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Kim Moyle never expected to be the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa’s first female executive chef. In fact, the Pennsylvania native wasn’t even aware of the milestone until she arrived in Denver last November to take the gig. But Moyle—who has helmed restaurant kitchens in Nashville, Salt Lake City, and, most recently, Grand County’s Tabernash—says shattering the 129-year-old institution’s glass ceiling is just a bonus. To her, it’s all about cooking great food. Patrons can taste Moyle’s earliest influences on the Brown Palace’s culinary program at Palace Arms, one of the property’s six restaurants, where she offers modernized steak house fare with whispers of Southern flair in a space furnished with Napoleonic decor. After the restaurant reopened in May following a 14-month renovation, we caught up with Moyle to chat about her background and what’s on the menu at one of Denver’s most storied hotels.
5280: Do you think the food and beverage industry has evolved to be more accepting of women in leadership roles?
Kim Moyle: I hope so. If you were to ask me in the 1980s, I would have said, “Oh, gosh, no.” I started in the American Culinary Federation’s apprenticeship program in 1986, when not a lot of females went to culinary school. But it is nice to hear that there are a lot of women chefs in Denver who are doing great things.
After culinary school, you spent 28 years as a chef at upscale hotel restaurants across the country, including Sundance Resort in Utah. How’d you land in Colorado?
I worked in Nashville at the Sheraton Music City for five years, but the weather was a little too humid for me and my husband. A recruiter and good friend reached out to me about a job at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, which reminded me a lot of Sundance, so I took it and worked there for 13 months before the Brown Palace position opened up.
What are you excited to serve at Palace Arms?
There is a brisket I sous vide for 48 hours that we serve with buttered grits, Southern collard greens, fava bean mousse, peach barbecue sauce, and a little cornbread crumble. We are also sourcing Fitch Ranch beef and Mystic Mountain Mushrooms (pictured above) from Grand County, and the products are just amazing. We’re trying to make it more approachable, so you don’t feel like you have to wait for a special occasion like an anniversary to come in.
1 Delicious Day at the Brown Palace
7 a.m.: Eye-opener at the Brown Palace Coffee Shop
10 a.m.: Sunday brunch at Ellyngton’s
2 p.m.: High tea in the Atrium Lobby
4 p.m.: Sips and snacks at Ship Tavern
6 p.m.: Surf and turf at Palace Arms
8 p.m.: Cigars and whiskey at Churchill Bar