James Beard award-winning chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson has found success with restaurants across Colorado but he will soon embark on another venture as the executive chef at the American Express Centurion Lounge at the Denver Airport. The Lounge is expected to open later this year in the C terminal of the airport.

Mackinnon-Patterson trained in Paris before returning to the United States to open his own restaurants including Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado, and Tavernetta in Denver. He has also competed on Top Chef Masters and earned a James Beard award in 2005. 

Ahead of the lounge opening, Mackinnon-Patterson created the menu for the American Express Centurion Lounge Pop Up experience in Vail, Colorado during Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. 

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity*

Photo Courtesy of Coburn Huff & American Express

What was the pop-up like?

The pop-up was very well done and incredibly creative. It created a lot of excitement around this partnership and the Centurion Lounge.

In your view, what’s the difference between a stand-alone restaurant and one that’s located inside an airport?

The core difference is that a stand-alone restaurant is solely operated by us, whereas an airport restaurant is a collaborative effort. It’s really critical that the collaboration partners have the same philosophies and in that sense, American Express is a great partner for us.

Photo Courtesy of Coburn Huff & American Express

What does the partnership with American Express look like? How will that influence your work?

It’s a collaboration between American Express and our culinary team. We will design a menu that our co-collaborators can execute to the highest degree with the highest standards. This will influence our work in that we will make sure it’s translatable across all fronts – pen to plate, so to speak.

Guests can expect a diverse representation of all of the restaurants we operate.

What is your favorite dish to prepare and serve?


If you’re not at work, what’s your go-to meal?


What’s your biggest career-related goal?

To continue to build great companies and provide opportunities for our leaders growing within them.