Every morning, Chef Dave arrives at Spoons’ kitchen hours before dawn to begin his daily soup creation starting with just an empty metal pot. Dave loves soup, in fact, some might say he is crazy about soup, including himself. “I have a thing for I make soup all week. I’ll make 250 gallons of soup every day, and come Saturday, I am shopping at Whole Foods and the farmers market buying ingredients to make soup at home.”
Chef Dave is the man behind the soup you enjoy at Spoons, and to him, soup is an opportunity to create something that matters for the people of Fort Collins. Creativity fuels Dave’s passion for soup and is what gets him out of bed each morning. “Starting with an empty pot, turning it on, starting with some sautéed vegetables, building it up, adding ingredients. The colors, tasting it, smelling it, that is where it’s at.”
In 1980, Dave was 20 years old and had just moved to Durango, Colorado from his home state of Michigan to work in a kitchen resort. After working there for about two months, the resort hired a new chef– a 30-year old with a passion for making high-quality Americana food. That chef was Tom Stoner, who would later move to Fort Collins to establish Spoons in 2002.
Tom took Dave under his wing, teaching him his best culinary tricks and creative touch to delicious menu items. One day, while Tom and Dave were making a tomato soup, Dave watched as Tom cut fresh basil and poured the herbs into the soup. The taste of the soup before and after the herbs were added amazed Dave. He never knew how much of a difference fresh herbs made to the overall flavor of soup.
Even today, Chef Dave’s cooking reflects his early experiences from his partnership with Tom in 1980. Today, Chef Dave can be found in Spoons’ kitchen carefully chopping fresh parsley and adding it to his famous Mom’s Chicken Vegetable Soup. “I want to dig a spoonful and see that chopped parsley in there because that means somebody took the time and the effort to chop up a fresh herb and get it into the soup. It’s not dried, it’s not flakes, it’s the real, fresh stuff.”
Over the last 30 years, Tom and Dave have worked both together and apart, and today, they consider themselves not as owner and employee, but more like “two people who really dig food and just want the best.” Spoons’ culture centers on care– from the preparation and production to the final product you enjoy, every spoonful reflects the care for each consumer and the menu items you love most.