Flip Wise doesn’t see himself as just a chef.
“I’m really firm with my idea that to be a real chef you have to be a representative of your community, where you live and the season,” said Wise, executive chef at Free Range Kitchen in Basalt.
Wise will soon represent the Roaring Fork Valley as a contestant on Food Network’s “Chopped Grill Masters.”
The popular show features four chefs in each episode, competing in three rounds of appetizer, entree and dessert. In each round, the chefs must utilize four secret ingredients. In the “Grill Masters” version of the show, all cooking must be done on a grill.
“Eating good food shouldn’t be pretentious.” Flip Wise, executive chef at Free Range Kitchen in Basalt
Grilling is Flip’s element.
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Last summer, before joining Free Range Kitchen, Flip and his wife drove an 8-foot smoker, along with a wood fire grill, on a 20-foot trailer as Open Fire Catering.
“The concept was simple: only cook with fire and only with what farms and ranches have,” Wise said.
Rather than Wise going to farmers and ranchers and saying what he needed for his menu, he said he would — and still does — ask them what they have, and then make the menu from there.
“I made really good relationships with the farming and ranching communities in this valley, and [Open Fire Catering] pushed myself out of my comfort zone because it was do or die,” Wise said.
To him, the term “farm to table” is gimmicky, but the concept of eating local, in-season ingredients is essential.
“I think it’s as important as algebra,” Wise said. “People should be aware of the differences between a farm carrot and…
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