef Stroganoff and if it can go on a grill chances are I will love to cook it as well.
Q: If you could have breakfast with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you have?
A: If I could have breakfast with anyone living or dead I would probably have to choose my Dad. He Passed away when I was 18 from cancer and never had the chance to see all of my accomplishments that I am very proud of. The meal of choice would have to be a Dutch Baby with a side of our thick cut bacon and a tall glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.
Thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself Alex! Next time you are out for breakfast in Denver, be sure to wave and say hello to Alex!