Aspen Grille hosts guest chef James Musetti for special menu

James-Musetti-cropped (1)
James Musetti

This article was written by Chance Johnson

The Aspen Grille will be playing host to guest chef James Musetti on Friday, Nov. 21, featuring a special three-course meal in lieu of the regular menu for the day.

Guests this Friday can look forward to:

Amuse Bouche

Fermentation Science Program’s Saucisson Sec and camembert with local apple (non-alcoholic).

1st Course: Warm Spinach Salad

Roasted spiced pear with mouco colorogue cheese, toasted hazelnuts, warm cider vinaigrette.

2nd Course: Roasted Pork Belly Ramen Noodle Bowl

Roasted sweet potatoes, oyster mushrooms, Brussels sprout leaves, and caramelized onion jus.

3rd Course: Dessert

Warm chocolate mousse shooter with toasted marshmallow and peppermint candy.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. For reservations, guests should call (970) 491-7006, Tuesday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations can also be made using the Aspen Grille reservation request link here. The price will be $13, which includes the non-alcoholic beverage.

James Musetti biography

James Musetti was born and raised in an Italian family, and his fondest memories were created during family gatherings around the dinner table. His grandfather was a chef, inspiring him and teaching him how to bring people together around food. Musetti worked in restaurants while in high school, including the award-winning Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant outside of Philadelphia. It was here where he fell in love with the fast and furious pace of the kitchen, the sounds of searing meat, the roar of the fryer, and the precise and calculated art created on the plate.

From there, he decided to go to culinary school, where he attended Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., attending classes during the day and working at a fine dining steakhouse at night. He then transferred to Johnson & Wales University in Denver to earn a bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition, while working for Frank Bonanno, with stints at decorated restaurants such as the French-inspired Mizuna and Italian eatery Osteria Marco. It was during this time he fell in love with the art of fermenting salami and making cheese. The passion was further cultivated by a summer spent studying abroad in Italy. After graduating, he opened up Lou’s Food Bar for Bonanno as the chef de cuisine while continuing to make cheese and salami. This passion drove Musetti to come to Colorado State University to pursue a master’s degree in food science and to research cheeses. Musetti is currently a graduate teaching assistant for the Hospitality Management Program, and works closely with the Catering Techniques and Culinary Arts instructor, Chef Garret Overlee from the Aspen Grille. Additionally, he is researching water buffalo milk cheese and helping teach Science of Food Fermentation labs in cheese and fermented sausages.