The idea that a chef has never made an inedible dish is ridiculous, says local chef Brent Beavers: "I've made thousands of them, but I just never served them."
When cooking, you should try bizarre ideas and combine ingredients people tell you not to, Beavers says. Just follow one rule: "If you screw it up, throw it out and try it again."
So goes the creative process, one encouraged by Saturday's downtown WHAT IF...?! Festival — an event that's all about the 90 percent perspiration. In this, its second year, attendees will experience science and art demonstrations, hands-on activities and all kinds of learning opportunities. Think sidewalk art, robots, a "21st-century scavenger hunt" and more.
Spanning the same six-block radius downtown — between Sahwatch Street and Vermijo, Nevada and Colorado avenues — the festival boasts nearly 80 "experiences" in the space that fit 50 last year. Among the newbies are Beavers and chef Dave Cottrill, business partners in a new cooking-class-centric venture, called Conscious Table. Their focus Saturday will be all eggs: Beavers says beyond the fried, scrambled or sunny-side up, they're the "base of classical cuisine."
On the other end of the culinary spectrum will come folks from the Junior League of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Children's Museum (which is still in the fundraising stage, and seeking a location). In Kids in the Kitchen, their interdisciplinary take on nutrition, children ages 5 to 12 can craft fresh fruit caterpillars inside rice paper and help create "the caterpillar that ate Colorado Springs," based loosely on the popular children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
There's that 10 percent inspiration.