August 8-11, 2024

Julian Smith


I recently moved back to the Vail Valley in August of this year. However, before my stint away, I lived in Vail from 2007 to 2017. The story of how I ended up here is probably not so unlike a lot of people who call Vail home. I was living in Manhattan at the time and wanted to escape the fast-paced city life for a bit, so I found refuge in Vail Valley for a ski season. I fell in love with the laid-back environment of mountain life and the small-town feel of Vail and ended up staying for ten years. During this time, I worked at DECA + BOL (also owned and operated by Solaris Group) as sous chef for seven years. I also went to Denver to work at Quality Italian, but ultimately found myself back in the valley and haven’t looked back.
I knew I wanted to be a chef when I was about 12 or 13. My parents owned several restaurants, so I grew up fully immersed in the industry. After school, I would ride the school bus to one of the restaurants where I would do my homework and hang out. I loved the energetic atmosphere and realized I wanted to be a part of it at an early age.