Chef Ian Palazzola: Executive Chef, Acorn (Denver, CO)

Virginia-native Ian Palazzola attended culinary school in Atlanta, Georgia. During his time in school and after graduation, Palazzola worked at Rathbun’s Restaurant, a local institution. After rising to a sous chef position, Ian decided it was time for a change. He then moved on to work at Restaurant Eugene for James Beard award-winning chef Linton Hopkins. It was there that Ian learned to cook with care and artistry and understood the importance of developing relationships with farmers - a major influence on the way he cooks today. Looking to expand beyond his Southern comfort zone, Palazzola headed West to Aspen’s The Little Nell, where he worked as a sous chef for three years. Soon after, he connected with Mourad Lahlou to help open the eponymous Bay Area fine-dining temple, Mourad. In under a year, Mourad received a Michelin star and Palazzola was promoted to chef de cuisine, where he commanded the Moroccan spice pantry with hints of his Southern roots shining through. In 2016, Palazzola was named a "Rising Star Chef" by StarChefs. Today, Ian helms the kitchen at the award-winning Acorn in Denver, Colorado, where he is the Executive Chef

What do you love most about your city?

I love Denver, nature is around every corner!

Favorite breakfast meal and restaurant?

My all-time favorite breakfast meal is country fried pork chop and eggs. But my favorite place to get breakfast in Denver is Call.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping!

10:00 AM - It depends on the day - but I'm usually at work, or getting ready for work.

12:00 PM - Lunch service at Acorn

7:00 PM - Dinner service at Acorn

11:00 PM - Closing up the kitchen

Favorite "Power Lunch" spot/meal?

"The Jersey Boy Sandwich" from Rosenberg's Bagels - it's an egg bagel with a double stack of Taylor ham, a fried egg, American cheese, salt, pepper and ketchup.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Caffeine! Yerba Mate and Espresso (multiples of both).

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

The News Feed on Apple.  On Instagram, I love seeing what Elske is doing in Chicago.

What should everyone try at least once?

Yuzu, and you should definitely try it more than once!

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Traveling outside of the U.S.