The executive chef at 1515 Restaurant, and the winner of the Seattle Fish Company Truck Contest, Chuck James, was raised in Southern California, where he was exposed to cooking early on helping his mother prepare meals for the family. James turned this hobby into his first cooking job as a prep cook at a fusion restaurant in Woodland Park, Colorado. Here his love of cooking matured and James learned the basic skills required to work in a commercial kitchen. With his mother’s encouragement and support, he attended culinary classes at Pikes Peak Community College.
Soon after school, James started working as a line-cook at the Le Baron Hotel under Chef Peter, a renowned chef from the famous five-star Broadmoor Hotel. After a year, Peter felt confident enough in James' talent that he recommended James for a position at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort, a place known for its fine cuisine. There, he benefited greatly from the experience and knowledge of Chef Flor and Chef Turlville, learning to cook with both discipline and creativity. After three years of steady work there, James moved to Denver to seek greater career opportunities. He found work at Marlowe's and was quickly promoted to sous chef but chose to take an opportunity at the renowned Palm Restaurant instead. At the Palm, James was able to gain experience in more of the business side of the restaurant industry. Always enthusiastic to grow, both professionally and personally, James left the Palm to work at French 250 and was hired on as the Chef de Cuisine. He worked alongside Executive Chef Jeremy Thomas, from the Brown Palace, and advanced his skills as well as learn the fine art of French cuisine.
James' talent of fusing French culture and traditional American influences to create unique dishes quickly gained the attention of Gene and Paula Tang, owners of highly-acclaimed 1515 Restaurant. The Tang's found an instant connection with the charismatic James and offered him a position as sous chef. James took this opportunity to explore more cutting-edge cooking techniques and became proficient in several forms of food preparation from sustainable processes to Sous-vide and molecular gastronomy. James would take this talent to a new level developing a process of combining old world techniques with a new world vision resulting in some of the most distinctive flavors Denver has to offer.
Today, Executive Chef Chuck James is getting noticed for his vision and table fare while preserving a socially-responsible mission. His strict use of locally-available meats and produce and grown on-site herbs helped 1515 Restaurant receive recognition as one of the top 50 sustainable businesses in Denver. But it is his unique cuisine which has gained the attention of the masses.
Chef Chuck James participated in the James Beard House Dinner in New York City this past July. He has also assisted in training culinary students of some of Denver's best cooking schools.
When not preparing exceptional meals, James is a student of the latest techniques in the molecular gastronomy.
"Social and environmental sustainability is a top priority in my kitchen. I appreciate the time, research and effort Seattle Fish Company puts toward sourcing sustainable products as it helps me achieve my vision. I see Seattle Fish as a true partner in the mission to provide customers with not only sustainable dishes but an unforgettable dining experience." - Chuck James, Executive Chef at 1515 Restaurant.