Chef, Sage Dining
Chef Noelle and her team with Sage Dining return to Aspen Country Day School after a year away during the pandemic, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them back. Noelle joined Aspen Country Day School in 2018 as head chef for Sage Dining on campus. She first came to Aspen as a pastry chef at The Little Nell. She has a BS in food and nutrition management, with an additional BS in childhood nutrition, along with a culinary degree from le Cordon Bleu.
How did you get into cooking?
I was actually in the military, and I was recovering from knee surgery, so they put me in the mess hall. I realized how much I loved it, so when I got out of the army I went to culinary school.
What’s your favorite thing about cooking?
Getting creative, not cooking from a recipe, maybe listening to music, cooking for fun. My other favorite part is that it gathers people together. Everyone gravitates towards the kitchen, and it tends to spark conversation that might not happen without something on the table to munch on.
Three essential items?
Chef’s knife. A toothbrush. Coffee.
Since we live here, can I say my snowboard?
What haven’t you done yet?
I would love to do an entire tour of Europe with my children when they’re older, to travel, eat, give back to communities, and have them take away something that they can’t learn from textbooks.
Something we don’t know about you?
I ride horses all summer. I lead horseback riding tours to the Maroon Bells. I love spending time in nature, doing something completely different from cooking. I learned to ride as an adult, starting out as an office person at TLazy7, then just learned as I went, and discovered a new passion in the mountains.
A time a failure transformed into success?
That’s every day of our lives, isn’t it? It’s hard to turn — your mindset is one way, you have goals, you have plans, and you put yourself all in, 100 percent. Then, life deals you another hand. But I love that challenge of at first thinking you can’t do it, then telling yourself you can, and finally proving yourself right. There’s no better feeling.