Fine Dining That's Good for the Earth
Sustainability comes to the plate every night at Ajax Tavern and element 47, through service items and at catered Little Nell events. Beef is primarily supplied Brandt Beef (all-natural, family owned and operated since 1945) from Brawley CA, and Lone Mountain Wagyu raised by the Estrin family in Golden, New Mexico. Chickens are supplied by Boulder Natural Meats. Eggs are from Dayspring in Olathe and Razors Roost in Austin. Our fish is selected based on the Monterrey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch approved Best Choice sources. Seventy-five percent of the produce served comes from Colorado. You may even see culinary staff picking ingredients directly from The Little Nell's organic garden each day. In 2016 we established The Little Nell Gardens at Emma Farms in Basalt, CO where we produce arugula, kale, chard, cucumbers, beets, scallions, radishes, baby leeks, broccoli, pickling cucumbers, and herbs. These items and many others are featured on element 47's
constantly-changing indulgence menu. Additional produce is supplied by Rain Crow Farms in Paonia, Thistle Whistle in Hotchkiss, and Rendezvous Farms in Crawford. The Little Nell spends over $200,000 on local food each year. These purchasing decisions are major contributions to the local economy.
Low Impact On Mountain Dining
In addition to operating our on-mountain restaurants efficiently, we’ve spent over $3.9 million since 2006 purchasing locally raised meat, produce and beverages. We currently purchase locally from Milagro Beef, Crystal River Meats, Boulder Natural Meats, Avalanche Cheese, Louis Swiss Pastry, Colorado Proud label, Rock Bottom Ranch, Jackson’s Honest Chips, Zimmerman Pork Farm – Berkshire Whole Pig, Colorado Catch, Rocking W Milk and Cheese, Razor’s Roost, We Gotta Farm, Desert Weyr, Dayspring Eggs, Osito Organic Orchards, Roger’s Mesa Fruit, South River Aquaponics, Rendezvous Organic Farm, Twisted Root, Rain Crow Farm, Mattic’s Orchard, Abundant Life Organic Farm, The Living Farm, Rivendell Farms, and Thistle Whistle Farm. We also purchase Woody Creek Distillers, Stranahan’s Whiskey, Aspen Brewery and Leopold Brothers Gin and Spirits.
All on-mountain locations purchase ground beef that is Colorado raised, hormone and antibiotic free and grass fed. In 2013/2014 we spent more than $260,000 purchasing 45,000 pounds of local beef.
At Elk Camp every organic chicken we serve is born and raised in Colorado. We find great value in helping small scale ranchers and farmers make a living from the land, a byproduct of which is a strengthened community by keeping our dollars in the Roaring Fork Valley.
In addition to efforts to buy local we’ve made significant strides to expand the number of locations composting food waste. What started out as a trial run spear-headed by Henrietta Oliver at Bumps has expanded to encompass the vast majority of our on-mountain restaurants and now also includes our offices at 117 Aspen Airport Business Center. These efforts mean only 1/5 of our trash goes to the landfill at these facilities. Learn more about our composting efforts.