I’m way behind on posting about the current season of Top Chef: Colorado, but I’m giving a quick shout out to Chef Brother Luck! Chef Luck, who runs Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs, is a one of the “cheftestants.” He won the Episode 3 QuickFire Challenge for his successful and playful riff on the Denver omelette.
Guest Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine introduced the segment by discussing the history of this iconic dish. He said “No one is really sure where the Denver omelette originated, but it’s believed that it started as a sandwich on bread. The sandwich has now all but disappeared, but the Denver omelette still thrives today.” I had not heard that theory, but I’m partial to the theory that the Denver omelette began with railroad cooks from the Canton province of Chinese who modified egg foo young to western tastes.
The challenge was for the cheftestants to make a “deconstructed” Denver omelette. Of the dishes presented, I was most intrigued by:
Chef Adrienne’s “Chicken fried ham with egg yolk sauce on a brioche bun.”
Chef Joe’s “Challah bread with goat cheese, yolk sauce and pepper puree.”
Chef Tu’s “Fried egg salad with ham, peppers, caviar & onion tarragon vinaigrette.”
Chef Tyler’s “Dumpling stuffed egg yolk wrapped in ham, sauce soubise & cheddar.”
And, of course, Chef Luck’s “Smoked (and soft boiled) duck eggs, red pepper gastrique, ham & cheese tempura, and pepper salad.”
Curious about the history of the Denver omelette? Check out this sources:
The Denver Omelet: The simple dish with a murky history may be disappearing. What is in a Denver Omelet anyway? The Denver Post,
The Muddled History of the Denver Omelet, Rick Halpern, American Historical Association Today, January 7, 2017.
Order Up: Cracking Open The History Of The Denver Omelet, Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio interviews Matt Masich, June 2, 2016.