Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg opening Blackbelly Market in Boulder
For the past few years, Hosea Rosenberg, who won the Top Chef title -- and $100,000 for his victory -- on Season Five of the Bravo reality show, has focused his time on growing Blackbelly Catering, a full-service events and catering company that sources most of its ingredients from Blackbelly Farm, Rosenberg's leased, five-acre parcel of land in Lafayette, where he grows produce and raises five different breeds of pigs, several herds of Blackbelly lambs, plus chickens, ducks and rabbits.
And in 2011, when Rosenberg, with the help of Bitter Bar owner James Lee, launched Blackbelly Catering, part of the plan was to also open a restaurant. "We're actively looking for a space, and this time next year, we'd love to be cooking -- and serving -- 90 percent of what we raise and grow," said Rosenberg, when I interviewed him in November of that year.
The search for the right space took longer than expected, but Rosenberg finally inked a deal in January, and in mid-July, pending permits and construction timelines, he'll open Blackbelly Market in Boulder, in the same complex as Wild Woods Brewery and withing walking distance of several more breweries, including BRU, Fate, Avery and Upslope.
"I chose this space because I needed to expand the catering aspect, and there's a huge production kitchen that will allow me to do that, plus I've wanted to open a butcher shop and market for years, and this building is perfect for both of those -- and for opening a restaurant," says Rosenberg, who took over the vacated Minglewood restaurant, a 3,300-square-foot plot that also lays claim to two patios, which will accommodate fifty seats in addition to the 85 inside.
The market, which will face the front door and include a butcher counter flanked by white tile, will "feature the meats that we raise on our farm, along with livestock from other local sources, and you'll be able to order fresh cuts of meat -- pretty much anything off a pig, lamb or cow -- along with a vast array of housemade sausages like chorizo, andouille and breakfast sausage, as well as salumi and special order cuts," says Rosenberg.
A glass-enclosed, refrigerated cutting room to do in-house whole butchery, along with a grab-and-go menu, complete with salads, soups and sandwiches, will be a part of the market's quarters, as well. And Rosenberg divulges, too, that Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat founder Mark DeNittis is consulting on both the charcuterie and butchery programs.