An artist by nature, Chef Eric Inscho satisfies his creative yearnings by creating culinary masterpieces. While he formally went to school for illustration, the culinary world is second nature to him. “I’ve worked in restaurants since I was about sixteen,” he details. When he was a kid, both of his parents went back to school. So, Chef Eric was left to his own devices to experiment in the kitchen, cooking for himself. One of his first culinary mentors, besides the ultimate teacher- experience, was a chef named Kim Holmes at a restaurant pizzeria called Lola’s. He learned old school recipes in a classic Italian kitchen working over a wood fire. The list of his experience in the cooking industry ranges from pizza delivery boy to executive chef. The commonality in all of his past jobs, yes, even bus boy, is his bright attitude, “the thing I've enjoyed about all of these jobs is the interaction with people and making people happy...That's the hospitality biz.”
When he’s not in the kitchen, Chef Eric is hanging out with his kids, he has an 18 year old son and a 13 year old daughter, and/or enjoying the great Colorado outdoors. Enjoying everything from camping and hiking to hunting and fishing.
Coming up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Eric was pretty with the times listening to metal and punk rock with “a splash of rap”. Naturally he listened to “grunge” bands like Nirvana and late the Foo Fighters. But, this music wasn’t just a phase of youthful rebellion, he describes his “EPIC!” experience taking his son to see the Foo Fighters for his first concert. He even validates the quality of his daughter’s favorite band, My Chemical Romance, “A band I would have totally dismissed [...] but those boys are good.” These days his tastes span across the board, but in the kitchen he favors a “steady beat and not to many vocals, just a good groove” with dub or jazz to keep him moving.
Trips overseas have influenced his cooking in more ways than just some ingredients and recipes could. In Italy he was impacted by the people and the food and the care and emphasis they put on the meals. He was impressed by “how much a part of the culture and lifestyle [food] is.” In France he enjoyed splendor of slowing down and enjoying the experience of a meal.
To learn more about Chef Eric, check out the Q&A.
Q: What is your favorite food to cook?
A: Oh boy, that’s a tricky one. I love making soup, hearty soups, comforting soups. [...] I also love wood fire kitchens and pizzas on a wood stove. I enjoy making sushi, but I’m still trying to master that craft.
Q: What food do you cook that’s consistently a hit?
A: I rock out some pretty good breakfast burritos. [...] But, like I said I like to cook soup a lot, I’m always in charge of soups.
Q: What’s your best food memory?
A: I spent [some time] in France [..] and visited our neighbors on sabbatical in the countryside. [It] was interesting and quick I hope to go back some day. Basically what I took away from that trip was the beauty of slowing down and enjoying the experience of food. In America everything is rush rush often but my last day in Orleans with our friends neighbors it was all about taking our time and enjoying. [Chef Eric endearingly described his morning “sitting around the table with old French ladies” to me.]
We spent the morning rendering duck fat and meat for rillets while others shucked oysters in the garage, meanwhile a pot of beef burgundy simmered for lunch. At about noon the Lady of the house declared it was time for lunch and all work stopped and a four course meal began. Starting with oysters and champagne, white anchovies, cheese and crackers, fresh green beans with lardons and beef stew. Each accompanied with an appropriately paired French wine.
Two hours later... I had to take a mid afternoon nap before going to the countryside to visit other family and do it all over again for dinner, which ended not with desert but some of the best wine and cheese I have ever had.It was pretty epic. [...] The style of food and cooking was so interesting [...] we had the quintessential French meal.
Written By College Chefs' Danielle Gadus