When Rachel Woolcott takes a break from her busy schedule as owner and chef of Aix Restaurant and Wine Bar, she experiments with recipes and entertains friends at home.
Kitchen Cred Woolcott has bounced between Colorado and both coasts for years, starting when she left her first home in Newport Beach, California, for boarding school in Vermont. She landed in Boulder for college, and worked at the Walnut Cafe while pursuing her degree in psychology at CU. Woolcott caught the restaurant bug and did a stint at City Spirit Café in Denver before heading back East to study under chefs Lydia Shire, Todd English, and Jorge Ramirez in Boston. She then returned to California to work with David Kinch before moving back to Denver, where she opened Aix in 2001. —Kat Valentine
Freshen Up When Woolcott needs a little pick-me-up, she reaches for Metromint Spearmint water. "This stuff is awesome," she says. "There's no sweetener, just really clean water and strong spearmint."
Perfect Pasta Woolcott uses her Atlas Marcato pasta maker for homemade ravioli. "I usually make what I call 'leftovers ravioli' because it's easy," she says. "I just use whatever is handy in the refrigerator." Atlas Marcato Pasta Machine, $69.95 at www.surlatable.com
Best Beans Woolcott puts her espresso machine to good use daily, and keeps her pantry stocked with coffee beans from Old Bisbee Roasters. "The owner roasts his own coffee there in Bisbee, Arizona," she says. "If you buy two pounds or more, you always get something else thrown in for free." www.oldbisbeeroasters.com
Cooking Class "I like to have dinner parties with friends, but people are so intimidated by food, so I usually try to teach them how to make something," Woolcott explains. "One time I did corn dogs from scratch, and once we did homemade mozzarella."
Tasting Party "I had a local wine purveyor come to my house and do a tasting party for my partner, Michelle. It's a great idea for a birthday or anniversary," Woolcott says. "Just talk to someone at your local wine shop about price ranges and food choices, and they can suggest wine flights for each pairing."
Individual Chocolate Tortes
- 1/2 pound of good dark chocolate
- 1/2 pound butter
- 4 whole eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a double boiler. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light in color and texture. Temper (very slowly add) the melted chocolate and butter with the egg mixture. Whisk in the flour at the very end. Pour about 4 ounces into individual spring molds, and bake in a 350° oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until desired consistency.