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From French Laundry to A-Basin: Meet Chef Alison

Here’s something to try the next time you’re here: Gochujang-glazed Atlantic salmon, Furikake jasmine rice, spicy pickled cucumber, shredded carrot, green onion, puffed grains. Or, perhaps a full slab of house-smoked, St. Louis style ribs with sticky sweet potato fries.

These aren’t fancy restaurant items; they are part of our elevated menu at the always laid-back Black Mountain Lodge restaurant, now headed up by Chef Alison Beazley—a Summit County kid with a remarkable culinary background.

While il Rifugio gets most of the attention (our European-style dining experience at the summit is the highest-elevation restaurant in North America), Chef Alison has been quietly transforming many aspects of dining at A-Basin, from BML’s menu focused on smoked BBQ to our famed Moonlight Dinner series.

Alison is a true local; she grew up down the street in Dillon, attended Summit High School, and graduated from culinary school in Denver. Her dad was a volunteer ski patroller at A-Basin for many years, and Alison got her first job here bussing tables in the A-Frame cafeteria at age 15.

Before coming full circle, Alison racked up some impressive accomplishments. She spent a year in Vermont as a line cook and ski bum, studied nutrition and food science at University of Vermont, and then made her way to a Southern Cajun restaurant in Portland where she met her husband—who also happened to be from Dillon.  

From there she landed in Napa Valley at the French Laundry, one of the most famous restaurants in the United States. Led by Thomas Keller, it has three Michelin stars and serves two different, nine-course tasting menus every day. Alison spent six years there and rose quickly through the ranks to sous chef, which involved helping the chef de cuisine write the new menus each day.

When her son was born about two years ago, she and her husband decided to move home. “There’s really no place I’d rather be than here to raise him.” After taking a year off from her role as a chef, Alison was ready to get back into the kitchen and—long story short—A-Basin got lucky.

“The Black Mountain Lodge job was the first kitchen job I’d really been excited about for a while. It’s really just about being back at A-Basin. This place is such a huge part of my childhood and a big part of growing up here. It’s really a second home for me. Some of the best memories I have are here, even before BML was there and it was just a grill and picnic tables. I remember winning a hula-hoop contest and getting a headband as a prize; I was probably 7 years old. Being a part of that experience for other people I’m really excited about.”

“I just like creating experiences and memories for people. I don’t want to just be slinging out burgers. I want people to remember coming to BML and having such an awesome day on the slopes then coming in and eating something really good.”

As far as her favorite place to ski, she answers that question like a true, A-Basin diehard: The East Wall in the spring and the Pali terrain any other time.