Celebrating Boulder’s Culinary Rockstars:
Meet the Chefs Shaping Boulder

Welcome to the first chapter of our delicious four-part series, where we shine a spotlight on the culinary rockstars making Boulder’s food scene pop. We’re here to take you behind the kitchen doors, introducing you to the maestros whose passion and creativity turn every meal into a memorable experience. Special thanks to our partner, Society Insurance, for their unwavering support for the hospitality industry.

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Meet The Chef: Brian Pierce

Right in the heart of Boulder, on the beautiful bricks of Pearl Street in Boulder, CO, Chef Brian Pierce is busy whipping up magic. As the Executive Chef and Partner at Gemini and High Country, he's not just about cooking – he's crafting experiences that keep you coming back for more.

Growing His Love for Cooking

Brian’s love for cooking started before he fried his first egg. Growing up in Broomfield, CO, his parents made it a point to share dinner together every night, often cooking up items from their garden. Reflecting on this time, Brian shared “Watching my mom cook dinner every night, deciding what to do with the seasonal ingredients was something special. It taught me how truly seasonal ingredients are to be cherished and that became foundational to my values as a Chef.”

In high school, Brian shared that his own culinary journey probably started with sandwiches. “You know, I’d mix different cheeses, slice a tomato, and grab some greens from the garden. When I toasted it up in the toaster oven, that’s when I really got going.” As he became an adult and started off on his own, perfecting a Philly Chonga, or fish and chips, and his Mom's rice pilaf all became staples of his early cooking.

Chef Brian Pierce

Hands In the Dirt

After college Pierce worked in NYC, at Brooklyn Winery and Estela. It was during his time in NY that Pierce cemented his love for the culinary world. When burnout crept in, he took a year off to live and work on a Biodynamic Farm in central western New Jersey. In the grueling work hours, he found solace in having his hands in the dirt. “I learned so much about food that year. Picking strawberries is brutal because you have to do it when it’s cool out, and on a market day you better pick them the night before, so after a 12-hour workday once the sun sets, we would head out to pick strawberries in the dark.”

Pierce’s time on the farm also enlightened him about the delicacies most people don’t realize are available. “Bolting greens are usually passed on to the goats, but their flowers are so tender and full of incredible flavor. They are one of my favorite ingredients” Pierce shared.

Chef takes this appreciation along with him every Saturday morning to the Boulder County Farmers  Market, where he is often seen shopping just as it opens. “You have to get there early to get 6 cases of anything. Even earlier during stone fruit season” he shares quietly.

Often with a list – gotta stay focused – Pierce visits his favorite producers and farmers such as Speedwell Farm, Croft Family Farm, Rocky Mountain Fresh, and Aspen Moon Farm.

It’s a Family Ordeal

While in NY, Chef Brian Pierce was good friends with Michael Mehiel through the restaurant world. Michael had fallen in love with Pastry Chef, Catherine Neckes and they collectively set Brian up with Catherine’s twin sister, Elizabeth. The rest is history as they say, as the double the love crew has expanded to include three kiddos and two restaurants.

As excited as Chef is for his two successful restaurants, he’s most excited about cooking for his 7-month-old son. “I’m looking forward to when he can have all the range of flavors: heat, salt, dairy, gluten.. and sharing meals together. As my family did, that’s important to me to have a family dinner time.”

Beyond the Kitchen

When Chef isn’t in the kitchen, you might find him on his bike, riding up Sunshine Canyon, or hiking with his son through the Boulder Foothills. “I often do most of my thinking and get most of my creativity when I’m hiking” Pierce shared. “It’s great to just stew and think about how certain ingredients will fit together, and my inspiration really comes from that problem-solving.”

Pierce also gets his inspiration from visiting some of his favorite restaurants around town: Basta, Barchetta, and Hop Alley in Denver were three of his favorite spots to dine with his family. “Theo Adley is really doing some special things up in Lyons, it’s exciting to see.” (We agree – a visit to Marigold is a must!)


What’s Next for Chef Brian Pierce?

As Brian continues to shake things up in Boulder’s culinary scene, we can’t wait to see what he dreams up next. New seasonal menus? Special events? Collaborations with local farmers? Yes, please! The future’s looking bright, and our taste buds are ready for the ride.


Stay Tuned for More Culinary Awesomeness

This is just the beginning! Keep an eye out for the next feature in our series, where we’ll introduce you to another amazing chef who’s making waves in Boulder. Thanks again to our partner, Society Insurance, for insuring we have a way to keep shining a light on all these amazing culinary rockstars.

Enjoyed this story? Check out a previous blog post and Meet another Chef!

Author : Jessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin is the fearless leader behind Savor Productions. With her unmatched dedication to the local community, and her more than 20 years of experience in event production and marketing, Jess guides the Savor team with heart and passion. Tacos are the way to her soul, and when she's not working, you'll find her in her garden and kitchen with her family.

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