MICHAEL GORMAN, SOUS CHEF
Culinary school taught Michael Gorman that he can stand the heat in the kitchen. In an apprenticeship program at the Colorado Mountain Culinary Institute in Vail, Colorado, he was placed at Beaver Creek's Grouse Mountain Grill. He started as a pantry cook and eventually worked his way through every chef station. This trial-by-fire, non-classroom approach taught him not only classical French cooking, it also disciplined him to keep his cool while thinking on his feet.
The impetus for culinary school had come the previous winter of 2003, when Gorman worked in Aspen at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, a remote on-mountain restaurant accessed only by snowcat. The chef, a Michelin Star Austrian, inspired Gorman and helped him realize that a career in fine dining could be fun and rewarding.
Gorman graduated in 2006 with an associate degree of applied science and culinary arts and a resume that included his practicum at the Grouse Mountain Grill and additional part-time work at Sweet Basil in Vail. He then took a six-month surf hiatus in Hawaii before returning to the mountains of Colorado to continue his education at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
When the Cosmo opened in 2007, Gorman leapt at the opportunity to join the staff. He enjoys being part of a region with a strong farming community and is grateful to incorporate local harvests into the dishes he prepares at the Cosmo. Gorman's own plate is certainly full: He balances his schedule in the kitchen with backcountry skiing, climbing and biking and pursues classes at Fort Lewis when time permits.