Chef Adrian Carpenter
Adrian began his culinary path at age fifteen working as a dish washer and prep cook making his way up through the ranks of kitchens in his home state of North Carolina. At age twenty one he spent two months exploring cities across Europe which further spurred his career ambitions.
Upon his return he moved to Charleston South Carolina where he attended Johnson and Wales University and continued his hands on training in the hot local establishments. His JWU extern ship took him to Arizona where he gained hotel/resort experience at the prestigious Scottsdale Princess. From there Adrian set out on a mission to explore the west and gain valued knowledge from a myriad of chefs and restaurateurs.
His travels took him to other parts of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and out to San Francisco California where he worked under George Morrone (Aqua, Fifth Floor, Redwood Park) and Celebrity/James Beard Award winning Chef Traci Des Jardins. As the Rocky Mountains beckoned him back Adrian returned to the Roaring Fork Valley where his previous stints had included Rustique Bistro under Chef Charles Dale and Mark Fischer’s Six-89.
He then partnered with his wife Susan and opened the Dogwood Grill in Basalt which featured Southern Inspired Cuisine tapping into Adrian’s regional roots. Shortly after being awarded Aspen Magazines Silver Fork Award for Best New Restaurant, Adrian and Susan sold their shares and moved on to other interest. Since then Adrian spent several seasons as Chef De Cuisine at Syzygy in Aspen and was reunited with his old friend Chef Ryan Hardy for a tour of duty at Montagna at The Little Nell.
Adrian has continued his culinary quests with gourmand based travels to Oaxaca, Mexico and back to Europe. He plans to visit many other parts of the world in the near future as to further his knowledge and hone his skills. Adrian has a passion for French and Northern Italian food but his expertise do not stop there ranging from the New South to the Southwest to Spanish, Mediterranean , Oaxacan, Asian and on to his recent love of Indian Cuisine.