Feed Me…I’m Hungry writer Michelle Sandstrom is also the Denver City Editor over at The Daily Meal, where her job is to search out and report on the best food in Denver. Read on for food news and Denver dinning recommendations.
What does it take to start a restaurant that gets recognized by Food Network’s hit show Diners Drive-ins and Dives? The answer: two years of advance planning, a serious love for what you’re trying to accomplish, and eighty or more working hours a week. Don’t forget to add a menu of simple, but fresh American Indian favorites. Then you get Tocabe, the very successful American Indian eatery located in Denver, Colorado.
Starting a successful restaurant from the ground up is not for the faint of heart. According to an article by Business Week, 60% of new restaurants fail within their first year. Common wisdom sets the statistic even higher, at a whopping 90%. In this climate, serious training in business or the culinary arts can be very important to success. However, serious drive seems to beat out formal training in the case of Tocabe. “If you’re not one hundred percent sure about it stay away,” warns Ben Jacobs, one of the entrepreneurs behind Tocabe.
Neither Jacobs or his partner Matt Chandra, have formal restaurant management training, nor is either man a trained chef. Rather, both worked their way through every job a restaurant has to offer as they studied at The University of Denver. Jacobs has a B.A. in history with a focus on American Indian studies and Chandra has a B.A. in Digital Media studies. Ironically, the University of Denver does have a well respected restaurant management program.