One of the world’s best chefs, from one of the world’s best restaurants, is cooking in Aspen this month—and it’s not as exclusive as you might think. (Although it will set you back a couple hundred dollars.) Danish chef Mads Refslund, co-founder of the much-accoladed Noma in Copenhagen (two Michelin stars, four-time topper of the controversial World’s 50 Best Restaurants list) is doing a pop-up residency at Prospect restaurant at Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection through March 31.
There are three menus to choose from, ranging in price from $175 for a six-course vegetarian menu to $295 for a nine-course extravaganza. All exemplify Refslund’s zero-waste, New Nordic style. It’s the same type of foraged, imaginative food you’d find at Noma, or at Copenhagen’s Restaurant MR or New York City’s Acme, two of the restaurants Refslund has helmed since leaving Noma. The Aspen menus combine local produce and proteins with not-so-Colorado ingredients like king crab, seaweed, and lingonberries, all in that technique-forward, unexpected New Nordic style.
What does that mean exactly? A sampling of the vegetarian courses include beetroot with braised seaweed and lingonberry (Team Nordic); beer and bread porridge with milk and honey (Team Colorado); and wild and cultivated mushroom flat bread with black garlic (Team Both). The six-course carnivorous menu ($195) is ocean-heavy, featuring courses of sweet shrimp with salted plum and nasturtium, sea urchin with pumpkin and chestnuts, and king crab grilled inside kelp with brown butter.
The nine-course tasting menu ramps up those plates with grilled bone marrow, Colorado lamb with black winter truffle, caviar and smoked sunchoke, and raw foie gras and langoustine. The menu descriptions, though, are just words; Refslund’s inventiveness and stunning plating can’t be described so simply.
The Aspen pop-up kicks off Refslund’s partnership with Auberge Resorts Collection, and the chef will also cook at properties in Los Cabos, Mexico; the Napa Valley; Kennebunkport, Maine; and Connecticut.
If this all sounds vaguely familiar, last year Aspen hosted another renowned restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, at a winter-long pop-up at the St. Regis Aspen Resort. That dinner party was only open to American Express card holders though, while this year’s feasting is open to all. Reservations for Chef Refslund’s stint at Hotel Jerome are still available and can be booked on Resy.