The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2014

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december 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  83 menus cobbled together by Executive Chef and co-owner Victor Jimenez and Sous Chef Christopher Osborne. Like other progressive modern restaurants, they are vocal about their partnerships with purvey- ors and local farmers, but these connections also represent something personal. "My childhood was all about going to the market and talking to the meat guy, the fishmonger and the veggie guy," Jimenez explains. "We wanted to recreate a similar experience with Cowboy Star, which is one of the reasons we have the butcher shop. We're not necessarily looking to educate people on what's out there. We just wanted to share the things that make us happy about food with our neighborhood." This neighborly aspect of the butcher shop is something that features prominently within Cowboy Star's business model. In addition to crafting meat for the masses who want to pick up a quality cut, Trujillo and his team hand-cut each steak served up in the restaurant. It is a task that sometimes calls for some rather unorthodox implements. "Ruben loves to use a band saw back there," Jimenez confesses. "He uses it because it's so powerful, but he also just loves the noise that it makes." The synergy between butcher and kitchen allows Jimenez and Osborne to stay a step ahead of some of the more common food trends. "We currently have roasted pork jowl on the menu, which comes straight from the butcher shop," says Osborne. "The reason for this is because everyone else is doing something with pork belly, but nobody is really doing anything with pork jowl. We do things like that because it lets us share how good these different cuts of meat can be with our customers." Jimenez is close to expanding his western-themed neighborhood joint by heading east—a second loca- tion is slated to open in Colorado Springs, CO early next year. Yet even as his business grows, his focus remains narrow. "The main goal with our restaurant is to offer an experience to the neighborhood that they can't get anywhere else." You can't help but tip your ten-gallon hat to such a sentiment. Garth Flood looks like the kind of bartender that should be pouring drinks at a place like Cowboy Star, primarily because it's easy to envision his appearance and demeanor fitting right into an old-school Tinseltown Western. However, his concoctions are definitely pointed forward. To wit: One of his best-known drinks is a seasonal libation built around bourbon and pork belly. "We got a butcher shop, so it just seemed like doing a cocktail with pork belly was a natural fit," he says. Flood's mindfulness of what else is happening within the restaurant tends to play a key role in the drinks that he creates as a whole. "The chef's the star of the show here," he states. "My drinks are made to pair well with the experience that he's trying to create from his kitchen." Keeper of the Saloon Left to right: Cowboy Star Bar Director Garth Flood, Sous Chef Christopher Osbourne and Executive Chef/co-owner Victor Jimenez. Garth Flood designs his drinks to pair with the culinary creations from the kitchen. The Harvest Mule ◗ 1½ oz. American Harvest Vodka ◗ ½ oz. lemon juice ◗ ¼ oz. simple syrup ◗ ½ oz. pumpkin pie syrup ◗ 1 oz. ginger beer ◗ Pour ingredients into mixing tin and shake. Strain into a double rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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