Get to know Gravity Haus F&B Director, Ben Foote. From his experience in Boulder and New York, to his pro tips behind the bar, we’re dishing the inside scoop!
How did you get started in F&B?
I started cooking when I was 6 years old and my parents would let me cook 1 meal a week. I later got a job at PF Changs in high school to pay for gas….and dates.
To which parts of the country or the world has your F&B career taken you?
I’ve been all over the United States – from New Orleans to New York to Montreal to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Portland, Maine and many other places in-between for research, competitions and working guest shifts.
Who or what inspires you?
My biggest inspiration on a daily basis stems from providing quality nourishment. If we’re talking the aesthetic of food or drinks – I’m inspired by people who constantly push boundaries on the status quo.
How do you bring that inspiration into the menus across Gravity Haus F&B dining outlets?
We always present something familiar with a twist – there should always be something that spurs curiosity about the food and ignites a conversation where they can learn something new.
Tell us more about sourcing locally. Who are some of your Colorado partners?
On the beverage side, we work with Breckenridge Distillery, Mile High Spirits, Broken Compass, Laws Whiskey, 291 from Colorado Springs, Mythology in Denver.
Our entire beer program is essentially almost all Colorado-based: Outer Range, Elevation 10Barrel, Epic, 4 Noses, Telluride Brewing Company, Ska.
We source many of our greens from Meadow’s Edge Farms in Buena Vista. Uncle John’s Farm Stand over in Frisco helps us acquire produce from over in Palisade. Our mushrooms come from Hazel Dell, a family-owned farm in Boulder.
Not local, but worth noting – our beef is sourced from Revier Cattle Company who effectively and efficiently manages livestock production while protecting the environment.
Whenever and wherever possible we always go local keeping in mind that quality is always first.
What’s the standout feature of your bar at Cabin Juice?
We have many unique physical features of the bar – . All of our syrups, juices, infusions and recipes are all crafted in-haus. We pride ourselves on consistency and quality.
How would you describe the cocktail menu?
Eccentric and fun. It’s set up to create a dialogue between the bartender and the guest. There is a bit of nostalgia thrown into each cocktail name.
What’s your #1 tip for making cocktails at home?
Use a jigger and follow recipe.
Explain your collaborative process with Chef Sal in the kitchen to make the food menu cohesive with the beverage options.
The number one space for pairing comes in our selection of seasonal beers and wines, which really shine when they are paired with food. Cocktails can certainly be paired, but there is a less of a direct collaboration. They can definitely stand alone to present and highlight seasonal ingredients to create a new educational experience. Example: lots of fresh berries in the summer and a switch to roots and barks in the Winter.
Favorite dish currently on the menu?
The curried collared greens are incredible. I’m a big fan of the amount of nutrients that are carried in greens. Coupled with Sal’s preparation – it’s a win, win.
What’s in the secret sauce for success in the hospitality industry?
Be humble. And manners. Treat people like people.