Denver is lucky to be the last stop for Tim Kuklinski, culinary director for Crafted Concepts. A peripatetic childhood took him back and forth across the country, with stops in Rome, New York; Pottstown, Pennsylvania; Norman, Oklahoma; Tucson, Arizona; and Omaha, Nebraska, before finally settling in Denver for his culinary school education at Johnson & Wales University.
He met and befriended chef Jorel Pierce, another JWU undergrad, and together they advanced through the job progression at Rioja to form the backbone of its kitchen. Tim took six months away from the Rioja kitchen to round out his skills at Euclid Hall, a (now-closed) sister restaurant serving hand-cranked sausages, poutines, schnitzels, and upgraded international pub food. Tim has also staged at Michelin-starred Grace and Graham Elliott in Chicago. Tim now serves as culinary director for all of the Crafted Concepts restaurants: Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia.