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.