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More About Coffee and Obsession at Basta

Written By Peter Reinhart
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 Webisodes

In this, the second in our newest webisode series, we continue our conversation with Kelly Whitaker, chef/partner at Basta in Boulder, CO.  You’ll notice a few breakaway shots to some of his menu items, such as a sous vide short rib dish that is phenomenal, cooked under pressure at a precise temperature for 48 to 72 hours, and then fire-charred just before serving. We will have a whole episode on this dish in the future, but I mention it because, as you can see here, beginning with our initial discussion on coffee and then beyond, what we are exploring with Kelly is his whole food sensibility, his ethic and culinary worldview, and how his attention to detail carries over into all aspects of the Basta experience.

We’re all seeing the appearance of more and more culinary artists, like Kelly, around the country (and world), and when you peel back the curtain, it becomes obvious that a lot more than cooking is taking place in their world. Years of training, mentoring and being mentored, paying ones dues, finding ingredients produced by kindred spirits — the soul of a chef is a complex thing that we, as customers, usually only get to experience in the form of its final manifestation, the food. So, over the next few months, little by little, we will, in fact, be peeling back the curtain and take you inside the process, deeper into our shared quest to scratch the itch beneath the itch that burns within us all.


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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on