Some Of The Best Local Chefs Are Bringing Global Tastes To Aspen’s Rich Culinary Culture. It Is The Season Of The Sun And There Is No Better Time For Aspen’s Chefs To Shine.
Mention the name “Mawa” in Aspen and everyone knows who you mean. It has been nearly two decades since the Côte d’Ivoire native brought her culinary aspirations to Aspen, and this spring her determination was rewarded with a semifinalist nomination by the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef: Mountain Region, United States.
“It is just such validation for all of the work. I’m just so happy,” she says with her brightest smile of the honor. “I remember standing outside in front of the building we are in today and saying, ‘One day I will have my own kitchen.’ That was my dream.”
Today, Mawa’s Kitchen in the Aspen Business Center is thriving, serving three meals a day to Aspen diners while also providing private jet and event catering. It is beloved as a locals’ landmark that serves the healthy, creative foods that McQueen is passionate about. Her chicken mafé is a West African staple. “It is a kind of chicken stew in a peanut sauce. It is comfort food… who doesn’t like peanut butter?” she laughs.