Chef Paul Nagan on community, creativity and the stuff of legend at his newest venture: Narrative
Chef Paul Nagan is no stranger to success. After all, when your resume includes words like “Chef of the Year,” you’ve got to be a bit of a legend yourself. Nagan, however, is setting his sights on telling a new story at Cherry Creek’s Narrative. And trust us: it’s pretty epic. Nagan recently sat down and shared the vision behind the sleek new eatery and the community it serves.
I love the name Narrative. What is the story you hope the restaurant tells?
Narrative is about “storied food and drink.” Our desire is that our guests will have such a wonderful and unique experience that they will create a personal narrative that they share with friends and family.
Tell us about the food. How does Narrative define New American cuisine?
The approach we take towards our cuisine is to feature classic dishes with global influences while sourcing the best possible ingredients. We want the food to be contemporary and fresh, but, at the same time, familiar and approachable.
You had a much-lauded stint as executive chef at range Restaurant before you opened Narrative. Was it nerve-wracking to step out and create something new?
range was a great experience, and I really enjoyed my time there. However, my fascination with cooking has always involved experimentation and creating new dishes. I enjoy the conceptual aspect of opening new restaurants. Narrative provided a different style and new set of parameters in which to create and that has been very exciting.
You’ve had a long relationship with Marriott and the hospitality industry as a whole. What are the unique advantages of having your restaurant a part of a space like the Jacquard Hotel?
Narrative is intertwined with The Jacquard. The restaurant is busy with hotel guests and locals alike. We have found that the guests of The Jacquard really enjoy the convenience of having an on-site restaurant that gives them a sense of place, a true feel for Cherry Creek. We also provide the food for all catered events at the hotel and for Kisbee on the Roof, the rooftop bar. Having so many different outlets challenges your creativity and makes every day unique.
Philanthropy is near and dear to your heart. What are some of the organizations that you work within Cherry Creek? How do these experiences in the community shape you personally and creatively?
We feel a responsibility to lend our resources to those in need or less fortunate. Some of the causes I have recently supported include; No Kid Hungry, Project Angel Heart, Denver Health Foundation and National Kidney Foundation. These events allow us to cook and interact with many of the locals that support our restaurant. The feedback and relationships we get back are invaluable.
222 Milwaukee Street