Editor’s Note: I love profiling local culinary influencers in Boulder County to showcase the great people we live amongst. I had the chance to meet Gary and eat at one of his farm dinners recently and was delighted to learn about his story, and how much of an impact he has had on the food scene locally.
Gary Silverman is no stranger to the Boulder culinary world. He spent almost 30 years at the Boulder Cork Restaurant where he worked his way up from a dishwasher, to line chef, to front of the house where he was a waiter, bartender, to the assistant to the GM which he held for almost 20 years. He’s also owned a food truck, Bumper Crop, and ran a food stand at the Boulder Farmers Market.
Silverman grew up in rural Idaho near the Tetons. He grew up cooking organic and he fondly recalls walking around his neighborhood selling fresh, organic vegetables from his garden with a wagon and a scale.
He started cooking for himself and his brother in the 4th grade since both of his parents worked, and his first restaurant job in high school let him be a prep cook and busboy in a steak house. As a sophomore in high school, he moved to Santa Fe which is where he fell in love with red and green chile, and much of his food is influenced by the Southwest.
Now he owns Fresh Catering, where as a caterer he focuses on fresh ingredients from local farms. He works alongside his wife, Kirsten, who was the pastry chef at Boulder Cork for the past 30 years, as well. He notes him and his staff have worked together for years, making their work together seamless and streamlined.
Gary and his wife, Kirsten
His catering business focuses on intimate, farm to table, and every menu they build will be tailored. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday party, office event, etc. he cares to concentrate on the food as a focal point. As he says, “we don’t mess around.” Furthermore, with his background in service and putting customers first, he is able to emphasize that front of the house experience in his delivery.
Gary’s Fresh Catering Staff
When asked about his favorite type of food, it’s no surprise that New Mexican food, especially from Santa Fe is at the top of his list. With his food truck, Bumper Crop their signature dish was a smothered burrito “Xmas” style, smothered with red chile and green chile.
Back in the 90’s when he had his farm stand, his food was so well loved, he would trade produce from the local farmers in exchange for his tacos and burritos every Farmers Market. Silverman shared a nostalgic story with me about the late, great Bob Munson of Munson Farms. He shared, he [Munson] “would stand in front of my grill eating a burrito for both breakfast and lunch every Saturday going, ‘Mmmmmmmm,’ the whole time. It still makes me laugh.”
When asked about his signature dish he said it had to be his duck enchiladas with Haystack Mountain goat cheese smothered in red chile.
Here’s a sampling of his menu from the farm dinner, at my favorite farm, the Lyons Farmette:
Flatbread with Lynch Family farm rabbit sausage, roasted peppers, and Haystack goat cheese
Tostada with Cure Farm pork adovada with a black bean dip, Haystack feta and cilantro
Fresh Idaho trout with rock shrimp and a chipotle BBQ cream sauce
Gary is amicable, energetic, and excited about food. It’s evident spending time around him and he’s still at it, all these years later. Having been in Boulder and involved locally with food for so long, you’re bound to learn something from him. I encourage you to check him out at Boulder Fresh Catering.
PS. Don’t take my word for it. Eat Drink Boulder included him in a round up of Boulder’s best caterers.