Best known for his dynamic coastal Mexican cuisine and lively tequila dinners, the executive chef and partner of Lola is a self-proclaimed homebody who finds refuge in his home kitchen.
Kitchen Cred Born and bred in Maryland, Jamey Fader landed his first restaurant job when he was 15 years old. In 1996, he moved to Denver and happened to meet Dave Query, owner of Jax Fish House. Fader, who took a job prepping and cooking on the line at Jax, worked his way up, and in 2002 he and Query opened Lola.
Spice of Life "In our old kitchen our fridge sat next to our stove, so I put all of my spice holders on magnets." Still settled on the fridge, the containers hold homemade spice blends and curries. Fader's favorite mixture: a Mexican concoction of celery seeds, cumin, chiles, and herbs.
The Trophy The Jenn-Air Attrezzi hand-blown blue-glass blender was the prize for winning a local cooking contest. "I think I made some type of pork tenderloin and a funky version of an omelet for the win," says Fader with a chuckle, "but this mixing set is really unique."
One for the Road "We're big tequila fans. One of my cook's mother, who is from Morelia, Mexico, made me this leather flask with two shot glasses," says Fader. "She did all the design work herself, and it says "Jimmy" on it because she thought that's how I spelled my name."
Keepin' It Real "I think you should take what you do seriously, but not take yourself too seriously," says Fader. A reminder of this mantra is "Lil' Homie," a trinket that once sat atop the hood at Lola, but now calls Fader's knife rack home.
Sign Language Whenever Fader moves, the first thing to go up in the kitchen is a New Orleans-themed cooking sign advertising "Magnolia Shrimp and Barataria, Louisiana"—an ode to Fader's wife, Gail, who spent time in the Big Easy.
Mi Casa Sling
With summer in full swing, Fader suggests kicking back with this sunset-worthy tequila cocktail.
- 2 shots El Tesoro Silver tequila
- ½ shot Meyer lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
Shake vigorously with ice. Top with a splash of lemonade and a splash of ginger ale. Fader's secret tip: Bake the lemons in the oven for about five minutes so the juices caramelize and give the lemonade some bite.