Kentucky Woman Wins Prestigious Restaurant Award With Team in Colorado
Owensboro native, Natalie Hayden, is one of my oldest friends. We met in second grade at Sutton Elementary and made lots of great memories growing up. Tubing at Rough River, sleepovers, and getting in trouble at school for talking too much. After high school, we both went on to the University of Louisville forging our own paths. Through the years, I have always known Natalie to be an outgoing and charismatic adventure seeker. Which is how she ended up in Colorado after graduation. This week, Natalie and the amazing team at Bosq, a fine dining restaurant in Aspen, won one of the most coveted honors in the industry. A Michelin star. That's a REALLY big deal.
From Owensboro to Aspen
"This is all a dream," she told me when I asked her what it felt like to achieve such an epic accomplishment. Natalie has worked in hospitality and the food and beverage industry for years developing a true passion for her craft and making a name for herself in Colorado.
She was recruited by a staff member at Bosq who invited her to check out the amazing things they were doing and Natalie quickly realized this was the home she had been searching for so she joined the Bosq team in July of 2021. "Bosq is such a treasure and not like any other restaurant. We are a very close-knit family, who spend our off days either traveling together or in the woods, hiking and foraging for local mushrooms or herbs or plants that we can use within the restaurant bar program or dining experience."
Sustainability at Bosq
Bosq's chef, Barclay Dodge, originally from Alabama, moved to Aspen at a young age and started in the restaurant industry at the age of 12. He has worked with some of the best chefs in his travels around the world until starting Bosq with his wife, Molly. The chef and staff have placed a focus on sustainability and knowing where their food is sourced from locally. Natalie told me this story about what makes Bosq different than any other, "Chef closed the restaurant for a day, and the entire team went to the local farm that we partner with sustainable settings and we as a team, butchered two cows with the farmers. It was a very emotional and eye-opening experience for me, but also as a team we grew, and we now all have a better appreciation for where we’re sourcing from, and in which manner they are treated from birth to honoring them with a quick death, and truly utilizing 100% of the animal."
What is a Michelin Star?
A Michelin Star is one of the highest honors bestowed upon a chef and their restaurant. It means their food is the best of the best. According to the Michelin Guide inspectors are sent out to test the restaurant's, “quality products, harmony of flavors, mastery of cooking techniques, voice and personality of the chef reflected in the cuisine, and consistency between each visit and throughout the menu (Each restaurant is inspected several times a year).” This is the first time establishments in the State of Colorado have been considered for the honor. This means Bosq is one of the first in the state to ever receive the award and is the first in Aspen.
"I truly love what I do and I know that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be in life, which is a beautiful thing after years of questioning my professional career. Tuesday night, Chef, my general manager, his wife, and I went to Denver for the inaugural Michelin Star announcements in the state of Colorado. Truly an honor to be invited to such a prestigious ceremony, but to see Bosq receive one of the first-ever Michelin stars in Colorado is something I cannot describe, and I am still speechless." Natalie said.