Seven questions with Chef Boyd
The executive chef at 9600 Kitchen shares some highlights of the spring menu
The fine-dining scene in Breckenridge has exploded in the last couple of years, but the handful of hot spots have their special take on culinary delights, helmed by a creative captain. Tucked into the DoubleTree Hotel at the south end of Main Street, 9600 Kitchen is no exception. Heading up kitchens in Arizona and Tahoe, Calif., 9600 Executive Chef Aaron Boyd landed in Breckenridge last fall and has spearheaded a menu makeover at 9600. Specializing in seasonally fresh, locally sourced dishes ranging from colorful salads to braised red meat to wild caught seafood, Chef Boyd offers a little insight into what’s winning people’s taste buds on his ever-changing menu at the high elevation eatery.
What sets 9600 Kitchen apart from other Breck restaurants?
I’m blessed with a passionate culinary staff that has a passion for highlighting what’s in season. The farm-to-table concept is the foundation of the dining experience here at 9600 Kitchen. We challenge ourselves with four menu changes throughout the year and aim to share with our guest what great flavors are gifted to us in each season.
How has the menu evolved under your guidance? –
Brighter flavors and the seasonal showcasing of terrific ingredients. But most importantly, I challenge the staff to showcase their culinary background and create dishes that land on the menu … something they certainly can be proud of.
What are the challenges of cooking at 9,600 feet?
I thought I was a decent baker until I moved up to Breck. I see plenty of practice in my near future.
When describing your culinary offerings, what six adjectives come to mind first?
Bright, fresh, seasonal, creative, delicious and surprising (in a good way, of course!)
Name a few of the most popular menu items since you took over the operation.
We just launched our spring offerings and we’ve gotten great feedback. So far, these are leading the pack:
– Spring pea aranchini with crispy prosciutto, wild mushrooms, parsley and lemon aioli
– Burrata with grilled ramps, crostini and tomato tapenade
– Black kale with rhubarb, fennel, apple and blood orange vin
– Seared wild caught Salmon with horseradish cream, lemon tarragon risotto and fennel spring pea salad
– Coconut Porter braised Buffalo Oxtail with farrotto, tomato and feta tapenade
– Lavender local honey panna cotta
Which local/Colorado-based sources does 9600 Kitchen use for fresh ingredients?
As a few examples, we source are beef from Frontiere out of Longmont, some cheeses from Broken Shovel [Commerce City], micro greens from the local farmers market and pork from Tender Belly [Denver].
What menu changes do we have to look forward to for summer and beyond?
Whatever Mother Nature delivers in high, impactful flavors. It’s all about the weather and skilled farmers. We will be honored to create fun, exciting dishes with what we are gifted with.