James Mazzio

Background Born in Wilmington, Delaware. Worked at Renaissance in Aspen, Colorado.

How he got into cooking "My dad and I didn't bond over baseball; we bonded over cooking shows."

How he padded his résumé "Charles Dale offered me a job at Renaissance as a butcher. I lied and said, 'Yeah, I have those skills.' And it worked out."

Menu bomb Macadamia-crusted sweetbreads with baby bok choy.

Favorite cookbook The Way to Cook by Julia Child.

What he eats at 1 A.M. "Chicken noodle soup if I'm in the mood for salt, or vanilla sorbet with caramel and chocolate sauce if I want something sweet."

Least favorite food Brussels sprouts. "It's the only vegetable I can't eat, and I eat everything known to man."

What he'd be if he weren't a chef A comedian.

Recipe tip Add oil to salad dressing as slowly as possible. If the emulsion breaks, gradually pour the dressing back into a running blender.

Won Best New Chef at: 15 Degrees, Boulder, CO (closed)