A local chef who poured his life into his kitchen will have to take a forced vacation from cooking to keep that life.
Kyle Cowan, 31, was the chef at Up the Creek restaurant in Vail for the last two years, but moved back to Texas to be with his family three weeks ago after discovering a cancerous lump in his kidney.
Cowan, who spent time experimenting with and changing the menu at Up the Creek, was seldom out of the kitchen when he was in Vail, Up the Creek owner Peter Stadler said.
“He was very intense in his work – his interest was food,” Stadler said. “I told him ‘why don’t you go skiing, why don’t you do this,’ and he said ‘No, I’m here.’ His whole life is food.”
That life of food has paid off, at least in Vail, where local opinion is that Cowan’s arrival changed Up the Creek — an American-style restaurant that has been in the valley for 20 years — for the better. Candice Wilhelmsen, 30, works with her parents at Axel’s Clothing next door to Up the Creek and has been going to the restaurant with her parents most of her life. She said Cowan’s arrival made a difference at the restaurant.
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