Chef Brian Puett of Mesa Verde, CO., Presented with IFWTWA’s Culinary Excellence Award


Chef Brian Puett receives IFWTWA Culinary Excellence Award from John Lamkin
Chef Brian Puett receives IFWTWA Culinary Excellence Award from John Lamkin – photo ©Paul Ross

Executive Chef Brian Puett of the Far View Lodge’s Metate Room Restaurant in Mesa Verde, Colorado is awarded an Award of Excellence in the Culinary Arts by the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA).

Friday, April 27, 2012, in an intimate ceremony in the Metate Room, Chef Puett was rewarded the IFWTWA’s prestigious Culinary Excellence Award. Present were “Chef’s” wife Amanda, Cris Page and Thelma Dena of ARAMARK, and journalists/photographers Judith Fein, John Lamkin, Paul Ross and Susanna Starr.

According to IFWTWA’s press release, “The International Food, Wine & Travel  Writers Association’s (IFWTWA) prestigious Excellence Awards are  awarded quarterly and recognize the best of the best in beverages, cruise, culinary, and hospitality around the world.  The award nominations are recommended by IFWTWA members, carefully evaluated by IFWTWA’s Excellence Awards Committee, and finally approved by IFWTWA’s Board of Directors.

Executive Chef Brian Puett of the Metate Room Restaurant in Mesa Verde, Colorado was awarded a Culinary Excellence Award in the second quarter of 2012 in part for his  mission to preserve the area’s culinary tradition while adding his own contemporary spin. Puett’s goal is not only to meet the increased expectations of Mesa Verde national park visitors, but to go easy on the environment and do as much business as possible with the locals.
According to the IFWTWA member journalist who nominated Chef Puett, Chef’s preparation uses innovative and cutting edge techniques; the combination of ingredients is well balanced in terms of flavor profile and texture.  The presentation is creative, appetizing and aesthetically pleasing.  Chef Puett was commended on his exemplary use of sustainable sources (i.e. locally sourced, organic ingredients).
Brian Puett graduated from the Denver School of Culinary Arts and decided to stay in the local outdoors/small town area instead of heading for NY or LA. Puett describes his cuisine as contemporary Southwestern, with a philosophical bent toward traditional and sustainable local ingredients. “Colorado is a natu­ral land of bounty,” Puett points out. “The Ancestral Puebloans began cultivating the Mesa Verde region 1,400 years ago, growing corn, beans, and other Southwestern staples and taking advantage of the native animal population.” At his restaurant, he features these ingredients in creative forms, like the locally grown beans he uses for his black bean hummus, which is served in lieu of rolls and butter as a complimentary appetizer, presented with a selection of traditional Native American flatbreads made in-house with locally produced and milled flour.

For addtional information visit:

About: The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a dynamic nonprofit organization based out of Southern California. What started out as a small group of prominent restaurant writers  in 1956 is now a global network of journalists, bloggers and photographers who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them. Members cover a broad spectrum of travel destination attractions such as active and passive adventure activities, ecology, historical features, culture, fairs, festivals, food, wine, and special events. The association’s membership includes professionals in culinary arts and sciences, the wine growing and production industry, and hotel and hospitality management industries.”

For more information on the IFWTWA visit:

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5 Responses to Chef Brian Puett of Mesa Verde, CO., Presented with IFWTWA’s Culinary Excellence Award

  1. Great job John to award such talent.

  2. SoulOfTravel says:

    Thanks Maralyn!

  3. Thelma Dena says:

    It was such an honor to be present while Chef Brian received such a prestigious award. The entire ARAMARK Parks and Destinations at Mesa Verde National Park are so proud of Chef. Thank you John. It was wonderful t to have all of you for a short visit and we hope to see you again soon!

  4. SoulOfTravel says:

    You’re welcome Thelma. Chef certainly deserved the award.
    Cheers, John

  5. Dewi Ambarwati says:

    It was my honor to work with Mr.Puett.As an internship trainee from Indonesia and represent my College about Hotel and Tourism i had a lot of an experiences.Thank you very much Mr.Puett

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