Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley Restaurants Shine in Michelin Guide’s Colorado Debut

Avant Garde Aspen

In an eagerly awaited moment for Colorado's culinary scene, the Michelin Guide has officially recognized the excellence of restaurants in the Centennial State. At a prestigious unveiling event held at Mission Ballroom in Denver, Aspen's very own Bosq secured a coveted star, making it a standout among the state's culinary gems. Joining Bosq in this prestigious ranking are three Denver establishments - Beckon, Brutø, and The Wolf's Tailor - along with Boulder's renowned Frasca, forming the select group of Michelin-starred restaurants in Colorado.
 
For its inaugural edition covering Colorado, the Michelin Guide expanded its scope to encompass Aspen, Snowmass Village, Boulder, Denver, Vail, and Beaver Creek Resort.
 

Bosq: A Star Beyond the Front Range

Notably, Bosq emerged as the sole restaurant outside the Front Range to earn a coveted Michelin star. This intimate dining experience, offering a delectable tasting menu, is under the creative leadership of Aspen native and James Beard Award-nominated chef Barclay Dodge, alongside his wife, Molly.
 
Chef Dodge, who recently earned the title of "Best Chef" in The Aspen Times' "Best of 2022," personally dedicates himself to crafting each dish and ensuring a flawless dining experience. With a strong commitment to the local community and environment, Bosq sources wild-foraged and locally grown ingredients. The restaurant also champions eco-friendly practices, including a robust recycling and composting program, a zero-waste food policy, and energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
 
Hours before the official ceremony, the Michelin Guide spotlighted Bosq's lobster dish grilled over juniper branches with buttermilk and dill as one of its inspector's top three favorite dishes in Colorado.
 

Other Notable Restaurants in Resort Towns

While Bosq shines as a culinary gem in Colorado's mountain communities, several other restaurants in the region earned "recommended" status from the Michelin Guide.
 
In Aspen, Element 47 at The Little Nell, Mawa’s Kitchen in the Airport Business Center, and Prospect at Hotel Jerome earned recognition. In the Vail area, Sweet Basil and Osaki’s in Vail Village, Wyld at the Ritz-Carlton in Bachelor Gulch, and Mirabelle and Splendido At The Chateau in Beaver Creek were also featured.
 

About the Michelin Guide

The Michelin Guide, originally launched by French tire manufacturer Michelin in the early 20th century, has evolved into the definitive resource for culinary excellence. Using a three-star rating system, the guide designates one star for a "very good restaurant," two stars for "excellent cooking worth a detour," and three stars for "exceptional cuisine worth a special journey."
 
What began as a tool to promote automobile travel has since become a prestigious global culinary authority. The guide's anonymous inspectors uphold strict criteria, including a focus on quality products, flavor harmony, mastery of cooking techniques, the chef's unique culinary voice, and consistency.
 

A Controversial Entry and Culinary Honor

While the Michelin Guide's arrival in Colorado has garnered attention, the process involved some controversy. According to The New York Times, the Colorado Tourism Office and various local tourism boards, including Denver, Boulder, Aspen, and Vail, contributed financially to bring Michelin to the state. Despite the debate, achieving a Michelin star remains a coveted accolade for restaurants, attracting both revenue and prestige while inspiring other eateries to elevate their culinary standards.
 
With only 221 Michelin-starred restaurants in the United States prior to Colorado's inclusion, obtaining this prestigious recognition continues to be a remarkable milestone for the culinary world.

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