James M. Mazzio

MazzioFood & Wine Magazine’s 1999 “Top Ten Best New Chef”

James Mazzio’s love of food is rooted in the places and people of his childhood.  From his home on the Campbell Soup estate in Gladwyne, Penn., where his father was caretaker and Mazzio grew up harvesting fruits and vegetables, to his Sicilian grandmother’s kitchen, where breads and pastas were made from scratch, Mazzio inherited a healthy respect for nature’s bounty and a penchant for cooking.  His enthusiasm for cuisine and his hunger for knowledge are what have catapulted Mazzio up through the ranks of the culinary world, with practical experience and mentoring by some of the country’s top chefs substituting for formal education and classical training.  

Mazzio’s first professional experience in the food industry was as a fish cleaner, and eventually manager, at Main Line Seafood outside of Philadelphia during his teenage years.  At the age of 19, Mazzio moved to Aspen, Colo. for a dramatic change of scenery and the opportunity to fulfill his self-proclaimed goal of being a “ski bum.”  He found himself busing tables, then waiting tables and bartending at Mezzaluna to pay for his ski pass and equipment.  But Mazzio was compelled to spend more of his days off in the kitchen than on the slopes – asking questions, learning cooking techniques and becoming familiar with ingredients – as well as meeting world-renowned local chefs and restaurateurs.  He moved on to become a line cook and Sous chef at Mezzaluna, and helped the parent company open other locations throughout the country. 

Mazzio returned to Aspen in 1991 to run the small kitchen at the Silver City Grille where he began to seriously pursue his culinary career.  He sought the advice of acquaintance Charles Dale, Executive Chef/Owner of Renaissance in Aspen and one of Food and Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs in America” in 1995.  Given his background and all the hands-on training Mazzio had already acquired, Dale counseled Mazzio that he would probably be ill suited for culinary school, and recommended an internship at his restaurant instead.  Within days of that initial conversation, Mazzio was working in Dale’s kitchen as a butcher, and two years later he was running the Renaissance kitchen as Sous Chef.

Dale supported and encouraged Mazzio by giving him the opportunity to work in an award-wining kitchen, and involving him in some of the country’s premier culinary events, including cooking for Bon Appetit magazine at the Chicago Field Museum, Brander Vineyard in Santa Barbara, Calif. and the James Beard Foundation in New York City on two occasions.  Dale was also the driving force behind Mazzio studying under other well-known chefs such as Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel in New York City and Thomas Keller at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, Calif. 

Mazzio honed his kitchen skills and developed his own culinary style under the tutelage of these acclaimed chefs while working in the Renaissance kitchen for four years.  “I was really able to tap into the knowledge and experience of some of the finest chefs in the world who have worked and studied abroad, so in a way, I feel I have received a global culinary education,” Mazzio says.  His culinary style defies simple definition, but it certainly takes its cues from Italian and French cuisine. – From the Italians, Mazzio has learned an appreciation for hearty, earthy ingredients and a regard for the greatness of simple food staples created from scratch.  From the French, he has realized the importance of balancing opposing elements to create a harmony of flavors and textures, as well as a way of incorporating classical techniques into modern cuisine. With a solid eclectic cooking foundation and a hard-earned self-confidence, Mazzio felt it was time to venture out of Aspen. He no sooner accepted a consulting position with a Denver restaurant – while looking for a new kitchen to call home – when his mountain connections returned.  Mazzio accepted a Sous chef position in Boulder, Colo. at Fifteen Degrees, the stylish restaurant owned by Tom Voskuil of Ajax Tavern fame in Aspen and Bryan Wachs from Gambetta’s in Vail, Colo., who were just forming their restaurant group, Eat•Inq., in May 1997.  Once again, Mazzio moved up the culinary ladder of success quickly to become head chef at Fifteen Degrees.

As Executive Chef of both Fifteen Degrees & Alicante Restaurant’s, Mazzio brings his culinary inspirations to life.  “I think of a dish, completely plated in my head, and imagine what certain ingredients and flavors will taste like.  I then draw what I see in my mind and write the text, the recipe on which I base the trial runs,” Mazzio says.  “With the help of the great synergy I have with my kitchen staff, I am constantly refining the flavors and tastes of my dishes.  Food, for me, is an evolution.”

“I am thrilled to bring to life my ideas and individual approach to food at Fifteen Degrees,” Mazzio adds.  “Cooking is a passion that has been with me forever, and it is an outward expression of my love of life.”

James brings many valuable years of culinary knowledge and experience to the Triana team, where he will act as the Executive Chef and partner.

Today James is looking forward to advance his culinary abilities and dreams and someday finishing his bio.


To utilize my extensive restaurant experience along with my passion and creativity for food to take businesses to new heights of success.


