The Highlands Team


Our team is a veritable melting pot, with people from all corners of the country and pretty much every walk of life. They do have some things in common, though: a passion for food and the uncanny knack for making your experience an amazing one. Take a look at our stories and come on in to talk to us—we may even quiz you.

Kevin Morrison

Kevin Morrison

Chef/Owner



Kevin Morrison was the founder of Red Tomato Specialty Produce, serving the independent upscale restaurant industry in Denver, as well as co-founder of the Spicy Pickle Sub Shop and Spicy Pickle Franchising. In 2006 the concept won Nation’s Restaurant News “Hot Concept” award and went public in 2007. Later in ’07 Kevin was the creative force behind Crumb Rustic Bakery, a wholesale bakery that serviced all of Colorado’s Spicy Pickle restaurants. In 2010 Kevin left the restraints of corporate life to develop other grassroots food concepts like Tacos Tequila Whiskey and Poco Torteria.

I like to…


Travel, sail, hang with my family, watch TV. Maybe not in that order.


Little known facts


I go on the log ride with my twin boys but it scares the hell out of me!


Steve Shoemaker

Steve Shoemaker

Director of Tacoperations



Steve comes to KTM from Sysco Foods in Denver, where he spent just over 6 years as a Marketing Associate. During his time at Sysco, he earned awards for excellence and growth and served his customers with integrity and professionalism. He remains a respected leader and resource to his former coworkers. Prior to Sysco, Steve worked with the Hillstone Restaurant Group for nearly 10 years where he learned the importance of standardized systems and team culture.

Growing up in Indiana, Steve spent a lot of time in the outdoors and was fortunate to have a nice 10-acre yard to play football, baseball, soccer, drive golf balls as hard as he wanted and use their tractor to make BMX and RC car tracks. After graduating from Huntington College, Steve attended Johnson & Wales. He participated in the Garnish Your Degree program which earned him his Associates in Culinary Arts.


Little known facts


Steve enjoys skiing, drawing, doing homework (sometimes), camping and sitting around the bonfire with his 2 kids and wife of 14 years.

In High School, Steve worked at a local bike shop starting off as a bike assembler.

Luis Aldaz

Luis Aldaz

AGM, aka Papi Taco



I was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. I’m the second child in a family of 3 that consist of 2 females and 1 male (the favorite). School brought me to the united states and I moved to boston on a student visa  (in case you are reading this Mr President) to get a masters degree in management. I worked in several restaurants during my school years and I learned to love both cultures equally with all my heart, but mexican food is my one and only love. Destiny brought me and my family to Colorado this year—my red salsa blood can hardly handle the intense sun, but my heart loves the vibe here and we’ve never been happier.


I like…


listening to music, watching series and documentaries on Netflix and, for some reason I’m obsessed with the food channel. I try to work out when I have some free time…that means almost never, lol, but I try if that counts.


Little known facts


Luis is a total sucker for tacos and kids (especially his exceptional little man)


David Leyva

David Leyva

Bar Manager



David was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His parents opened up a Costa Rican restaurant when he was still in high school, which ended up being his first look into the service industry. After graduating, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to study psychology and sociology at the University of New Mexico where he lived for three years, simultaneously working his way up through the two restaurants he worked at there. This led to the discovery of his passion for bartending.

On a whim, he visited Denver alone knowing no one in the city at all and fell in love with the state as a whole. Within a year, he moved into the city and began exploring all it had to offer. It was here that he developed a new appreciation and almost obsession with agave based spirits, which eventually led him to a server position at Tacos Tequila Whiskey. Within a year he worked his way up to the position of bar manager. He loves his team and strives to prove that he will never ask them to work harder than he does, which is why you’ll see him working his hardest day-in and day-out, whether it’s making drinks or washing dishes.


I like to…


snowboard, hike, camp, spend time with my dog, travel and give high-fives!


Little known facts


David can play five different instruments!

 
 

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