Talon News - Good Local News




October 12, 2018

Aztec Chef Leads New Eatery


Hopefully, Aztec residents have taken the time to check out Aztec's newest restaurant, 550 Brewing & Pizza Parlor. It seems the proprietors, Sean and Kara Paschall and restaurant chef Jeremy Collins are the perfect combination! Collins is a professionally trained chef and has known the Paschall family for approximately 20 years. Collins first jobs were working for Paschall family members, he recalls breaking down boxes at Main Street Music and enjoyed working there for six years before beginning his culinary journey.

He was part of the staff when the Paschalls managed the former Highway Grill, and that experience may have been what inspired him to pursue culinary school in Boulder, Colorado (name). He shares, "It was about the only thing that jumped out at me". While attending culinary school and after graduation he worked at restaurants in the Boulder and Denver areas, but returned to Aztec in 2015. Initially, he worked at restaurants in the Durango area but did not like commuting. Then he worked at several Farmington restaurants and was able to help some of them develop their menus. An Aztec High School graduate, he is excited to be back home, and be able to work here.

Collins shares that his vision for the restaurant includes community input, (We) "want to see what people like here first", and "move towards what people like". Currently, the menu includes mostly pizza, some side salads and sodas and beer. However, signature pasta dishes and salads are in the future. The restaurant offers a casual space to enjoy a meal seven days a week, and during slow times could be a great place for groups to congregate while partaking of their offerings.

The pizzeria has a Portugese Brick Oven which Collins is very familiar with- these ovens are very hot and cook items quickly. This could make it a great option for high school students and staff with a brief lunch break. Ideally, Collins will be able to collaborate with local sources for vegetables and meat. He also intends to make his own sausage. He states, "I just want this to be a spot for locals to hang out and appreciate the community". A place with, "Good food and good beer!" Also, "When someone comes here from out of town, they remember it".

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