The white tents are raised in Aspen’s Wagner Park, area restaurants are primed for table-hopping, and oenophiles are comparing notes on which seminars and parties to attend. Considered the kickoff to Aspen’s summer, the 36th annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen is an epicurean juggernaut. With 80 seminars on tap and headliners including superstars Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Tyler Florence, Stephanie Izard, Gabrielle Hamilton, Jacques and Claudine Pépin, Marcus Samuelsson, Curtis Stone, and Andrew Zimmern, consider this your Classic cheat sheet.
NOT TO MISS
Spanish Wines for Gazillionaires by Mark Oldman. With $10,000 worth of wine per person, this is one of the most expensive consumer wine tastings ever. Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is shipping two super-rare, large format Melchiors (24 bottles in one) of its 2010 Croix de Beaucaillou. Mick Jagger’s eldest daughter, Jagger, designed the label of Croix, and the audience will be invited to do tap hits from it. Also be on the lookout for a 6L 2004 Schrader To Kalon—a California cult wine that sells at auction for $1000+.
2018 FOOD & WINE Best New Chefs tasting in the Grand Pavilion (which stages more than 200 brands). These American chefs to watch cook all weekend long.
Work up both an appetite and a sweat at the Celebrity Chef Charity 5K race (Friday June 15th) along the Rio Grande River—a benefit for Wholesome Wave. Yes, it’s early, but the scenic run is well worth it. Additionally, SPG is holding yoga atop Ajax Mountain throughout the weekend.
To Brie or Not to Brie: Indulgent Cheeses & Wines with Laura Werlin. As America’s cheese expert, Werlin’s seminars are some of the most anticipated of the weekend, with rare cheeses from around the world and unforgettable wine pairings.
Last Call (Friday June 15th) presented by American Express. This exclusive late night party will feature Asian BBQ by Aaron Franklin (Franklin’s BBQ) and Tyson Cole (Uchi/Uchiko), both from Austin. Expect a sneak peek of Loro in Austin—one of the hottest restaurant openings of the year.
NEW TO THE CLASSIC
As the first FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen overseen by new Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis, don’t miss a cooking seminar with his former chef and longtime mentor, Jonathan Waxman.
Sample dishes from the FOOD & WINE 2018 Restaurants of the Year (to be announced in the May issue) for the first time at a Farewell Feast at the Hotel Jerome. (Tickets $150).
The Welcome Reception (Thursday, June 14) will feature signature dishes by Bravo Top Chef Colorado winner Joe Flamm and contestants Joe Sasto and Fatima Ali.
The expansion of the wine and spirits program features a rye seminar with David Wondrich and a craft beer tasting from Andy Chabot & Roy Milner of Blackberry Farm.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Most likely to trend on Insta?
- Meat-cutting demonstrations in the Grand Tasting Tents with female meat scientists.
- Chef Andrew Zimmern is cooking a demo dish with ants.
- Mark Oldman’s rock star costume. Hint: “Back in Black.”
- Patron Tiki Pops. Yep, tequila in a summer popsicle.
- The 2018 Best New Chefs will be serving geoduck, a giant clam from the west coast.
Follow the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen on Facebook or #fwclassic for all the tasty details of the weekend. Sentient Jet Cardholder? Share your experience at FOOD & WINE by tagging your pictures #sentientjet.
Tickets start at $1,600. The FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen supports Grow for Good, benefiting Wholesome Wave Foundation, through ticket sales and additional events like the Celebrity Chef Charity 5K.
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