By Katie Shapiro
Colorado’s culinary scene has finally achieved the Michelin Guide’s coveted stamp of approval. Officially launched and celebrated at the Mission Ballroom in Denver this past September, the inaugural Michelin Guide awards ceremony celebrated 44 restaurants across the state, each receiving the prestigious star, Recommended, Bib Gourmand or Green Star designations.
Here in high country, Aspen’s first-ever and singular Michelin Star was awarded to Bosq, with none other than a hometown hero at the helm. Aspen-raised chef Barclay Dodge’s love of cooking began in his grandmother’s kitchen, but blossomed behind the scenes at some of the best restaurants in town as a teenager.
“I am thrilled to receive this honor. I’ve been working hard for 35 years in kitchens, my sleeves rolled up and focusing on the craft, so it feels really nice to be recognized,” said Dodge, speaking just ahead of his team’s off-season R&D trip to Mexico City before they reopen for service in December.
Since its debut in 2016, Bosq is best known and beloved for its unwavering dedication to sustainability and support of agriculture in the Roaring Fork Valley. The tasting-only menu changes frequently and seasonally, highlighting hyperlocal ingredients—many of which Dodge forages for himself around the Elk Mountains’ many alpine forests. Also drawing on inspiration from Scandinavia, details like hand-picked spruce tips and juniper branches make each plate of art stand out against an intimate, moody backdrop.
“This accolade strengthens our approach and the ability to stay true to our vision—and validates the guest experience,” Dodge adds. “But we will never be yesterday’s Bosq. We want our guests to be surprised and excited to be with us. To be the chef to bring the Michelin star home…I love it! Aspen is where it all started. Aspen is our identity.”
Three additional Aspen restaurants received Michelin Recommended status: Element 47 at The Little Nell, Prospect at Hotel Jerome, and Mawa’s Kitchen at the Aspen Airport Business Center.
“This is a proud moment for Colorado and for the Michelin Guide, with five Michelin-starred restaurants highlighting the state’s debut selection of restaurants,” says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide books. “It’s quite an impressive feat for a debut selection to include so many Michelin Green Stars. Our famously anonymous inspectors were wowed by these restaurants’ high quality, local ingredients sourced seasonally and sustainably. It’s a very exciting time for the culinary community here, and we feel the momentum growing.”
For Chef Mawa McQueen, also a 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist and 2022 and 2023 Colorado Governor’s Minority Business Award Winner, the recommended status is just as sweet. ”Being acknowledged by the Michelin Guide has always been a personal goal of mine,” she says. “I’m already encouraged to be more creative and adventurous. This winter, guests can look forward to my signature Afro-Mediterranean cuisine with French American flair, but also new dishes inspired by my most recent travels to Morocco and around Africa.”
For the full list of Colorado Michelin Guide restaurants, visit guide.michelin.com or download the Michelin Guide mobile app.