New Fort Collins restaurant The Kitchen enters local food scene

 

A winter vegetable salad with ingredients only from local farms from The Kitchen.
A winter vegetable salad with ingredients only from local farms served at The Kitchen. (Photo credit: Sierra Cymes)

Walking into The Kitchen is like stepping into a farmhouse.

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Everything from the rustic decorations to the communal atmosphere and farm-fresh food alludes to the restaurant’s fresh locally-grown produce. Rooted in Old Town Square, it seems the location of the new Fort Collins Kitchen is here to stay.

Indeed, according to the restaurant’s website, the name “The Kitchen” was chosen by founders Hugo Matheson, Kimbal Musk and Jen Lewin to create a restaurant that would create the feeling of entering a cozy home kitchen.

A farmhouse meal without ever having to leave the city, The Kitchen creates delectable dishes from the roots up — literally — getting weekly produce deliveries from over five local farms and creating new menus daily.

“My personal convictions lend to utilizing and supporting local agriculture,” said Brent Jackson, a Colorado State horticulture alumnus and sous chef for The Kitchen. “I think it’s the way of the future. And luckily we live in Fort Collins, where local agriculture is probably better than anywhere else in the U.S.”

Jackson and the rest of The Kitchen staff work closely with the farms, ordering raw ingredients for the weekly deliveries and working in the dirt during the summers.

“As a horticulture major, they kind of speak my language, you know,” Jackson said.

Manager Whitney Flight left The Kitchen’s original Boulder location in May to help develop a new presence in Fort Collins and forge relationships with the local farms. Flight says along with interviewing and hiring The Kitchen staff, one of her biggest roles in opening was inviting local restaurants, business owners and hotels to the opening.

“They were very excited for something new to come into the dining scene,” Flight said. “We make an effort to get to know our fellow comrades and make sure they have a nice experience, and for me personally, I love trying the other restaurants in town and supporting other local businesses.”

Jackson says he finds the task of creating a new reputation a refreshing one.

“I like the freedom that we get as well as the aspect of development I give to all of my staff,” Jackson said. “We all work together to keep getting better at what we do.”

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Flight agrees the separation from the established Denver and Boulder locations is a welcome challenge, and has enjoyed creating a new Kitchen community with her staff.

“Not everybody is familiar with what we do, who we are, the kind of food we offer or the experience we offer,” Flight said. “So to be able to impart the culture and the magic of The Kitchen to the new staff, many of whom are local to Fort Collins, go to CSU and are getting their hospitality or horticulture or agriculture degrees, and then to be able to see them create our culture in the way that makes sense to Fort Collins; it’s really cool.”

The Kitchen has a happy hour called Community Hour every day from 3 – 5 p.m. Flight says for people who haven’t tried them out or are on a budget, Community Hour is a great introduction to The Kitchen.

Since opening its doors in June, The Kitchen has been welcomed into the Fort Collins food scene with a zest that could only be attributed to farm-fresh ingredients, delectable dishes and the social sharing and support found for their 100 North College Ave. location.

Collegian A&E Writer Sierra Cymes can be reached an entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @sierra_cymes.