Bryan Dayton may be the co-owner and beverage director of Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder and Acorn in Denver, Colorado, but that doesn’t mean he’s kicking back with a big glass of biodynamic Pinot Noir all day.
Bryan is a high-altitude runner by day and a restaurateur by night. After a day of training for races like the Leadville 100 (that’s 100 miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain), he’s in his restaurants sourcing from as many local farmers, breweries, wineries and distilleries as possible. Read on for his thoughts on the quest for zero food waste and running in the snow.
What’s a typical day of eating like for you?
I eat different things every day, but I love roasted Boulder Natural chicken and basil whipped potatoes paired with a nice glass of Muga Tempranillo. Since I run a lot, I also have a few favorite post-run meals. In the winter after long runs, I love pho with steak and meatballs, and on long runs in the summer I will daydream of salt and vinegar chips. For something light and local, we always have our shaved apple and kale salad on the menu.
Can you tell us about life as a hardcore runner?
I’m a longtime runner. During the summer months I run high altitude trails (Bear Peak is a favorite) seven days a week, and during the winter I generally cut down to four to five days a week, plugging 3/8-inch hex screws into my running shoes to get through the snow. I’ve been incorporating more weights into my workout routine for strength training, too.
How do you incorporate sustainability into your life?
We try as much as possible to reduce water waste in the restaurants. Water is a constant issue—not only in California but also in Colorado—so reducing water usage is a big initiative for us. We also try to achieve zero food waste in the restaurant by utilizing as much of each ingredient as possible. For example, when we cook pumpkin to make our pumpkin spice soup, we take the juice that comes from it and use that in the sodas we make in-house. All of the purveyors we work with are sustainable. I try to ride my bike as much as possible, too.