Pictured: Jerry Manning (far right) and staff at Aji
"I graduated from school in Pennsylvania and didn't really know what I was going to do. I moved out to Telluride to ski for a year and [fortunately] I've been stuck here ever since. I met my wife and she's a Colorado girl."
"I worked at Dushanbe Teahouse as the general manager when I first came to Boulder. Then I worked at the Hotel Boulderado for a while before reconnecting with my friends from the Dushanbe to start Aji and Leaf."
"The best advice that I've gotten was from my dad when I left for school. I didn't exactly take it per say. He said 'work for four years and play for the rest of your life or play for four years and work for the rest of your life.' I played for four years and now I'm working."
"Aji is a family of chili peppers that's indigenous to the West Coast of Chile. The name was the last thing that we decided before opening the doors. You hear it pronounced all different ways."
"The influx of great chefs, concepts, and operators has really pushed the envelope for the restaurant scene in Boulder. The food scene here is ever evolving and always moving forward on some level."
"Pearl Street has been great for Aji [and Leaf], particularly with the boom down here on East End. I think that when we came here in '05, Mountain Sun and Craig's were here, Mateo and Frasca had just opened, and that generated a lot of new traffic here. The East End definitely has a community feel."