Salad dish at restaurant in Vail

Meet the Team

Chef Jay Spickelmier


It all started at the age of 14, when Jay took his 'work hard, play hard' ethic from the soccer field to the dining table. With an unwavering commitment and an entrepreneurial spirit, he managed a Papa John's at age 18 and waited tables through college. After finishing his formal studies in Denver, Colo., Jay moved to Boulder to begin his career as a chef. During the next four years, he worked at several restaurants including the well-known The Flagstaff House, before officially moving to Vail, Colo.

In 2001, Jay began working the gamut of restaurants in The Vail Valley from Osaki's Sushi to major resort restaurants including Larkspur, The Left Bank and Spago. At The Left Bank, he helped the restaurant earn a 'Top 100 Restaurant' ranking from Zagat. Jay opened up Spago in Bachelor Gulch, before taking on several concepts in Denver including Jing, where in 2009 he won Westword's 'Mile High Chef Competition' and then opened a French-Japanese concept called Japoix.

As a Chef and Artisan Food Designer with an eye for innovation and culinary precision, Jay pulls from his life and work experience with worldly cuisine to deliver the best possible dining experience possible. The cumulative skills and experiences he's garnered in culinary arts, catering, consulting, competition, and customer service have helped him grow into a culinary leader committed to creating a positive work environment for like minded culinary enthusiasts.

After a couple years in Denver, Jay returned to Vail in 2011, rejoining the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa and Atwater on Gore Creek's management team. He currently holds the title as Chef De Cuisine and has helped Atwater become one of the Vail Valley's best restaurants, most recently being recognized as a '10 Best Restaurants in Vail, Colorado' by USA Today.


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