Restaurant Profile: Bosq, Aspen Colorado
With a name that is derived from the Spanish word bosque, which means forest, it should come as no surprise that chef and owner C. Barclay Dodge’s Aspen eatery combines what can be found and foraged locally with international influences.
Dodge’s resume is pretty impressive. It starts out pretty routinely with some kitchen experience and then formal training—in his case at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Dodge stayed in the city for a while, working at a number of different restaurants, but eventually something called out to him from across the Atlantic and he found himself touring around Europe and North Africa, specifically Italy, France, Spain, and Morocco.
A very youthful Barclay Dodge at his first job in Aspen at Andiamo. Photo: Courtesy of Bosq
In what would be a turning point for him (and in fact would be for any chef), while in Spain Dodge spent time working at the legendary El Bulli where Ferran Adria was changing the food world.
After a stint at another restaurant in Spain, this time at the two-star restaurant Can Caig in Barcelona, he decided to return to Colorado and Aspen where he would work under Charles Dale at Renaissance. He would go from cook to chef de cuisine in his three years there.
Eventually, Dodge opened Restaurant Mogador which, like Bosq, was so named in honor of his international exploits, this one being the Portuguese name for the Moroccan city of Essaouira. That concept was based on his time at El Bulli, but was maybe a bit ahead of its time, and so Dodge eventually decided Mogador would make way for something a little more casual. That restaurant was R Cuisine. Dodge’s current venture opened its doors on Mill Street in Aspen in 2016.
It’s hard to pigeonhole Bosq, which is a good thing. It’s surely down to Dodge’s extensive experience in kitchens around the world as well simply being exposed to myriad cultural influences on his travels.
Dodge in the kitchen at Mogodor, his first restaurant in Aspen which he ran between 2001-2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bosq
A Dedicated Forager of Fauna
Dodge is just as at home tramping through the woods to a secret spot looking for porcini as he is in the kitchen. In fact, being a forager at heart, the menu on any given night or in any given week can be greatly influenced by what he finds on a jaunt or what he gets brought to him.
These days, Bosq is Aspen’s most well-known fine dining restaurant. This past spring the tasting menu was nothing short of spectacular and included succulent items such as parsnip venison bark, oscietra caviar with cauliflower, lobster grilled over juniper, and a truly delicious trout roe cracker with sea buckthorn. The menu and its execution will leave no one in any doubt as to why Dodge was named a semifinalist in the Best Chef category in the mountain region in the 2023 James Beard Awards.
Is Bosq Destined for a Michelin Star?
Lobster grilled over juniper from Bosq's winter 2022-23 tasting menu. Photo: Meridian 105 Media
With Aspen being one of the five locations that Michelin have identified for the inaugural version of the Michelin Guide Colorado 2023, Dodge will no doubt be secretly hoping that Bosq makes it into the guide with star.