The story of Mawa McQueen is equal parts passion and serendipity. Born on Africa’s Ivory Coast and raised in Paris, France, Mawa’s first introduction to the culinary world came at an early age as the eldest of 11 siblings.
With her mother working around the clock to support the family, Mawa was designated chef (among many other titles) for the entire McQueen family. It wasn’t until Mawa attended culinary school in Paris in the late-’90s where she studied hotel and restaurant management with a minor in cooking that Mawa’s culinary story began. After completing her studies, she worked around Paris and the French Alps. Then, in an effort to achieve her dream and be fluent in English, Mawa moved to Stratford upon Avon in England where she worked in the front of the house. While in London, Mawa’s long-time dream came true when she won the green card lottery that made it possible for her to move to the United States in 2002.
Get Mawa’s recipe for her delicious Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich on homemade Focaccia bread in the new Toques in Black cookbook. Available Now!
Upon her arrival in America, Mawa first lived in Kennebunkport, ME where she worked at the White Barn Inn, a five-star five-diamond resort hotel and restaurant, where she mastered the art of New England hospitality and cuisine. Another dream of hers came true when she got the opportunity to go Aspen, CO and work for The Little Nell, another five-star five-diamond hotel and restaurant. During her time in Aspen, Mawa saw a niche for high-quality catering and culinary services. In 2004, she founded M&M Home Dining Services and continued to work at The Little Nell. The success of M&M allowed her to continue her own story and move to Aspen permanently in 2006. In early 2014, Mawa rebranded M&M as Mawa’s Kitchen, a full-service culinary company. Then in 2015, she remodeled her commercial kitchen into a full-service restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast and lunch through the week and brunch on the weekends. Mawa also continues to provide In-Flight catering on private jets out of Aspen and other nearby airports, private catering and cooking classes, as well as meal pick-up and drop-off service out of the restaurant.
Mawa’s story now includes her second restaurant, Market Street Kitchen, a crepe and taco café in Basalt, CO that opened in 2015. Her most exciting chapter is unfolding now as she prepares to open her third location, The Crepe Shack, a French inspired creperie in the new Snowmass Base Village in Snowmass Village, CO. A lifelong lover of crepes, Mawa has one of the most interesting crepe menus with such inspired items as Osestra caviar crepes, Iberico Jamon crepes and Duck foie gras crepes. In addition to all of this, Mawa has launched her own line of Vegan, gluten-free granola called Mawa’s GrainFreeNola. In each of the three mouth-watering flavors, Mawa only uses organic nuts and seeds and sweetens them with Medjool dates and pure Vermont maple syrup. In addition to the low sugar content, all of the flavors are oat free which makes them a perfect snack, breakfast component or ingredient for your favorite treats.