Elizabeth is quite familiar with the restaurant business – She’s worked in numerous establishments since high school, and it was waitressing that helped support her through college. Elizabeth graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Advertising, and a minor in marketing. But it was her passion for food, ingredients and all the aspects that make a meal beautiful that have been some of her greatest loves. As a child, her family would laugh as she would prepare little gourmet meals for herself and they would watch her revel in her joy of food.
Luigi grew up in Italy watching his uncle, a Chef, create magnificent dishes for guests. With friends and family’s encouragement and his budding interest, Luigi obtained a degree from an esteemed culinary school in Rome. When he arrived in the U.S., Luigi had already worked at several fine eateries throughout Europe and established his stellar reputation while working as the Executive Chef of Prego Ristorante in Irvine, California.
In 1992, desiring a break from the daily grind of Southern California, Elizabeth and Luigi planned to move to Italy, via a six month detour through Aspen, Colorado. It was there and then that a love affair with the Colorado mountains and Aspen’s small community began.
Luigi and Elizabeth obtained jobs as wait staff for one of the hottest restaurants in Aspen and established many solid friendships. In 1994, with encouragement from their new “famiglia”, they found a small location that would allow them to use their combined talents to create the food and atmosphere they both knew the public deserved and desired. Using their entire life savings and tapping into the creativity of their friends and family, they started Campo de Fiori (Field of Flowers) in Aspen. Their combined flair and philosophy paid off – in 1995, the first year of operation Campo won an award for one of the top new restaurants in the country.
In 1997, applying the successful techniques and exemplary standards, Luigi and Elizabeth focused on opening Campo de Fiori Ristorante in Vail, Colorado.
With Elizabeth and Luigi’s efforts, the restaurants have received many accolades from some of the more prestigious magazines, including: Food & Wine, In Style, Ski, Esquire, Glamour, Town and Country, Wine Spectator and many more. And although the restaurants have made adjustments over the years, Elizabeth and Luigi have never strayed from their standard of providing fresh, authentic Italian Cuisine, complemented by a sophisticated wine menu and exceptional service, all in a festive atmosphere.
Elizabeth and Luigi credit their success to great friendships, talented chefs, incredible managers, and adding personal touches that help to create a lively atmosphere that people enjoy being a part of. All-in-all, a proven recipe for success.
Michelle is Elizabeth’s sister and an integral part of Campo de Fiori’s success. She is a University of Michigan graduate who moved to Colorado after meeting the love of her life, and now husband. Her involvement with the restaurant started prior to the Aspen location’s opening and continues to this day. She literally helped to build the restaurant. Working behind the scenes, she guides the other partners in all aspects of the business. It is her care and dedication that assists in creating order in a business that many would say is crazy.