A former "Cutthroat Kitchen" champion and local private chef has been hired as the Laszlo Hotel's executive chef in charge of its three restaurants.
Leah Eveleigh, of Highlands Ranch, will oversee all cooking operations at downtown Parker's coming boutique hotel, including for the hotel's built-in restaurants: Rick's Prime Steak and Seafood, Martinis on the Half Shell and The Upper Deck. Eveleigh runs a private catering business serving mostly Filipino cuisine. Eveleigh moved to Colorado from the Philippines about 20 years ago.
“There's no Filipino food around here. I have clients say `Leah, I can't afford to have you cater all the time. Where can I get your food?' That's what I'm excited about,” Eveleigh said. “I'm in my happy place so you can come now and I can cook for you.”
The Laszlo Hotel is nearing completion. According to hotel officials, they will begin hiring staff in the coming weeks and already have different events planned for the fall season and a New Year's Eve bash.
The Laszlo will cover a variety of cuisines, from seafood to breakfast burritos; oysters to burgers; draft beer to hand-made martinis. Eveleigh hopes to sprinkle in Filipino favorites alongside the traditional steakhouse classics and fan-favorite pub foods. Eveleigh will serve Filipino eggrolls as an appetizer and an “ahi tuna tower,” which Eveleigh said fits her vision for the hotel of being a place to find trendy foods.
“Every day, it's going to be like `Wow. That's something that's unique,'” Eveleigh said. “It's going to be the place to be…It's going to be awesome for Parker because there's nothing else like it.”
The restaurants will have standard menus — with steak, seafood, burgers — accompanied by special seasonal menus. Some of Eveleigh's unique Filipino creations can be found there. The Laszlo Hotel will include special off-menu items as well for those in the know.
"Laszlo is a lifestyle. It is an event," said Candice Coleridge, the Laszlo's director of food and beverage. "Every time you visit us, from the moment you walk in, we're not just a place you go stay or go dine or go experience, and that's really important. I want something that passes your table and you say 'I want that. I need to be a part of that.'"
Eveleigh competed and won season two, episode six of "Cutthroat Kitchen." The reality cooking show, hosted by Food Network's Alton Brown, pits four chefs against each other for a cash prize. The four competitors are handed $25,000 each to use as they wish. They can either use the money to improve their dishes or sabotage their counterparts. They compete in three rounds to finally determine a winner, who walks away with whatever is left of the $25,000.
Eveleigh hopes to make the Laszlo a trendy place for people from all over the area. But, she said, she took this job because she wants to share her creations with her neighbors in the community.
You can follow Eveleigh on Instagram @chefleaheveleigh. Follow the Laszlo Hotel on Facebook or visit TheLaszloHotel.com.
“I wanted to share the energy I have and all the culinary training I learned,” Eveleigh said. “It's so much, and I'm willing to work hard to get this running.”
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