Food w/ Friends- Call with X Lifestyle's Tye Idleman
Let me resist the urge to sing Blondie's "Call Me" when walking into a restaurant named Call (technically it's Beckon l Call but Beckon isn't open right now, only Call is, as they are two adjacent black and white houses in Rino).
I decided to catch up with my friend Tye Idleman of X Lifestyle Products, a local grooming line that uses 10 all natural ingredients or less to ensure you're only putting what's needed on your body. I use his daily moisturizer on my face and it's awesome.
In true Aaron fashion, I was a tad late so he was waiting for me on Call's red patio chairs. Instantly, the red chairs were a detail I appreciated. Chalk it up to my devotion to horror movies and Nancy's red door in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) but I have a fascination with red-colored anything. We walked inside and soaked up the hip-yet-cozy atmosphere as the open kitchen had food being prepared before our very eyes. After ordering, we sat down to chat.
"So what have you been up to?" I asked.
"I've been working on a shampoo and on black soap. I want to put it in clear cases to really show off the color. I've also been working at Dio Mio here in Rino."
"Cool! So part of the reason I asked you to partake in Food w/ Friends with me is because I know you have a culinary passion and you know your stuff when it comes to food. So, what sticks out about what we're about to eat?"
Tye bit into the sandwich I ordered, this concoction of pork and egg on a bun that made for a heartier lunch selection. "Off the bat, I can taste how the meat is nice and marinated. I'm also enjoying the egg and the overall pickled flavor. Lastly, it's good bread and I can tell it's fresh." Next, he dug into his chicken salad sandwich and I saw him mull over what he was chewing.
"There's citrus to it, it's simple with just chicken salad and leafy greens but there's a lot of flavor." He said as I scribbled rapidly. I ate my sandwich, which was delicious, but I also made a note to enjoy every part of what I was tasting. A metaphor for enjoying life, if you will.
"What are we tasting next?" I asked. He pulled over a grapefruit and feta tartine, which was really a work of art on a plate. "I love how creamy it is from the Feta," Tye said, "and the citrus is very present but it's not overwhelming."
"So how did you find your passion for food?" I asked.
Tye: "10 years ago. I didn't want to go to college and getting a kitchen job was the easiest thing. I realized how much I love food and making it from scratch. I also love seeing someone take a bite of whatever I've just made and the happiness that radiates from them. Working in an open kitchen can be uncomfortable sometimes because people stare but the appreciation for food is great."
"That's so cool. Does that translate into your product line?"
Tye: "Actually yes. I like taking the culinary approach with X Lifestyle Products. in the same way that I like writing recipes down, I have a black notebook in which I write stuff down until I get the product to where I want it. Even the process of creating said product, I approach it like I would in a restaurant kitchen."
"I love that. So what are we finishing off with?"
"An eclair. So with this one, there's the awesome vanilla bean flavor, the pastry is nice and crispy, and it tastes fresh."
I nodded along and gobbled mine down.
As we wrapped, we discussed where we want our respective careers to go. I felt free telling him how big my fashion dreams are and he said that he wants continue with his products, his passion for food at Dio Mio, his photography, and how he'd love to have a restaurant one day. Tye and I met one day at an event at Bellwether on East Colfax, another awesome local spot, in which I saw him in the crowd and recognized the black shirt he was wearing, which had the words Black/Tuesday on it (also a local clothing brand). I said "Cool shirt." and hit it off from there. Whether you want to try one of his grooming products, or you want to try his cooking at Dio Mio in Rino, or even if you're looking for a photographer, Tye is one hell of a guy. Follow him on Instagram @tyeidelman or at @xlifestyleproducts to see what he's up to, and check back next time to see who I'm chowing down with.