Top Chef champion Hosea Rosenberg’s recipe for the perfect Colorado après-ski gathering.
Hosea Rosenberg may have been born and raised in Taos, New Mexico, but Colorado has embraced him as one of its own. And it’s not just because he was the Season 5 winner of Bravo TV’s Top Chef cooking competition in 2009. Rosenberg moved to Boulder in 1992 to pursue an engineering physics degree from the University of Colorado, and it was there that he stepped onto the line at Boulder Salad Company—a side job that led him to Restaurant Kevin Taylor and the late Zenith and Triana. Ultimately, he landed the executive chef post at Jax Fish House.
Now, with the Top Chef title to his name and as the owner of Blackbelly Catering & Events and a Boulder-area farm of the same name, Rosenberg is on the hunt for a restaurant to call his own. In the meantime (between catering private events and traveling for cooking demos and food festivals), he spends as much time as he can in the mountains. In the winter that means skiing Vail’s back bowls. After a day on the slopes, Rosenberg comes in and does what chefs do: He cooks. His menus are always casual and easy—a big pot of soup, a flatbread, a batch of cookies, and, of course, Colorado beer.
The key to après entertaining, Rosenberg says, is to do as much as possible ahead of time. “You can do the soup the night before,” he says. “You can make the cookies, too—at the very least make the batter. Then bake them off when you get back from skiing.” Of course, Rosenberg is an accomplished chef, which means that even a feast befitting Colorado’s laid-back lifestyle has a few gourmet details: a specialty cocktail made with local whiskey and a grape and goat cheese “truffle” appetizer that’s become his signature hors d’oeuvre. But Rosenberg assures us that these items are still easy enough to pull off with tired legs and a wind-whipped face—simply crack open a beer and get cooking.
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5280.com Exclusive: Watch the how-to video of Hosea making his grape, pistachio & goat cheese truffle specialty.