Quick-witted and very gifted, Chef de Cuisine Eric Lee is all about the First-Bite-Experience. “When someone tries something new for the first time and they’re blown away, that’s what it’s all about, because it’s certainly not about feeding the starving, not in fine dining at least, so it must be about expression through a medium of food.”
Eric got his start in the kitchen at age 14, working illegally as a “dishwasher / prep cook / pantry bitch” at a friend’s restaurant. “The dinner table was the closest thing I had to being a part of a regular family. When other kids wanted to be superheros or firemen, I wanted to cook.” His passion for the industry led him to England to work at the legendary Old Bell Hotel, the oldest operating hotel in the UK – “it has all of the wealth of the pillaged nations of the Greta British Empire, just a beautiful plundering extravagance of a hotel.” He then ventured back to Boulder to work with Hugo Matheson, then to Chicago where he staged at Tru and Les Nomades. Returning home to Colorado, he teamed up again with Matheson at The Kitchen before teaching classes at Cook Street Culinary School and then finally landing his current gig as Chef de Cuisine at Jax Denver.
As a Chef, Eric tried not to let any one style define him, though he tends to gravitate towards European and North African over Asian or South American flavors. He’s also a bit of a human dictionary…”it’s well known.”
When he’s not inspiring a pure sense of amazement in others at Jax, or absorbing knowledge faster than most and capitulating it with ease, Eric enjoys spending time with his fiancée and their two wonderful kids. He also likes working on the house or woodworking in the garage, and hanging out with his dopey pit bull mix who “is apparently capable of being run over by a car without any damage whatsoever” and his 5 chickens “who are each smarter than the dog.”
Kelli and seafood go together like milk and cookies…they belong together. Kelli grew up in two places, off the Jersey Shore and in her Grandparent’s luncheonette. From a young age she knew she loved two things, seafood and restaurants. This passion led her to Austin Texas where she found herself working for Gumbo’s Louisiana Style Café, and then strangely to Denver Colorado where she landed comfortably at Jax Fish House Denver. Where else is she going to find the sea in Colorado? Now in a city she has learned to love while still being able to enjoy some of the best seafood, Kelli has found her home. When not working, you might find Kelli spending time with her six year old son, traveling, enjoying the outdoors, spending time with friends or cooking at home with a bottle of wine and great music.