2021 Denver Food + Wine Festival

Explore The CHEFS, BAKERS + beverage pros

Byron Gomez
Brutø +
Top Chef alum

Born in Costa Rica, Chef Byron Gomez migrated to the United States when he was eight years old and is a proud DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. His interest in culinary arts started at a young age and after several years cooking on Long Island, he set his sights on New York City. With a mission to learn from some of the country’s best and learn various cultures through cuisine, he honed his skills under culinary luminaries like Daniel Boulud, Ronny Emborg, Gavin Kaysen, and Daniel Humm. 

While working at Eleven Madison Park named the World’s Best Restaurant in 2017 Byron traveled with the restaurant’s pop-up experiences to the Hamptons and Aspen. After spending the winter in the Rocky Mountains resort town, he decided to plant roots and joined the team at 7908 Aspen in 2019. There, Byron’s refined, globally inspired menu was paired with a world-class wine and bar program and his interest in local Colorado ingredients and farms was sparked. Byron competed on Season 18 of Bravo’s Top Chef, shot during the pandemic in Portland, Oregon. Seeking opportunities to share his cuisine with those outside of Aspen, Chef Byron participated in pop-up dinners throughout Colorado, including at Brutø in 2021. 

Following his time at 7908 and seeking an experience in a larger, more diverse city, Byron opened a fast-casual chicken concept called Pollo Tico in Boulder, Colorado, paying homage to his Costa Rican roots. Byron met Id Est’s Kelly Whitaker at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in 2022 and the two formed a fast friendship. Looking to take Brutø in a new direction at the end of 2023, Kelly tapped Byron to reimagine the menu at the 18-seat, Michelin Green-starred restaurant located at Free Market at the Dairy Block in Denver. Byron worked closely alongside Id Est Director of Fermentation and Sustainability Mara King to craft the full-utilization menu, highlighting Colorado ingredients. Byron’s full 11-course presentation at Brutø debuted in March 2024.

Photo credit: Jeff Fierberg

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