Raymond Moncion: Bowlmor Cafe and Lounge in Eagle
EAGLE, Colorado ” The guy in the kitchen at Eagle’s Bowlmor Cafe and Lounge at the Back Bowl bowling alley boasts a very impressive set of credentials from famed eateries across the country.
Bowlmor Cafe chef Raymond Moncion has cooked at some of the nation’s best-known restaurants including the iconic Tavern on the Green in New York City’s Central Park.
Originally from The Dominican Republic, Moncion worked in New York, Chicago, Texas and Florida before arriving in Colorado.
“My family brought me to Eagle,” he explains. With their grown children living in the local area, Moncion and his wife were motivated to relocate.
“You know how grandmas are,” Moncion says with a laugh.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Moncion began honing his craft as a sous chef at Tavern on the Green. He quickly rose through the ranks becoming executive sous chef at the restaurant. He was later recruited to coordinate the opening of a group of celebrity restaurants based in mid-town Manhattan.
After nearly 15 years as chief executive chef, overseeing menu design and kitchen operations of four high-end restaurants, he moved to Naples, Florida, where he became executive chef for the largest restaurant in south Florida.
Moncion eventually moved to Chicago where he was tapped as the Midwest regional corporate chef for Landry’s Seafood Restaurants. His work with Landry’s brought him back to Florida to oversee the southeast operation.
After years in the corporate restaurant world, Moncion is relishing the opportunity to run a private kitchen. “I get to do a lot more hands-on things ” a lot more designing of the menu. Here in the cafe, it is what I want to create, what I want to do.”
At the Bowlmor Cafe, Moncion has focused on creating a menu that is diverse and different. He notes food standards are high in this valley and he believes the Bowlmor is no exception.
“We have food that people won’t get in a bowling alley anyplace else,” he says. “I stand by our food here against any place in the valley.”
At the Bowlmor, the all entrees are priced below $20 and include everything from steaks to fish and chips to burgers. “There is no way I will sacrifice quality for a cheap price,” says Moncion.
While it is a big leap from preparing food in a celebrity restaurant to cooking in the bowling alley cafe, Moncion speaks glowingly of his beef shortribs and crab cakes. He loves the fact that his operation is geared toward feeding the working families who live in the valley and he loves being back behind the stove.
“This job has brought me back to what I used to do.”
Pam Boyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org