The owner of the retro-fab eatery brings a flare for life into his colorful kitchen.
Kitchen Cred A third-generation Colorado native, Schlegel attended the University of Denver's School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. He then headed to Southern California and Las Vegas to work restaurant service for Hyatt Hotels, before returning to Denver to manage Sushi Den and Mao. Ready to run his own show, Schlegel opened Snooze in April 2006.
Get Toasted The crew from nearby Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey dines at Snooze so frequently that they gave Schlegel this bottle with a hand-printed note saying, "Pancake bliss at Snooze." Now, every once in a while, he'll add the locally distilled elixir to French toast.
Benvenuto Always the entertainer, Schlegel keeps wine and traditional antipasti—green olives, salami, white cheese, and crackers—on hand 24/7 to accommodate any last-minute guests. He picked up the habit in one of his favorite foreign destinations: Italy.
Solid Grounds Even on the home front, Schlegel sips on mugs of Snooze's House Blend. "Coffee isn't supposed to mask the flavor of your food," he points out. "The two are meant to be harmonious, not fight against each other."
Ware House One of Schlegel's many passions is tableware, which is perfect when you have a longtime pal in the pottery biz. Delightfully mismatched, handmade creations (including a custom edamame serving plate) by friend Mike Totah line Schlegel's kitchen shelves.
Wok this Way Of the plethora of sauté pans and pots in the kitchen, he can't live without the versatile wok. "You can make everything from omelets to fried chicken in it," he says.
Quick Tip A simple mixture of white vinegar and water is all Schlegel needs to make his counters sparkle. "Once you get over the odor, it cleans without the use of any chemicals," he explains.
Peanut Butter French Toast
"My wife and I love peanut butter—this is a fun, simple twist on French toast."
Make peanut butter sandwiches between two half-inch slices of challah bread. Dip sandwiches into mixture of eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and orange liqueur. Cook on a skillet until golden brown. Serve with sliced bananas or berries.