Five Colorado restaurants — three in Denver, one in Aspen and one in Boulder — won a Michelin star Tuesday night, and not a single two- or three-star restaurant was chosen by the influential culinary guide in its report. First round of awards In the state.
Chef Kelly Whittaker, who runs a small restaurant empire In Boulder and Denver, they focused on Colorado’s culinary traditions and local ingredients, and were the big winners of the night, each receiving one star. Wolf Tailor And Protogourmand bib for Basta And the recommended rating for Oh kiddo. (The signature dish at Wolf’s Tailor is called venison and its diet: roasted venison with matsutake mushrooms, cranberries, and bitter vegetables.)
At a ceremony in Denver, 30 restaurants joined the “Michelin Recommended” ranking, one of several categories and awards the company has introduced recently to attract more restaurants into its brand’s orbit. Four won “green” stars for sustainable food practices, including Wolf’s Tailor, Bruto (Mr. Whittaker’s group has a brewing director), and Black Belly Market In Boulder, led by the head butcher Kelly Kawachi, who also won Culinary Professional of the Year. (She was the only woman to win her own star.)
A group of Colorado state, local tourism authorities and resort companies paid Michelin a total of about $600,000 to help create the guide, so only restaurants in Boulder, Denver, Aspen, Vail, Snowmass and Beaver Creek were eligible for stars, a decision that angered municipal chefs who did not They donate money.
Vrascain Boulder, widely considered the restaurant most likely to win two stars, for its elegant focus on northern Italy and its wine list, received one star and a special award for outstanding service.
But with only five restaurants in the state considered “worth a stop,” according to the Michelin rating system, and none worth a detour (two stars) or a trip (three stars), the celebrations were muted. Bobby Stuckey, owner of Frasca, is one of the restaurateurs pushing Colorado tourism officials to bring Michelin to the state. He said the overall dearth of stars in Tuesday’s announcement — not since 1956, when Italy won no stars in its first edition, and no new region won so few — will serve as a wake-up call for restaurants in the state.
“There were definitely some broken hearts in that room,” he said, as the majority of the chefs who traveled for the ceremony realized they would not be returning home with the stars.
Busqin Aspen, Bacon, in Denver, also received one star each. All but one of the featured restaurants offer multi-course tasting menus, reinforcing the belief among chefs that achieving a Michelin star may require adopting a labor-intensive style that appeals more to tourists than to locals and regulars.
before the party, Jane Jasinskione of the first Colorado chefs to win a James Beard Award and a mentor to many who attended, was cautiously optimistic about her prospects, but all the restaurants in her popular group (Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Ultria, Stoick & Genin) were closing.
She said that as a lifelong user of the guide, she accepted Michelin’s ruling. “It sucks to say this and it breaks my heart, but we didn’t do it.”
She said consistency – one of Michelin’s top priorities – is the biggest challenge she faces, with high kitchen turnover and a dearth of experienced service staff. Chefs and officials alike said the Michelin Guide’s ability to attract experienced sous chefs and servers to the region continues to decline shortages nationwide Make the investment worthwhile.
Many said they were surprised by the luxury Little Neil, in Aspen, winner of countless hospitality awards, fell short of the stars. Chef Matt Zubrod said winning the recommended designation for Item 47 was enough for the first year; His experiences with similar groups such as star programs Forbes And AAAAnd global Relais & Chateau I taught him that just being inclusive is often enough.
“When you search for ‘Michelin restaurants in Colorado,’ we come up with a list,” he said. “That’s the main thing.”
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