(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A local chef is bringing the taste of his hometown and mom’s cooking from upstate New York to Colorado Springs.
Since opening in May 2017, Rooster’s Ramen has been serving the community for nearly five years – that is, until now. With the price of ingredients becoming more expensive, owner and Chef Mark Henry decided to close Rooster’s Ramen for good, but it’s not the end of their story.
Chef Henry and his brother announced the new concept for their restaurant, Kelley’s Spiedie Shop.
“It’s all recipes that me and my brother either developed with my mother or learned from my mother,” said Chef Henry. “It’s impossible to cook this food… without thinking about her.”
Named after his mother who died in 2015, Chef Henry stated Kelley’s Spiedie Shop is a way to honor and bring her memory back.
“We grew up cooking with her,” he said. “She’s the reason that we both want to cook. This is a way to make it a true mom-and-pop shop.”
The menu will feature traditional dishes from Binghamton, New York like salt potatoes, Chef Henry’s mother’s potato salad, and the main course – spiedie meat and veggie sandwiches. According to Chef Henry, the recipes have been fine-tuned over many years and celebrated during the holidays.
There are no other establishments that serve this style of food in Colorado Springs, claimed Chef Henry.
“It’s actually a new concept to the city… so it’s kind of a new niche,” he said.
Chef Henry went to culinary school after leaving the military in 2009. He became a professional member of the restaurant industry, “climbing the ladder to become a chef.” But there’s still something that continues to nag him.
“My largest regret is… I never actually got to cook for my mom,” Chef Henry stated. “That’s always kind of stung a little bit because then we lost her.”
Many of Chef Henry’s childhood memories came from growing up with this style of cooking, he stated. Now, his food serves to create special moments for others, which he said is an honor.
“I’ve got four kids and now they get to experience some of the same cuisine that I forged memories around when I was growing up. It’s kind of nice that we get to generationally bring it full circle… but also to share it with the public,” he said.
Chef Henry hopes Kelley’s Spiedie Shop becomes a meaningful installation in the community where families can go to spend time and eat food they have not experienced.
“This is our way of bringing some of our story and giving something back to the community,” said Chef Henry.