August, 2006 to Present                     Momo Foods LLC             Denver, CO

Consultant/Executive Chef

Involved in all daily operations of two restaurants

Responsible for the creation of menus, food costing, purchasing, inventory, and labor costs

June, 2006 to Present                         Neighborhood Flix LLC    Denver, CO


Involved in concept development, operations of cafe, management training;

Responsible for the creation of menus, food costing, purchasing, inventory, and labor costs

May, 2005 – May 2006                      The Studio Restaurant LLC   Long Grove, IL


Creation of full service restaurant and banquet facility. Incorporating fine dinning, wine cellars and art gallery

October, 2004 – May 2005                 Rezzo LLC                        Lafayette, CO

Consultant/FOH, BOH

Reorganization of menu and concept.

Development of  new marketing campaign

November, 2000 – October, 2004     ChefJam Inc.        Boulder, CO

Executive Chef/Owner

Creation of full service catering company, Cooking School & Weekend Restaurant

2003 Kyle Wagner, Denver Post

January, 1999 to Present                   Tail Wind Deli LLC          Aspen, CO


Involved in concept development, opening of restaurant, and management training; responsible for the creation of menus, food costing, purchasing, inventory, and labor costs

Continued involvement in all levels of operations.

April, 2000 – January, 2002               Triana, LLC                      Boulder, CO

Executive Chef

Involved in concept development, opening of restaurant, and management steering group; responsible for the creation of menus, food costing, purchasing, inventory, and labor management. 

2000 Bill St. John, Denver Post

2001 Best New Restaurant, Denver Post

2001 Best New Restaurant, Daily Camera, Reader’s Choice Awards

2001 Best New Restaurant, Westword

September, 1999 – March, 2000        Fiji Water, LLC                     Aspen, CO

Private Chef

Created recipes for private island resort

Development and design of kitchen for private island resort

Planned and prepared food for private parties in New York and Palm Beach residences

June, 1997 - August, 1999                15 Degrees/Eatinq LLC        Boulder, CO

Executive Chef

Worked my way up in the first year of employment to become Executive Chef

Created new food concept for restaurant

Recipient of 1999 Food & Wine Magazine’s “Top 10 Best New Chefs” Award

November, 1993 – May, 1997               Renaissance                  Aspen, CO

Chef de Cuisine

Responsible for inventory, labor, food costing, and collaborative creation on menus with Executive Chef/Owner, Charles Dale – recipient of 1995 Food & Wine Magazine’s “Top 10 Best New Chefs” Award and two-time nominee of the James Beard Award.

Prepared menu and food with Charles Dale at The James Beard House for two events.

Featured in Aspen Magazine as one of Aspen’s top Sous chefs.

Internships & Guest Chef Appearances

Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel in New York City

Thomas Keller at the French Laundry in Yountville, California

Extensive wine tasting and tour of the Californian vineyards

Crystal Cruse Lines 2000 “South American Journey”

Holland American Lines 2006 “Panama Canal”


Mrs. Dash, Gold Medal, California Almond Board, Quaker, Kellogg’s, Kashi, Heinz, Miller High Life, Campbell Soup, Pepperidge Farms, Olive Garden, Domino’s Pizza and Keebler with the Sterling Rice Group www.srg.com  

Concept work for Keebler at their Chicago facility

Weber Grills

Ideation for Kellogg’s with 321Launch, Chicago, IL

R & D for Quizno’s Corp.

Creation of Green Fine Salad Company www.greenfinesalad.com  

Zamas Resort www.zamas.com Creation of guest chef program


Recipient of 1999 Food & Wine Magazine’s “Top 10 Best New Chefs” Award

Bravo Fine Catering was founded by Aspen’s long time celebrity chef, Jimmy Nadell. Chef Nadell takes tremendous pride in providing excellence in culinary arts serving the Roaring Fork Valley since 1986. Bravo’s proficient and highly talented team of celebrated chefs and party coordinators will ensure that each event is uniquely arranged with our signature presentations. From carved ice oyster bars to LED light-illuminated sushi towers with live swimming fish to flaming desserts, each event orchestrated by Chef Nadell is an extraordinary culinary experience.

Chef Nadell is the founder and CEO of the United States Chef Association, an educational chef membership association offering chefs several levels of accredited certifications.

Chef Nadell has recruited the finest accomplished chefs from throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, which are assigned to hundreds of Aspen families annually. Chef Nadell is a two time Gold Medal award recipient for his life long dedication to international gastronomy. 

Thank you for your event consideration.

Chef Jimmy Nadell
Bravo Fine Catering, President & CEO
"Awesome man; it was just awesome! Martin was so great. We all loved him!!! The food was excellent!!!"
~ Blake Rogers
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"Thank you for cooking us all such a wonderful dinner and sharing some of your great cooking skills with us. What a great time! Good luck with Cutthroat Kitchen!"
~ Elizabeth Murphy