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Dealbreaker Chef De Cuisine Says Cook This Now: Secretariat's Denver Omelette Sandwich

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Changing jobs can be very stressful. I’m not going to get into what I did before I won the coveted Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine post, but let’s just say my julienning skills were more than a tad underutilized.

The first week on a new job is a brutal mishmash of emotions, whether you’re a line cook, a Chef de Cuisine, or yes, even a bond fund manager. (This is especially true when most of the money from you old gig doesn’t make the trip with you to your new one.) It takes a while to learn the rhythms of the new office, figure out whether your no-eye contact policy freaks people out, or whether insulting a colleague’s French accent will drive him into the Croque Monsieur business.

In terms of making new friends and finding his way in the new space, the fact that Bill Gross is working remotely from Malibu, and not at his new employer's headquarters in Denver, puts him at a disadvantage. But it also offers him an opportunity. While I’m contractually barred from discussing my clients, let's just hypothetically say Bill was one, and the two of us were sitting in his office in Newport Beach, right before hopping on the short flight to Colorado to meet some of his new colleagues, or he called me after landing, pleading for advice re: how to interact with people. The setting doesn’t matter, my advice to him would be the same: Give them a taste of Denver. Let them know you appreciate their home.

As a rookie, I’m not suggesting Bill whip up a few servings of Rocky Mountain oysters, the deep-fried testicles of bull calves that Coloradoans love so dearly. No, that could make for a bit of an awkward first impression.

When I tell Bill to “give them a taste of Denver,” I mean one thing: “Get yourself an apron and a chef's hat and set up a Denver omelette station. Set it up IMMEDIATELY.”

The Denver omelette made well is a thing of beauty, and in Denver they like to put it on a sandwich. Standing in front of colleagues and greeting them with a friendly “Can I take your order?” would be the best way to make his new co-workers forget some of the standoffish behavior they may have read about from his past. Because if there’s one thing Bill Gross needs at his new job, it’s the reputation of a flexible, personable man who doesn’t need to work hard at treating people like humans, and who is happy to whip something up to your exact specification.

Now if I was making an omelette for one person in the Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine kitchen, I would spend a bit more time with technique. When Bill is cooking for dozens, perhaps hundreds of colleagues, it’s more of a short-order thing. Sometimes it’s quicker and the pan is hotter, but I’m going to give this recipe like you’re cooking it at home. In a short-order format, you may need to add the toppings to the eggs before they’re beaten, even though that’s not ideal. You don’t want to sacrifice taste.

Secretariat’s Denver Omelette Sandwich


2 or 3 Eggs
1/4 cup diced ham
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced peppers
1/4 cup shredded cheese (or more)
1 tbsp butter
Bread or roll of choice, with a little butter if you’d like


1. Heat a skillet on medium until hot. Add the butter and swirl it around a bit, waiting until most of the foam subsides.

2. While the skillet is heating, break the eggs into a small bowl and add the salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with a fork, quickly moving the fork away from you and back until they’re mixed well. Don’t overbeat.

3. When the pan is ready, pour the eggs in and let them sit undisturbed for about 30 seconds.

4. Using a fork, scrape the edges of the eggs a bit and move some of the wetter parts of the egg around toward the outside. Do this for about 30 seconds, or until the eggs are almost set.

5. Scatter the toppings over almost half the omelette, but don’t cross the midway point. Make sure you have enough cheese on the outside. It’s okay if it oozes later.

6. Using a fork, carefully lift and drag the half of the omelette without the toppings over the half with the toppings. This takes some practice, and you might not get it right the first few times. Don’t be so hard on yourself, I was like that once too. Not really, but I have to make you feel better. The omelette is going to taste good regardless, and since it’s going on a sandwich, looks aren’t as important.

7. Once the omelette is closed, or vaguely closed, you can try and flip it with a spatula, or fold it one more time with the fork. Let it cook another minute. An American omelette can be a little brown, unlike a French omelette, but don’t let it get too brown.

8. Carefully add the omelette to the bread, making sure the bread doesn’t overlap the omelette and the omelette doesn’t overlap the bread so much that the sandwich will fall apart. Add ketchup, salt, pepper, and/or whatever you’d like.

9. Cut the sandwich in half, make eye contact with it, and eat it. You earned it.

Earlier recipes:Fried Mozzarella en Carrera;Nachos Nouriel;Chinese Spare Ribs