Pastelito On A Plate: Image By Jeremiah Corder

Exploring Denver's Culinary Diversity with Michael Solis of Café Tres

A Taste of Cuba in the Heart of Denver

Denver's culinary scene is a mosaic of diverse flavors and stories, and one of its most vibrant chapters is being written by Michael Solis, the passionate chef and owner of Café Tres. Bringing a slice of Cuban heritage to Colorado, Café Tres is more than just a bakery; it's a bridge between cultures, a legacy reborn, and a testament to the power of authentic culinary artistry.

The Origins of Café Tres: A Rich Family Legacy Brought to Life

From Havana's Historic Bakeries to Miami's Cuban Wave and Denver's Culinary Scene

The story of Café Tres is interwoven with a family legacy that spans over a century, originating from the bustling streets of Havana, Cuba. Here, in the early 1900s, Michael Solis's great uncle, Tio Alfredo, honed his craft in a local bakery, setting the foundation for what would become a family hallmark. This bakery was not just a place of business but a community hub, echoing the rhythms of Cuban life and infused with the aroma of freshly baked goods.

Café Tres Cuban Heritage
Family Bakery In Miami After Arriving From Cuba

The family's journey took a pivotal turn in the 1960s, a period marked by upheaval and change. Seeking new horizons, Tio Alfredo and other family members migrated to Miami. In this vibrant, unique setting, they brought a piece of Cuba with them, establishing one of the city's first Cuban bakeries. This venture was more than a business; it was a cultural lifeline, reconnecting the family with their roots and introducing the rich flavors of Cuban baking to a broader audience.

Michael Solis' Grandfather and Uncle
Michael's Grandfather And Uncle

In 2014, Michael Solis, inspired by this legacy, was drawn to the culinary arts, echoing his family's past. His relocation to Denver began a new chapter in this enduring saga. Café Tres, nestled in the heart of Denver, is a modern expression of this rich history. It represents the resilience and adaptability of the Solis family and their unwavering commitment to their culinary heritage. At Café Tres, every pastelito and cup of espresso is a tribute to the generations of skill, passion, and tradition that have shaped this family's journey from Havana to Miami and now Denver.

Café Tres: A Culinary Homage to Cuban Traditions

Pastelitos and Coffee
Photo by Jeremiah Corder Instagram - @jeremiahcorder

Crafting the Perfect Pastelitos and Cuban Espresso

Café Tres stands out in Denver's culinary landscape, specializing in pastelitos – a perfect blend of sweet and savory delights encased in flaky Cuban puff pastries. Alongside these delectable treats, the bakery serves up authentic Cuban espresso, a nod to the vibrant coffee culture of Michael's homeland. The essence of Café Tres lies in its commitment to authenticity and representing a culture rich in culinary traditions.

The Chef Behind the Counter: Michael Solis

Michael Solis
Photo by Jeremiah Corder Instagram - @jeremiahcorder

Blending Art Direction with Culinary Art

Before diving into the world of pastries and puffs, Michael Solis honed his creativity in art direction and design. This unique background has significantly influenced his approach to baking, allowing him to blend artistic vision with culinary skills. His decision to pursue the family's baking legacy in Colorado was driven by a longing for Miami's Latin community's familiar tastes and cultural vibrancy.

A Mission to Enrich Denver's Culinary Scene: Café Tres as a Cultural Connector

Bridging Cultures Through Authentic Cuban Flavors

Café Tres, under Michael Solis's vision, is more than a Cuban bakery; it's a cultural bridge in Denver's diverse food landscape. Michael's drive to be part of Denver's culinary scene springs from a longing for Miami's Latin culture and flavors, aiming to share the rich Cuban culinary traditions. Café Tres offers more than just food; it provides an immersive experience into Cuban life and customs, from the traditional pastelitos to the communal essence of Cuban coffee culture.

Michael envisions Café Tres as a platform for cultural exchange, enriching Denver's culinary diversity with authentic Cuban experiences. It's a place where the Denver community can connect over traditional Cuban dishes, learn about Latin culinary heritage, and celebrate the art of food as a unifying force. He aims to create a welcoming space where culinary art meets cultural storytelling, fostering understanding and appreciation for Latin American flavors.

Through Café Tres, Michael contributes to Denver's evolving culinary scene by adding variety and deepening its cultural richness. His commitment to maintaining authenticity in his offerings ensures that every visit to Café Tres is a genuine encounter with Cuban heritage, inviting Denver to embrace and enjoy the vibrant spirit of Latin culinary traditions.

Staying True to Roots: The Café Tres Philosophy

Authenticity Over Expansion

In an era where diversification is often seen as the key to success, Café Tres takes a different approach. Michael believes in staying true to his roots, focusing on and perfecting a few items. This commitment to authenticity over expansion sets Café Tres apart. It reinforces the bakery's identity as a genuine ambassador of Cuban culinary traditions.

Looking Ahead: Café Tres in 2024

Popups, Accessibility, and Culinary Adventures

Michael is excited about the future, especially building on the success of 2023. With plans for winter popups and initiatives to make his products more accessible, Café Tres is poised for growth. Followers and food enthusiasts are encouraged to stay updated via the bakery's Instagram, @cafetresdnvr, for the latest offerings and locations.

Embracing Diversity and Collaboration in Denver's Culinary Landscape

Fostering a Melting Pot of Culinary Talent and Ideas

In envisioning the future of Denver's culinary landscape, Michael Solis sees an expansive horizon marked by diversity and collaboration. Over the past nine years, he's witnessed the city's food scene transform, embracing various cultures and cuisines that enrich its character. For Michael, this evolution is not just about introducing new flavors; it's about the collaborative spirit that binds the culinary community in Denver. He sees chefs, restaurateurs, and food artisans coming together, creating a melting pot of ideas and talents pushing the boundaries of traditional culinary practices.

Denver's growth into a culinary hotspot excites Michael as he watches the intermingling of diverse culinary traditions create something unique and extraordinary. This collaboration is the heart of innovation in Denver's food scene, where chefs from various backgrounds share techniques and inspirations, crafting a dining experience that's both global and local. Michael's journey with Café Tres is a testament to this. This Cuban bakery found its place and thrived in the Rocky Mountain landscape, thanks to the city's welcoming and adaptive food culture.

Building a More Inclusive Culinary Future

Michael's aspirations for Denver go beyond just diversity in cuisine. He hopes for a culinary community that's both varied in its offerings and inclusive and accessible. In the coming years, he looks forward to seeing more unique culinary ventures take root, contributing to the city's narrative and offering a platform for underrepresented cuisines and chefs. For Michael, the true beauty of Denver's culinary future lies in its potential to be a space where every culture can share its story through food and every diner can embark on a new culinary adventure. Café Tres is part of this dream, bringing the warmth and richness of Cuban baking to the city's evolving culinary tapestry.

Pastelitos from Café Tres
Photo by Jeremiah Corder Instagram - @jeremiahcorder

A Gem in Denver's Culinary Crown

Café Tres, under the stewardship of Michael Solis, represents the soul of Denver's dynamic and diverse culinary scene. It's a place where history, culture, and passion converge to create unforgettable culinary experiences. Element Knife Company's spotlight on Café Tres is more than just a nod to a local business; it's a celebration of a culinary gem that enriches Denver's gastronomic tapestry.