Meet Your Chef: Mark Tamberino of Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ Bar |

Meet Your Chef: Mark Tamberino of Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ Bar

Get to know your local Vail Valley chefs

Mark Tamberino with Kirby Cosmos BBQ Bar runs the smoker at the Vail Farmer's Market and Art Show on Sundays.
Madison Rahhal/Special to the Daily

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson ( and Sean Naylor (

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: My name is Mark Tamberino, and I am the owner, line cook, bus boy, dishwasher and operator at Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ Bar in Minturn.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: The skiing and active lifestyle brought me here and that was almost 20 years ago.

Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ Bar is located on Main Street in Minturn.
Kirby Cosmo’s/Courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: I knew I wanted to be in the food and beverage industry at a young age. My father owned a prime meat packing company in Baltimore, Maryland, which sold to grocery stores, restaurants and also retail in the world famous Lexington Market. Working my younger years of my life with him on the weekends really taught me a lot about the cuts of meat and how to butcher most of them. At the age of 16, I found myself working at Sisson’s Brew Pub, Baltimore’s No. 1 brew pub. As I was not of age yet, the head brewmaster put me in charge of brewing their Edgar Allan Poe root beer. I stayed on board with Sisson’s until I left to attend Salisbury University on the eastern shore of Maryland. The rest of my story goes on from working from one great restaurant to the next and learning as much as I could at each, not knowing that I would have the opportunity to have my own restaurant later in life.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: My inspiration is not some high end chef who cooks in Beaver Creek or Vail Village, although they all are at the top of their game. Mad props go out to them! But, my inspiration is my father-in-law, Michael Deutschman. He taught me a lot about the experience of dining and that dining at the highest Michelin-rated restaurants can be a totally incredible experience, but Chinese carryout can be as good. I also get a lot of inspiration from our customers. Hearing feedback is inspiring.

Some of the menu items at Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ Bar include JB’s Original pulled pork BBQ, St. Louie short ribs and Millwood’s dirty fries.
Kirby Cosmo’s/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Old Bay! I am a Maryland boy at heart.

Q: Favorite protein?

A: I like pretty much any kind of shellfish.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: For fruit I’d say mango and for a veggie, lately it’s been purple cauliflower.

From a young age, Tamberino knew he wanted to be in the food and beverage industry.
Kirby Cosmo’s/Courtesy photo

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Pizza!

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: My wife Emily’s chicken and couscous, noodle soup or her crab cakes. They are the bomb!

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