If you happen to be visiting Aspen in June, you’re in for a truly delectable treat. The 2023 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is the culinary event of the year, a three-day experience showcasing the best in the culinary and hospitality industries through innovative celebratory programming.
And Cuvée will be there for it all – with our own Chef Jimena putting her culinary skills on full display alongside world-class culinary icons and celebrity chefs during the 40th annual festival.
What is the 2023 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen?
Flavorful dishes. Decadent desserts. World-class wine tastings. Handcrafted cocktails. Impressive cooking demonstrations. Food, wine, and spirits are offered by the best of the best.
The 2023 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is a must-visit experience for culinary connoisseurs. Over the course of three action-packed days from June 16 – June 18, guests can enjoy an experience like no other.
Take your tastebuds on an adventure through cooking demonstrations, wine and spirits seminars, and tastings from hundreds of winemakers, distillers, and chefs. Not to mention the presence of over 70 celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Marcus Samuelsson, and Carla Hall. And alongside them? Cuvée’s incredible Chef Jimena.
Spotlight: Chef Jimena
If you’ve stayed with Cuvée in Aspen, you may have been lucky enough to delight in a custom-crafted culinary experience in the comfort and luxury of your private villa, courtesy of Aspen’s most exceptional private chef, Chef Jimena. Whether working together with her to craft a personalized menu or trusting her to create something exciting and mouth-watering, Chef Jimena never disappoints.
A guest at the Food & Wine festival in Aspen for many years, Cuvée’s Chef Jimena is proud and excited to represent Cuvée with her first appearance in the 2023 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
A self-described foodie, Chef Jimena was born with a passion for food. It was the experience created by food that called to her. Growing up in Costa Rica, her love for culinary experiences was fostered by her parents, who at one time owned their own restaurant.
While studying architecture and art at university, Jimena created a project about sensation, experience, and emotion that combined both of her passions – art and food. When her vision was praised as exceptional, it gave her the push to do what most people wouldn’t.
As she finished her degree in architecture, Jimena decided to start school all over again and pursue culinary arts. After attending culinary school in Costa Rica, Jimena graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Spain, an international leader in gastronomical innovation.
Aspen Was Calling
You may be wondering how a chef from Costa Rica came to be a culinary sensation in Aspen. It’s quite a funny story – and just another example of Chef Jimena following her passions.
When it came time to begin her culinary career, Jimena applied for internships in the United States. Having never experienced snow before, she had always wanted to see it. And even though she had never seen snow, she had a strong desire to learn how to snowboard. So she applied to locations where she would be able to do just that.
Offered a position in Deer Valley, Jimena was excited. But upon learning that snowboarding was not allowed there, she asked for a different position. That’s when she was offered a position in Aspen, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Honing Her Craft
Working at the Westin in Snowmass for four years, Chef Jimena was part of a task force that was sent to different parts of the world. Through her experiences in multiple roles in various locations, as a chef and pastry chef, Chef Jimena’s passion for food grew. Every season was different and new – and she thrived in refining her gastronomical vision.
When the pandemic hit and the mountain closed, Chef Jimena returned to Costa Rica for a time. But her love for Aspen couldn’t be contained. As soon as she heard it was opening again, Jimena returned to Aspen.
Upon her return, Jimena wanted to do something different, which led her to apply for a position at her favorite restaurant, Matsuhisa, Aspen’s premier sushi restaurant. And she got it. With a love for learning and a strong desire to perfect her skills in Japanese cuisine, Jimena wasn’t afraid to start back at the bottom. It’s not in her nature to shy away from an opportunity – she is always eager to learn and improve. Working double shifts and receiving personal training from the head chef at Matsuhisa in the morning, Jimena soared as she mastered new techniques, learned the art of sushi, and took on more and more responsibility at the acclaimed Aspen restaurant.
Chef Jimena at Cuvée
Chef Jimena never imagined she would become a private chef. But when a friend working for Cuvée asked her to cook for a client, she accepted. The first meal she crafted for Cuvée was a Japanese dinner for a family of 13. And that was the day she knew she wanted to be a private chef.
Jimena realized that she loved it – the personal approach to cooking, that she could be herself and be appreciated for it, and making people happy through food. When she cooks for Cuvée, the best of every type of cuisine and every type of place she’s been, from hotels to small restaurants to pastry, is behind the exceptional dishes she designs.
Working as a private chef with Cuvée since 2021, Chef Jimena loves what Cuvée represents and calls this her dream job. She loves bonding with clients who return year after year, who trust her to make anything for them, and know it will be divine.
Chef Jimena’s Favorites
Favorite Home with a View – Red Mountain Rise
Favorite Home to Cook – The Mother Lode
Favorite Meal to Cook – elevated Japanese dinners with pairings
Cuvée at Aspen Food & Wine
In preparation for the 2023 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Chef Jimena has been perfecting her menu, which will showcase Costa Rican dishes paying homage to her roots. Guests can expect ingredients and flavors that aren’t common in Aspen and will give them a taste of home.
With her culinary expertise and an overwhelming passion for making people happy through food, Chef Jimena will prepare dishes that differentiate her from the rest and leave you saying, “This little bite was perfect.”
Join Chef Jimena and Cuvée for a culinary experience like no other as we showcase the tremendous talent of our private chefs at the 2023 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.