EXECUTIVE CHEF Rodrigo Quijano
As far back as he can remember, cooking and food have always played an important role in Rodrigo’s life. Sunday dinner always brought the family together, and when he was little his sister had her own restaurant in Mexico City. As he got older, he transferred his love of painting and craftsmanship to the kitchen, and found that cooking is itself a wonderful art form with endless possibilities.
Rodrigo grew up in Mexico City, but moved to Colorado with his family as a kid. And while he loved food, his life revolved around climbing, skiing, and art. He earned a degree in painting and graphic design at CSU, where he met his wife. It wasn’t until they had their first son that Rodrigo started to cook professionally. He took a second job as a line cook in Estes Park and immediately fell in love with the craft—the camaraderie, energy, fast pace, and artistry of the kitchen. He learned everything he could—from cookbooks and local chefs like Claude Lucas, Noah French, Mackenzie Clapp, Daniel Richard, and Paul Dietz. For Rodrigo, cooking is an art—the hard work of so many people, from the farmers to the distributors to the chefs, comes together in one perfect dish, which is composed almost like a painting, full of colors and textures and flavors, and then enjoyed for a brief moment before disappearing completely.
When he’s not working on another masterpiece in the kitchen, you’ll find Rodrigo spending time with his wife and kids, getting outdoors, sipping on some good coffee or enjoying a breakfast burrito.
GENERAL MANAGER Mike Walker
BAR MANAGER Giovanni Buonsante
Making guests feel comfortable and at home is in Gio’s blood. His parents moved to Chicago from Italy, and when they weren’t running their own business they loved to throw parties, cook, entertain, ferment wines, and make aperitifs and digestifs. Little Gio always helped out, mixing up his own concoctions and bringing them ‘round for guests to try. He decided at a young age that he wanted to work behind the bar professionally, and further fueled his passion for fine spirits on the family farm in his hometown in Italy, where his grandfather made his own liquors and wines from fruits grown in the orchards.
Gio moved out to CO with his girlfriend and soon-to-be-wife, and joined the Zolo family with a desire to learn more about mezcal, tequila, and the spirits of Mexico. He loves guiding guests through the journey of tequila and seeing the look on their faces when the discover something new that they love. When he’s not at Zolo, you’ll find Gio spending time with his family, working on the house, hiking, building things in the yard, biking, playing guitar, seeking out new experiences, and watching baseball.