The Clever Root

Spring / Summer 2016

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2 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t TOOLS OF THE TRADE The Problem: Roasting chicken quickly, evenly and 42 birds at a time The Solution: Rotisol Rotisserie The Problem Solver: Steve Redzikowski, Chef and co-owner, Brider, Denver THE ROTISOL ROTISSERIE MAKES BLAZING CHICKENS A DREAM AT BRIDER IN DENVER MS: And so many of us who grill can relate to the Rotisol . . . SR: Dad had a big grill in backyard. But it was nothing like this. This is a big, honking machine. The old barbecues were really just a couple of blowtorches. This is one gorgeous tool. MS: Was this what you wanted from the start? SR: We did a ton of research. And we kept coming back to the Rotisol. It combines function and a nice clean look. It's industrial, but not too much. It manages to be high tech and warm at the same time. MS: Did it come in a giant box with a zillion parts and a thousand-page book of directions? SR: Actually, it came pretty much all together. All we really had to do was get the gas lines attached. It was pretty easy to figure out—a lot of it is electronic. And it offers three different forms of heat, from lower to higher, so the heat can be tweaked for each type of protein. I love how it caramelizes the skin on the chicken—it's just perfect. MS: Was that all obvious when you first turned it on? SR: Not a chance. During our soft opening, we went through cases of chicken, trying to get them right. We started on a lower heat, then worked our way up. It was a combination of common sense, and trial and error. We found the cooking was really consistent. At my other res- taurants, I work with wood. The smell of wood smoke is great. But the heat is very erratic. With this, it works every time. MS: Any issues with the city? SR: None, as long as we have the right hood. With wood, I have to have the grills cleaned once a month. With the Rotisol, it's every four or five months. It does everything right. story by Merrill Shindler / illustrations by Diane Henschel WALK INTO BRIDER ROTISSERIE & KITCHEN IN DENVER, and you'll find yourself in a restaurant that blends rustic and modern, with understated minimalism coupled with the sort of seating that wouldn't be out of place at a backyard picnic. The menu takes up several walls, where it's written on a massive chalkboard. Those are fine elements. But they're not what diners focus in on with laser-like precision. It's the massive Rotisol Rotisserie, imported from the manufacturing facility in Chelles, France, where visually dazzling kitchen equipment has been manufactured since 1954. According to chef and co-owner Steve Redzikowski, the Rotisol is both the visual and the culinary centerpiece of Brider—a word that translates from the French as "to truss." And trussing—along with lots of flaming and seasoning—is what they do, with every bit of protein they cook. Merrill Shindler: For a restaurant like Brider, that's built around cooking chickens and legs of lamb and porchetta and the like, is this the ultimate tool? Steve Redzikowski: It's pretty awesome. It's the centerpiece of the restaurant. People will stop and stare at it. It's got lights that light up. It's hypnotic, as the birds go round and round and round. MS: Lots of birds? SR: It will fit eight spits of chicken, 42 birds at a time. It looks like something out of Mad Max. MS: This is not something found at places you've passed through—like Le Cirque and Jean Georges. SR: That was back when French cooking dominated the kitchens of New York. And the French style is very different. Much has changed in the past decade. Back then, you always hid the kitchen away. And life in the kitchen was about cleanliness—the kitchen was a beautiful place, very polished. A rotisserie like this brings people into the kitchen. Brider Rotisserie & Kitchen chef and owner Steve Redzikowski. Turn, Baby, Turn ■cr

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