Chef Bios

Chef Dana Zobs

Chef Dana Zobs of Crested Butte’s Personal Chefs has gained a premier reputation and obsessive following due largely to her masterful ability to source and incorporate seasonal, local and organic ingredients to create simple, honest and delicious dishes. She excels at hand-crafted artisan foods such as homemade cheeses, bread, pastries, yogurt and salt cured meat and fish. Chef Dana's 24-plus years in the food industry include an Associate Degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, managing Lil’s for seven years, serving as Chef for Whole Foods and developing and tasting recipes for Williams-Sonoma. For more on Dana visit
2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
Appetizing Appetizers (January 29)
Slow Cooker, Slow Food (March 10)

Chef Emily Harwell

Chef Emily Harwell has been enjoying the world of food with farming, cooking, restaurants and catering since high school. Raised in Houston, Emily cut her teeth cooking in restaurants in Nantucket and Wyoming in college, but her primary culinary inspiration was the world of farm-to-table cuisine in California, from San Francisco to the Central Coast wine country where she spent much of her adult life. Emily also was part of the initial Farmers’ Market in Austin, TX, where she was the pastries and breads gal for several years. A resident of Crested Butte for the past two-and-a-half years, Emily enjoys working with the abundance of the organic, small-scale farmers to create simple, fresh and seasonal menus highlighting the beauty of the produce of the Gunnison Valley.
2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
Appetizing Appetizers (January 29)
Slow Cooker, Slow Food (March 10)

Chef Rose Reyes

Chef Rose Reyes grew up in a time and place where farm-to-table ingredients were the only way to prepare food – she shopped at the local farmer’s market for what was the freshest. Watching her mother work with what was available still stands as one of Rose’s strongest inspirations. Now, as a chef formally trained at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts in Denver, Rose integrates that dedication to freshness into her Nouvelle Cuisine dishes that sparkle with an Asian-fusion twist. Her modern interpretations of wine-country gastronomy reference classical French and Italian while assimilating the roots of her ethnic influences. Rose revels in a good party with food as the centerpiece – music combined with the laughter of friends while ingredients sizzle and crackle in the pan, aromas sifting out into the room. Her sensibilities dedicate her to the full range of aesthetic and sensual experiences of eating – of the visual and textural ingeniously followed by a surprising and delightful explosion of tastes.
2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
Bong Appétit: Healthy Cooking with Cannabis (January 31)
Chocolate 101: Truffles (March 5)

Chef Michael Busse

Michael Busse is the Executive Chef and owner of the enormously popular Garlic Mike’s. Inspired by a recent culinary journey to Bologna and Sicily, Michael has been diligently honing his traditional Italian cooking techniques, including pasta making. Like all good Italian chefs, Michael began his cooking career in the kitchen with his mother, eventually working his way up to formal training at the Academy of Culinary Arts. Through over 20 years of showcasing his Italian cuisine at Garlic Mike’s, he has earned the Gunnison People’s Choice Awards for “Best Chef” and “Best Restaurant” for many years, and was the 2009 Chefs on the Edge Champion. Michael invites you to join him on his next journey to Italy in September 2020, as he leads food-centric tours through Barolo and the Amalfi Coast! For more on Michael visit
 2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
Couples Class: Tour Italiano (February 11)

Chef Todd Girand

Todd Girand is a caterer and personal chef who has been brewing Kombucha for four years. He owns Nomadic Pie Co., a mobile pizza company, and Crested Bucha, where he brews delicious, probiotic, small-batch kombucha that is served on tap at local establishments in the Gunnison Valley, including the T Bar and Rumors Coffee and Tea House in Crested Butte, and Tributary Coffee Roasters in Gunnison. Todd is a connoisseur of yeast: he makes his Neapolitan pizza dough with fresh baker’s yeast, he experiments with Kombucha yeast (the “y” in SCOBY) on a daily basis and even dabbles in various yeast strains to make sour beers and hard kombucha. Todd refers to his culinary style as equal parts art and science, culminating in stress-free, delicious and beautiful dining experiences. For more on Todd visit
2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
Kombucha Klass (April 4)

Sommelier Aaron Tomcak

Aaron Tomcak has owned the famous and fabulously diverse Mountain Spirits Liquors of Crested Butte since 2004. After receiving his certification as a Sommelier, Aaron began teaching the incredibly popular “Wines for the Unpretentious” monthly seminars at a variety of local culinary establishments, where students taste wines from around the world, focusing on the both affordable and delicious. His study of wine has taken him to explore the best in Tuscany, California, Oregon and Washington. Yet it is Aaron’s laid-back style that puts all students of wine at ease, creating a rewarding and pleasurable experience while remaining intensely educational and informative. For more on Aaron visit
2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
Wine Wednesdays Tasting Series:
Tour Through Spain (January 15)
Willamette Dammit (February 5)
Piedmont: Italy’s Finest Region (February 26)
Spirits Series:
Tequila + Mezcal: What’s the Difference? (January 23)
Gin: More than Just G+T (February 13)
Whiskeys of the World (March 19)

Winemaker Joe Buckel

Joe Buckel, Co-Founder of and Winemaker for Buckel Family Wine, has a talent for creating reputable wines that have garnered 90+ point ratings from Wine Enthusiast. Passionate about each step in the process of winemaking—from walking the vineyards, harvesting grapes and fermenting wine to barreling, racking and bottling—Joe’s wines have a complex, Old World style. With a palate schooled from an early age in his father’s cellar, replete with legendary wines from Europe and California, Joe has worked as enologist at Flowers Vineyard and Winery and BR Cohn Winery, and was also the Winemaker at Sutcliffe Vineyards. Buckel Family Wine has a new Tasting Room in Gunnison, a quaint spot to enjoy wines produced with Colorado grapes. Visitors can enjoy tastes, flights, glasses and bottles of wine with light snacks. Regular hours coming in winter of 2020. For more about Joe visit
2019 - 2020 Winter Season Classes
The Art + Science of Winemaking Series:
        The Art of Winemaking: Blending (February 8)
        The Science of Winemaking: Oenology (March 14)