Executive Chef and Owner, Dana Zobs
Dana has worked in the food industry for over 24 years. She began by cooking at home for her family when she was only 7. Her signature dish at 7 was an apple pie. Beginning her career working in a gourmet market in Washington D.C., she learned right away how important quality ingredients were in making delicious food. Dana went on to receive an undergraduate degree from the University of Denver in hospitality and tourism management.
Dana first lived in Crested Butte in 1992, and worked in many of the popular restaurants. This included 7 years managing the sushi bar at Lil’s and working as their pastry chef. In search of more culinary inspiration, in 2002 she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. The excitement of the food industry was limitless there, and in one year she learned what 10 years in Crested Butte could offer. She received an associate degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. She worked as a chef for Whole Foods Market, and developed and tested recipes in the corporate offices of Williams-Sonoma. In 2007 she moved back to Crested Butte and began working as a personal chef for second home-owners, visitors, and locals.
Dana’s strong understanding of the fundamentals of food makes her an amazing personal chef and she works hard to create all her dishes from scratch using delicious, local, and organic ingredients. To this day Dana enjoys cooking as a profession. When you enjoy what you do it is apparent in the product that you produce.
Chef Stacee VanAernem
Stacee began her culinary career in order to accommodate her own special eating habits. When she was 19, and continuing for the next 11 years, she devoted herself to eating a vegan and organic diet. Finding local and organic products is always the most important thing for Stacee. Making all her own food from scratch is also important, it’s just what she does. In her kitchen, the local bounty is preserved in some fashion, whether it be frozen, canned or dehydrated.
Stacee has learned and grown as a chef as a result of her experience in many different kitchens. Every kitchen that she has worked in taught her more about cooking and eating. Still an avid traveler, Stacee is inspired to use ingredients and techniques from the different places around the world.
Stacee now enjoys eating many diverse ingredients and prefers it to come from the local ranches and farms of the Gunnison and North Fork Valley. Her personal tastes have grown at the same rate as her experience and technique. Her obsession with food is demonstrated by all the love she puts into each and every dish. She truly believes, “you are what you eat, and your food only tastes as good as the ingredients you’re using.”
Chef Ben Homuth
A veteran of nearly 30 years in the business, Ben started off as a dishwasher at a high-end restaurant in Steamboat Springs. That job allowed the 19-year-old Ben to ski all day and work at night. The chef, impressed with his work ethic, promoted Ben to the pantry the next year. Ben has been cooking ever since. Arriving in Crested Butte in 1994, Ben worked at Lil’s for 18 years before moving to Le Bosquet and Crested Butte’s Personal Chefs. An avid backcountry skier and mountain biker, Ben also enjoys the mountains to their fullest.
He’s a from-scratch cook, favoring local meats, dairy, and produce as much as possible. His travels to Thailand and Mexico enriched his understanding of their cuisines. He knows just what to add to take a menu from darn good to great while maintaining the integrity of the basic components.
Event Sales and Chef, Emily Harwell
Emily has been enjoying the world of food with farming, cooking, restaurants, and catering since high school.
Although she was raised in Houston and learned volumes cooking in restaurants in Nantucket and a guest ranch in Wyoming, Emily was mainly inspired by the world of farm to table cuisine in California, from San Francisco to the Central Coast wine country.
Working with the abundance of the organic, small-scale farmer leads her to create simple, fresh seasonal menus highlighting the beauty of the produce of our area.
She has lived in Crested Butte only a year and a half but already feels she is home.
She also spends her time with her two lovely children of 4 and 6.