The Rotary is an incredible restaurant focused on properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole food in the Hilltop neighborhood here in Denver, Colorado. If you follow me on Instagram at all, you know how deep my family and I’s love runs for the food and the people at this incredible local hot spot.
Stu and I feel especially called to share their story and heart behind what they do because we have a brother in California/Michigan who is also a Slow Food Movement chef with talent and skills quite similar to Chef Don at The Rotary. Not only do we have the “Slow Food connection” but Stu studied environmental science + sustainability all through college and I, of course, have my nutrition/global health background – so a focus on high quality, sustainable, REAL food that is nutrient dense and cooked to perfection is essentially our love language in the Crowell household.
About The Rotary
Chef Don Gragg loves cooking with fire. Whether it’s over the flames of glowing charcoal or smoldering wood, live fire invigorates him. Building on Don’s deep knowledge of open fire cooking, coupled with years of research and travel, his menu at The Rotary is a confluence of fresh, season-inspired ingredients, whole foods, healthy fats and impeccably sourced meats. It’s real food that tastes really good.
Under the direction of Gragg, a celebrated chef, and business partners and brothers Brian and Scott Boyd, comes The Rotary, a fine-casual restaurant in the heart of Hilltop trumpeting elevated wood-fired-rotisserie meats, seasonal sides and fresh vegetables in a contemporary-casual setting fueled by passion, creativity and the rustic spirit and intoxicating flavors of open fire cooking. The menu appeals to the full-fledged carnivore, gluten-free, Paleo, vegan and Whole30 regimen followers and everyone in between.
The Rotary —which originally occupied a space inside Avanti Food & Beverage —proudly (and loudly) extols the virtues of healthy food punctuated with bold flavors. As an aspiring young chef, Don landed a coveted cooking position at Chez Panisse, the renowned Berkeley, California-based restaurant from Alice Waters. The restaurant’s elevated approach to rustic cooking inspired Don throughout his illustrious career, which encompasses cooking in the South of France, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, as well as at Gramercy Tavern in New York City and in prominent Colorado kitchens, including Sacre Bleu, Mel’s Bar and Grill, Mateo, Radda Trattoria and Starfish. Throughout his travels and cooking career, Don has always advocated for allowing high quality ingredients to speak for themselves. He takes styles and flavors from around the world and effortlessly merges them into unique and new dishes.
Don’s culinary wizardry has been lauded in numerous local and national publications, including 5280 Magazine, Eater.com, Westword, the New York Times, Food & Wine magazine, Esquire magazine and Bon Appetit magazine.
The Rotary’s three partners—friends since middle school—welcome you to their locally owned restaurant, where simply prepared wood-fired dishes and stellar ingredients intersect with personalized hospitality, pride of place and a fierce dedication to healthy living and environmental sustainability.
In This Episode:
- How Stu + I got hooked on The Rotary years ago and met this trio of amazing and talented men
- The full story on how The Rotary began
- Details about Chef Don’s background working in some of the most esteemed restaurants in the world
- What kick-started the desire for nutrient-density in Scott, Don + Brian’s own lives that ultimately inspired The Rotary’s conception
- Where the guys are currently sourcing their meat, fish, veggies and grains these days
- How the restaurant managed to come out of the Pandemic essentially unscathed and on the edge of thriving in a new, unexpected location
- What price point you can expect while eating at The Rotary
Stay Connected with The Rotary:
If you’re local to Denver, I’m hosting an event at The Rotary on April 19th 2021! You’ll have the opportunity to meet Scott, Brian + Chef Don, learn about nutrition from me, get a quick lesson on food preparation + flavor from Don, and enjoy a meal with everyone!
Keep an eye out for more details soon and be sure to sign up for my email list to make sure you get your ticket before they sell out!