Beavers serves up fresh ideas at Conscious Table

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Brent Beavers has loved to cook since he was small, watching his great-grandmother in the kitchen.

He also discovered that cooking food was better than cleaning up after the meal, he said.

While his childhood meals weren’t fancy, his lifelong love of food has led him to create the Conscious Table, born of his desire to have creative and interesting food in Colorado Springs.

His meals are made from scratch, never prepackaged or precooked.

Beavers, a real foodie, opened the new restaurant this month.

He recently talked to the CSBJ about his vision.

How did you get turned on to cooking?

I remember cooking with both my parents as a child — nothing fancy, just simple things — pork chops, cookies and the like. I got real turned on to cooking when I was 16 and washing dishes. I hated washing dishes. When I got a chance to touch food for the first time a world of creativity opened to me. I loved it and was halfway decent at it. Been in love with cooking ever since.

Why did you decide to open the Conscious Table?

Some of the principles that led to me creating Conscious Table are that there is not enough creative and interesting food in our fantastic city. Another is that I firmly believe that food should be made from scratch and never come prepackaged or precooked. We are at a point in food service where cooking from scratch is rare, and the art and skill of cooking is slipping away from us as a society. Thirdly I believe that all creatures should be allowed a quality of life. No creature should have to spend its life crammed in a cage or feed lot just to assure us cheap pricing at the store or a restaurant. We are what we eat and I want to make sure that animals I eat lived a quality life and were treated with respect and slaughtered the same way.

Conscious Table offers a variety of cooking classes on a broad range of topics. We are available for small private dinners and parties. We serve true farm-to-table food and sustainable seafood for dinner Thursday through Saturday, 5:30 to midnight. Classes are scheduled at many times during the week.

What’s your cooking background? Is this your first restaurant?

I used to be the chef and owner of Sencha, a little restaurant on the south end of downtown. I have been involved with many community projects and fund raising events. After Sencha, I was the chef at The Village at Skyline for 2 ½ years. I then tried and failed to bring fresh farm to table food to Giuseppe’s. I was there for one year and decided that my heart and soul were down a different path. So I started this new adventure.

Where did your concern about fresh food and fresh ingredients come from?

My consciousness about food and cooking came to me over the years from reading, meeting and learning from farmers and their families. As the food world has shifted to bigger, faster, more, I have seen the quality of food and treatment of animals go steadily downhill. I choose to be no part of it. I make a difference because I try and that is the start of it all.

What are some of the goals for the Conscious Table?

Some of my goals for Conscious Table are to be a fun and exciting place to eat and learn about responsible food choices. We want to be a part of the community as a whole and support and grow our city in intelligent ways. To be part of a support and education system for local farms and businesses of all sizes and on all levels . Down the road we would like to have a small ranch and farm that is used as a tool to teach responsible and ethical raising of animals.