Article by Ellie Trice, Roaring Fork Lifestyle – May 2021
My journey to Aspen all started with a soap opera. I was living in Maine, watching ‘The Young and the Restless’ one night, when a romantic scene in Aspen caught my eye. It looked like a perfect Hallmark holiday picture. That was 30 years ago now.”
Today, three decades into a life of service in food on journeys through three different continents, beloved Aspen chef Mawa McQueen’s unique dishes are truly a cinematic reflection of the three diverse continents she has lived and grown up on—tastes of Ivory Coast, Paris, Spain, England, and America can all be found in menu items like truffled yuca fries, ricotta and zaalouk, duck confit grilled cheese, and Avocado Queen toast with bee pollen and microgreens
You could say the word “chef” officially entered the mix in 2005, when she opened Mawa’s Kitchen in Aspen, followed by Snowmass Village’s The Crepe Shack in 2018, both projects conceptualized from her natural love of sharing flavors of the food she grew up eating. Now, McQueen has embarked on an exciting new culinary venture: grain-free granola.
Her GrainFreeNola line includes five different batches, created with five distinct flavor profiles.
“Each bag is made from my personal experience, from growing up in Africa, to moving to France and ultimately living here in the U.S.,” she says.
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“For me, true happiness and satisfaction are simple: creating and sharing my passion with others, educating them, seeing them smile after eating my food. Being a chef there is little to no glory, but since I have opened my kitchen, I am able to actually see and hear my customers and personally take care of them. That’s the real reward.”