Aspen’s unofficial kick off to summer is right around the corner as the 37th annual FOOD & WINE Classic descends upon Wagner Park. This one-of-a-kind, signature event will transform the town for three incredible days of complete and utter gastronomic indulgence, starting June 14 through 16. Cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and panel discussions led by world-class chefs and wine experts will have your head spinning and your taste buds buzzing with the latest trends and tastes in the food and wine world.
Ticketed festival goers will take in more than 80 cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, talks, and tastings hosted by food and wine luminaries like Hugh Acheson, Richard Blais, Anthony Giglio, Ray Isle, Stephanie Izard, Jacques Pépin, and Andrew Zimmern.
New talent additions to the weekend lineup include Martha Stewart, JJ Johnson and Ruth Reichl on the food side, and David Keck and June Rodil on the wine side. Stewart will host a book signing, present a cooking demonstration, and share top tips on summer entertaining. Reichl will chat about her career highlights and Save Me the Plums, her newest book. In addition to these marquee names, the ‘up and coming’ 2019 class of Best New Chefs and Best New Restaurants will be front and center.
And if you need more reasons to get fired up for the much-anticipated premier food and wine weekend of the year, sink your teeth into these new highlights added to the 2019 festival!
FOOD & WINE's illustrious class of 2019 Best New Chefs will be cooking up a storm in the Grand Tasting Tents. Colorado’s very own Caroline Glover from Annette Scratch-to-Table in Aurora will be there. Known for her wood-fire-based take on New American comfort food, Glover is the first Best New Chef from Colorado in nearly a decade.
Wine speaker Mark Oldman will debut an unprecedented 27 liter bottle (36 bottles in one) called a Primat or Goliath of Stag’s Leap finest Cabernet Sauvignon at his seminar. Oldman has never even seen a bottle this size! This special Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 is normally priced at $300 for a regular (750 ml) sized bottle. Sent from Italy to Napa — where it was etched and filled — this Goliath will be transported to Aspen in a special refrigerated truck. The bottle weighs in at a mind-boggling 120 pounds — be sure to get a sip and a pic while you can!
In addition to supporting Wholesome Wave, FOOD & WINE is proud to announce that the Jacques Pépin Foundation (JPF) will be a new charity benefactor through ticket sales and the Celebrity Chef Charity 5K. Wholesome Wave is a nonprofit that empowers underserved consumers to make better food choices by increasing affordable access to healthy produce, while JPF’s mission offers free life skills and culinary training to adults with employment barriers. Stay tuned as Wholesome Wave and JPF have some fun surprises in store throughout the weekend.
American Express Restaurant Trade Program celebrates their 30th Anniversary this year. Combining the best and brightest minds in the business on industry challenges, this program provides attendees a forum to share strategies and exchange ideas for achieving growth in the restaurant industry.
New for Friday
Last Call, presented by American Express, is a brand-new late-night Friday party featuring Geoffrey Zakarian, and themed around NYC’s The Lambs Club, known for its clubby, art deco-styled restaurant.
New for Saturday
A new series of three one-of-a-kind chef collaboration dinners hosted at hotels around town will launch on Saturday night. Chefs and talent involved include Rick Bayless with Jason Vincent, Andrew Carmelini with Kate Williams — and Jonathan Waxman will recreate his soon-to-close restaurant Barbuto.
Tickets are still available to select dinners at $250/person.
New for Sunday
Top Chef winner Kelsey Barnard Clark of KBC (restaurant and catering) from Alabama will show off her ‘southern roots meet fine dining’ style in a cooking demo.
Farewell Feast: FOOD & WINE just announced the top ten Best New Restaurants. All ten of these top eateries will represent their fine cuisine at the Farewell Feast on Sunday. This is a ‘must dine’ for any true foodie. Tickets are available and on sale now for $150.
Gear up for a fun weekend of imbibing as over 200 wines and luxury lifestyle brands feature and sample the latest vinous and culinary products in the Grand Tasting Pavilion tents. See the full schedule for the three-day event.
Follow the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen on Facebook or #fwclassic on social media outlets.
About the Author
Prior to launching her own creative firm, Lea Tucker earned her chops managing international public relations for the Aspen Skiing Company for 9 years. When she’s not building creative communication campaigns for her clients, Lea can be found playing in the great outdoors: skiing, hiking, camping and en plein air watercolor painting. Lea also dabbles as a wildflower identifier, gourmet-backpacking chef, beachcomber, reader and writer.