Eleven Madison Park’s former chef opens new Boulder restaurant, Basta

Brian Lockwood isn’t a household name in Colorado’s restaurant community — just yet.

The former Eleven Madison Park chef de cuisine left his post during the COVID-19 shutdown and came back home to Boulder to see family. He thought it would only be for a few weeks, but more than a year later, Lockwood, his wife and their 5-year-old daughter have decided to stick around.

This season the chef is running a restaurant within a restaurant, or a residency, at Basta, which is otherwise closed temporarily. By next year Lockwood plans to open his own restaurant in Boulder, built around Colorado’s seasons, wild foraging and a place-specific menu.

“The food that I create always, to me, has a sense of place,” he explained. “There needs to be a reason why it exists. Why here, why now?”

Chef Brian Lockwood cooks in the ...

Jeff Fierberg, Provided by Brian Lockwood

Chef Brian Lockwood cooks in the wood-fired oven at Basta. His pop-up inside the Boulder restaurant this month donates a portion of dinner proceeds to Sophie’s Neighborhood, a Boulder-based nonprofit.

For him, those answers are simple: “I had always hoped to come back (to Colorado) after traveling and cooking all over the world for the last 20 years,” he said. Beyond EMP, Lockwood’s resume includes stints at NoMad in New York, The French Laundry in Napa Valley, El Celler De Can Roca in Spain and Boulder’s own Frasca Food & Wine.

He says he’s still in the very early stages of planning the new Boulder concept. But at Basta, diners can get a taste of his cooking, if only for a short time.

Basta X Brian Lockwood is open now through early January, serving a special 5-course, Israeli-inspired menu for $95. The meal starts off with oysters, moves on to hummus and fresh pita, white truffle gnocchi with sunchokes, whole-roasted chicken and vegetables, and then honey meringue with milk ice cream.

Reservations are a must; they’re available through the holiday season (an end date for the residency isn’t set in stone).

And the best part? A portion of the proceeds from each meal go to Sophie’s Neighborhood, a nonprofit started by Boulder chef Hosea Rosenberg (of Top Chef, Blackbelly and Santo fame) and his wife, Lauren Feder Rosenberg.

Their 4-year-old daughter, Sophie, last year was diagnosed with an extremely rare and life-threatening disease, called Multicentric Carpotarsal Osteolysis, or MCTO. Sophie’s Neighborhood is a way for the family to raise awareness and, hopefully, to find a cure. Colorado restaurants, in particular, have rallied around the cause.

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