• Meet Chefs David Lewis and Gonzo Jimenez, Miette et Chocolat

     
    FROM THE Spring 2018 ISSUE
     

    These two have been on a wild confectionary ride since opening Miette et Chocolat in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace one year ago.

How do two men, one born in rural Illinois and the other in northern Argentina, form a chocolate connection?

“We met at a pastry forum, and six months later Gonzo called me to be his partner in a chocolate showpiece competition, where we took Best Artistic Award,” explains David Lewis, who, upon graduating with a degree in culinary arts, worked for restaurants and hotels in Las Vegas before heading to sea with Norwegian Cruise Lines. 

Realizing life on land was pretty tempting, Lewis returned to Las Vegas and served as pastry chef for Paris, Bally’s and Planet Hollywood. With a simpler lifestyle in mind, he moved to Colorado with his wife and daughter and was appointed executive pastry chef at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in Denver. Already, at a young age, he has been named American Culinary Foundation (ACF) Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year and runner up for National Pastry Chef of the Year in 2015 and served as president of ACF Colorado Chefs Association in 2016. 

Gonzo Jimenez attended pastry and culinary school in Buenos Aires before traveling around Argentina working for Five Star hotels and celebrity chefs. From 2009 to 2013, he was employed by St Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder and Hyatt Corporation in New Orleans and New York and launched a line of chocolates sold to Manhattan hotels. Grand Hyatt Santiago de Chile lured Jimenez back to South America, where he was hired soon after by Barry Callebaut Group as corporate chef for the South American Region and director of the Chocolate Academy Chile. 

“While Gonzo was in Chile, we came up with the concept of Miette et Chocolat, and he applied to come back to the United States,” Lewis explains. Jimenez and his wife returned to Boulder. 

Together, the gifted pastry chefs and chocolatiers established their “French patisserie with a modern twist” to offer everything from traditional bon bons and unique candy bars to beautiful desserts and chocolate showpieces. Miette et Chocolat has worked with several corporate clients, creating beautiful holiday gift boxes and setting up VIP functions for Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, set to open in late 2018. 

Much of their inspiration comes from art. “The way we garnish everything is very artistic in design,” Lewis explains. “We also both have hotel backgrounds, so we know how to put on a show if clients want something high-end that will impress.” 

Brady Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, now balances time between C Lazy U Ranch, Destination Colorado, his family and the ski slopes. 

While most people retire just once in their lifetime, C Lazy U Ranch’s Brady Johnson wants to retire three or four times. 

“I think that’s the fun part about life. Find something new, chase a goal and accomplish it, and then find something even more fun and exciting that aligns with what you’re doing with your life at the time,” says Johnson. 

 

Colorado has become a mecca for some of the coolest food and market halls that are providing an array of options for groups. 

Food halls are no longer the latest darlings on the innovative restaurant scene. However, the advantage of more and more halls popping up around Colorado is the fact they are putting their own creative spin on the trend to stand out from the crowd. Luckily for meeting and event planners, one of the ways that many operators are stepping up their game is by offering specialized ways to accommodate groups. 

 

Thirteen Colorado hospitality organizations are joining forces for the 28th Annual Serving Up Hope luncheon on Nov. 2, 2021 at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora to benefit Food Bank of the Rockies’ Denver’s Table program.