Brother Luck may not have earned the season 15 title of “Top Chef”—he was edged out of the show during the final round of Last Chance Kitchen by Joseph Flamm, who ultimately won the competition—but his culinary prowess and Colorado pride was apparent from the first episode. Luckily for locals, those cooking chops are still on display at his Colorado Springs restaurant, Four by Brother Luck. There, Luck’s inventive tasting-style menus are packed with dishes we’re sure Top Chef judges Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, and Tom Colicchio would enjoy.
The eatery, inspired by the historic cuisine of the Four Corners region (where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet), opened 11 months ago, but Luck had to leave within days of service beginning to film Top Chef. Since his return, he’s made big changes. “We opened on Cinco De Mayo  and I left immediately for two months,” Luck explains. “That first menu was simple, out of my head, to get the restaurant open. Upon returning, I had time to really figure out my restaurant space, what I wanted to do with it, and the style of food that I wanted to do. It’s continuously evolving.”
While Luck’s fare is still loosely inspired the Native American, Latin American, Western European, and Spanish Colonial influences of the Four Corners region, he’s broadened the focus. After all, the “Four” in the restaurant’s name is also a nod to the seasons and the four Native American approaches to food production and procurement: hunting, gathering, fishing, and farming. Four by Brother Luck delivers on these themes through four four-course tasting menus, each priced at $45. Although diners are free to mix and match courses from the various menus, servers suggest sticking to the predetermined line ups, as Luck designed each meal to flow a certain way.
Stand-outs from a recent visit included crispy spiced pork belly on a bed of chipotle grits and the “apple pie” dessert, which is served as two lightly fried apple “spring rolls” with house-made brown butter ice cream and a drizzle of local honey. Consider the affordable $20 wine pairing option, too, for which sommelier Steve Kander will pick the perfect pour for each course of your meal. Luck says that Kander is the best sommelier he’s worked with, and “the only one that truly understands my palate and my style of food.”
Perhaps the most significant change since Luck’s return from Top Chef is the extent to which he’s putting himself into his cooking. “The one thing that I walked away [with] most was that you have to cook from your soul,” Luck says. “Top Chef really taught me to embrace my past and let that be my inspiration.” Case in point: the Dirty Farro dish Luck cooked on Top Chef, which is a play on New Orleans dirty rice inspired by his father. It’s currently on the menu at Four by Brother Luck, and is a must-order.
Top Chef fans can catch glimpses of Luck in his element through the large opening into the restaurant kitchen, and may even get the chance to meet him, as he often pops out to say hello.
If you go: We suggest getting a reservation—especially on weekends—as the restaurant has been particularly busy since Top Chef aired.
321 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 719-434-2741
Bonus: Can’t make it down to Colorado Springs anytime soon? You can taste Luck’s cuisine tomorrow, April 18, at Comal’s Impact Dinner, which benefits Focus Points Family Resource Center and the RiNo Art District. Luck collaborated with Comal chef Tim Bender to create a four-course meal inspired by his journey. In fact, Luck is bringing his mother along as “sous chef” to help him with dishes like crab cakes with chayote purée, which Luck says was inspired by her style of cooking. Get your tickets here.