Aspen Times: Breakfast Champion: Chef Mawa McQueen brings new flavors to brunch — and beyond

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Article by Amanda Rae

Breakfast Champion: Chef Mawa McQueen brings new flavors to brunch — and beyond

When chef Mawa McQueen pushes a plate of pancakes toward me, I must admit: they look pretty standard. Dappled golden-brown with lacy edges and each measuring the height of three tines of a fork when cut (a generous quarter-inch), the pancakes have a moist, cloud-like texture. I take a bite and ponder the subtly sweet flavor. Something is … different.

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While Mawa’s Kitchen menu is loaded with healthful produce and caters to an array of dietary preferences — McQueen’s MO since breaking into private cheffing 13 years ago and essentially creating the area’s first private in-flight catering service — it doesn’t fall short on splurge ingredients. See: organic free-range eggs, luscious Tender Belly bacon, and herbes de Provence folded into her signature buttermilk biscuits.

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Now, instead, she’s refocused on breakfast, brunch and lunch at Mawa’s Kitchen, as well as at Market Street Kitchen in Willits Town Center, which opened in May 2016. During the Snowmass Base Village grand opening this past December, McQueen launched The Crêpe Shack by Mawa’s Kitchen, instantly popular for its wide variety of filling options (including luxe caviar and red-wine-braised short ribs). Diversity is the chef’s longstanding hallmark.