Chef Chat, Part 1: Mike Potowski of benjy's on Washington

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Competition in the restaurant scene on Washington Avenue is fierce. This week, we catch up with one of the main players, Chef Mike Potowski of benjy's on Washington.

EOW: When did this benjy's on Washington open?

MP: It opened up on December 27, 2008.

EOW: Where was your previous stop?

MP: I was the [sous chef] at Noe. Right after that, one of my friends from Japan -- his family wanted to open a restaurant in Colorado. I helped him with that. Before I left here, Benjy and I were already talking.

EOW: What was it like working with Chef Robert Gadsby at Noe?

MP: He has a lot of talent. He knows a lot about flavors.

EOW: Were you with him during the filming of the Iron Chef America episode?

MP: Yes.

EOW: What was that like?

MP: It was fun. Being from Japan, I never thought I'd be on the show. I had an opportunity to go on the show as a sous chef. It's an hour of trying to knock out food really fast. The one thing I was worried about was cutting myself. I didn't want to cut myself on national television (laughs). ..Everybody did a great job. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

EOW: Were you nervous?

MP: I was stupid-nervous. I didn't know they filmed it so early in the morning.

EOW: What is the pressure like being an executive chef here at a restaurant on Washington Avenue?

MP: I think Benjy has established himself. As long as we follow those guidelines, we're fine. Besides that, this is the biggest restaurant I have opened in my life.

Check back tomorrow, when we take a look at what Chef Mike Potowski is preparing in the kitchen at benjy's on Washington.

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