Beautiful food is Elizabeth’s passion. It is her love for people, food, wine, spirits, and atmosphere that inspires the very special experience at Campo. We love our guests and our food!
Even as a young child in Michigan, Elizabeth would joyously prepare little gourmet meals; and today you can still find her in the kitchen, experimenting with fun ingredients and preparing healthy and gorgeous things to eat.
In 1992, Elizabeth decided to simplify her life by leaving California for the Colorado mountains to experience nature and small town living. She found a job working evenings as a waitress in one of Aspen’s hottest restaurants and spent time exploring the mountains in the day. Little did she know that she would completely fall in love with Colorado and want to make it her permanent home.
In 1994, it became clear to Elizabeth that it was time to open her own restaurant. After an extensive search, she found a tiny 850-foot space that had sat empty for 2 years prior. Along with Luigi – her husband at the time – and with the enormous support from all their friends, family and the local community, they cobbled together Campo de Fiori on a shoestring budget. Elizabeth and her sister Michelle spent many hours building all the mosaic tile tables. Elizabeth used rocks from a quarry to build the entire kitchen line. Thrift stores were utilized to find the quirky decor for all the shelves. Luigi worked with friends jackhammering concrete, laying plumbing and working from morning till night to construct Campo’s first home. Elizabeth’s good friend, James Johansen painted the space from the ceiling to the floor and gave Campo its signature look. Many friends put their mark of collaboration on Campo. It was an absolute labor of love and to everybody’s surprise, Campo was met with a ton of local, national and international praise. Within a few months of opening, Campo Aspen was written up as one of the best new restaurants in the country.
The hours were long and tireless, but it was a joy to feed so many guests who soon became dear friends. In 1997, Campo opened a second location in Vail to expand into another beautiful mountain town. It was the same authentic Italian food, personalization, and attention to detail that made the second location as special as the first.
Elizabeth’s style of management has always been one of collaboration with talented individuals who equally love food. This year Campo celebrates employees who have been with us for so long. Michelle joined us 23 years ago, and others have been with us for more than 18 years, something rare and special in a mountain resort community. Campo is totally about the team and each team member is an important part of the heart and the soul of all that we do. It is the “sum” of so many incredible individuals who have made both Aspen and Vail special from their very first days.
Because of all the passion and love, the restaurants have received many accolades from some of the most prestigious magazines, including: Food & Wine, In Style, Ski, Esquire, Glamour, Town and Country, Wine Spectator and many more. Elizabeth has never strayed from Campo’s standard of providing fresh, authentic Italian cuisine, complemented by a sophisticated wine menu, with exceptional and personalized service, all in a festive atmosphere.
Elizabeth credits Campo’s success to many great friendships, talented and passionate chefs, incredible managers, dining room and kitchen teams who bring their best each and every day. Adding personal touches that help to create a lively atmosphere that people enjoy being a part of has a big part of the magic. All-in-all, a proven recipe for success!
Working behind the scenes, Michelle guides Elizabeth, the chefs, managers and team members on many key aspects of the business. She is the voice of reason, in what many would call a crazy business. It has been a true gift to have such watchful eyes overseeing the well-being of Campo and its employees on a daily basis. Michelle and her husband have 3 amazing children who have grown up in restaurants and around amazing food. Each one has an appreciation for beautiful meals and the loving service that makes dining out special. Family meals at Campo are always a special treat!