Food halls are the major craze in most sizable cities, with Denver at the helm. One of the earliest concepts of food halls began in 1461 (Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar), growing to the ever-popular destination for food connoisseurs of all ages. Communal seating with a galore of delicious bites, drinks, and shops keep customers coming back to enjoy the inviting atmosphere.
Denver Metro is a hotbed for food halls, including The Source Hotel + Market Hall, Avanti Food & Beverage, Denver Union Station, Denver Milk Market, Stanley Marketplace and one of the newest, Broadway Market Denver. Fort Collins also features a popular spot, The Exchange, and Boulderites can venture to nearby Rayback Collective.
With a curiosity to learn more about the Denver food hall scene, we sat down with Chef Jesusio Silva of Misaki on Broadway – a deliciously fresh Japenese raw bar and sushi counter located in the Broadway Market Denver.
“It’s very exciting being in the Broadway Market Denver because of all the top-notch chefs working here. The food around here is pretty amazing, everyone is bringing their best game. It’s the perfect place to be right now, working with a lot of other talented chefs. For the new guys like me, it’s a great opportunity for us to try different things,” said Silva.
Chef Jesusio discovered at a young age his love and thrill for cooking, which over time landed him in Denver, from his birthplace of Monterrey, Mexico. At just 12 years old, Jesusio learned the classic “Regio Style” of Monterrey cuisine, cooking seasoned meats over hot charcoal, served alongside spicy salsas and handmade tortillas.
In 2002, Jesusio unexpectedly moved to Denver when his brother, who was studying here, was injured in a tragic car accident. The tight-knit Silva family decided to leave Mexico, which meant that Jesusio would need to learn a new language, culture, and start over with his culinary career. To Jesusio’s fortune, he was able to work under the guidance of local favorite Troy Guard and Ruben Herrara.
His first introduction to sushi and Japanese cuisine was with acclaimed Chef Bryan Nagao during the opening of Mao in 2004. After continuing to grow in this cuisine, Jesusio spent nine years of his career at Sushi Sasa. Since then, he has opened Osaka Ramen, Sushirama and a curated fish market named after him.
Chef Jesusio partnered with Charlene and Robert Thai to create the Misaki Sushi brand. The first location was planted in the Stanley Marketplace, followed by a location in Superior and now, a spot in the highly anticipated Broadway Market Denver. Working closely with the Head Sushi Chef Gobo, who has a 14-year history and is a dedicated chef from Thailand, Misaki on Broadway creates masterpieces. What makes their offerings so unique are the extremely high-quality ingredients, for example, they serve fresh scallops flown in same-day from Japan and melt-in-your-mouth oysters from British Columbia.
Beyond his heavenly dishes, artistic technique and professional delivery, he says his success is due to a lot of hard work.
“My career has meant a lot of dedication, my days are always pretty long. I spend a lot of time at the restaurant, plus I volunteer to work with other chefs in order to continue educating myself. Also, everything that is happening in Denver; there are so many opportunities, we just have to take them,” said Silva.
With his long history in the culinary scene and in Denver specifically, we were curious to hear what his thoughts are for the future. All in all, the food halls are a great opportunity for chefs to be experimental and try different things, which is creating a very vibrant food scene for Denver.
“Well, now people in Denver truly know about food. 13, 14 years ago – it wasn’t the same as it is now. People educate themselves about culinary, they eat out more. Expectations are higher – flavor-wise and with the quality of the ingredients. The people in Denver are becoming real foodies. As a Chef, this is a challenge accepted to become better and do different things,” added Silva.
For other aspiring chef’s, Jesusio’s advice is to “rethink the California roll” and engage in different cuisines. After 29 years, he is proud of his success professionally and also by all of the pleasures that life has brought including his wife and two children. His future plan is to focus on the success of Misaki on Broadway, but what we may see one day is a venture back to his roots by focusing on authentic Mexican cuisine. Until then, we look forward to savoring every fresh bite that Misaki on Broadway plates.
“I’m just happy to have the opportunity to bring my food to other people, and I’m lucky enough that people like my food.”
To learn more about Misaki on Broadway, visit www.misakionbroadway.com.