Edible Pikes Peak Region: Editorial Content + Photography

Rising Above the Butcher Block: Chef Jacob Cheatham

These are all memories now, like the Polish Kopytka or kebab found between Barberton and Cleveland, Ohio, or weekend barbeques at Uncle Curtis’ house. It’s how Jacob understood food back then- -this is what you do as a family. You provide for one another.

Rebirth of a Ranch

For some time, the land of the future Kiowa Creek Ranch and Sanctuary lay dormant.

Then came the Black Forest fire in 2013. Hundreds of acres alight with violent embers burning native brome grass and dry sage. Junipers charred. Ponderosas collapsed and hollowed.

In time, Kiowa Ranch recovered and was given another chance.

Hunting for a Gathering

On a midsummer evening, there is a palpable, dry silence in the forests of Kiowa Ranch.

By the farmhouse, workers raise a long blue and white tent. Wine barrels are rolled out from storage while tablecloths are unfolded and waved in the air. Chef Jacob Cheatham’s multiple courses are etched in a chalkboard--kept secret until the guests arrive. You can hear distant pops of wine corks. Flickers of fire on the outdoor grill. A tractor warms up in the field. Up over the hillside entrance, dust trails behind cars with wide-eyed guests and curious minds.