ABOVE: The small resort town of Aspen, Colorado, where the annual Food & Wine Classic is held, is surrounded by picturesque views of the Rocky Mountains. (Courtesy: Food & Wine)
As a premier culinary event that’s renowned the world over, the exclusive Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is a highly anticipated event that’s not to be missed, which is further evidenced by this weekend’s sold-out status.
Now in its 36th year, the exclusive epicurean extravaganza descended upon the resort and former mining town of Aspen, Colorado, today, June 15, with the food-and-wine-loving fun continuing through Sunday, June 17.
Providing a variety of engaging activities to entertain and educate guests, the Food & Wine Classic schedule includes an abundance of cooking demonstrations, food and wine tastings, parties and panel discussions.
Some of the world’s hottest talents in the culinary arts — including three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality-host and chef Andrew Zimmern — and the foremost authorities in winemaking and spirits lead the panels. These experts not only will educate attendees about their industries, they will inform them of the latest trends in food and beverage.
More than 80 cooking presentations and wine seminars are planned. In addition, 300-plus wine and luxury lifestyle brands are featured in the epicenter of the festival, the Grand Tasting Pavilion. Here guests can learn firsthand about and experience the brands’ newest products.
Also part of the festivities is the opportunity to run alongside famous chefs and wine experts during the Food & Wine Classic’s Celebrity Chef 5K Charity Run. Taking particpants through the streets and parks of Aspen, the 3.1-mile run was established by Food & Wine to raise funds and awareness for Grow for Good, its national initiative dedicated to supporting local farms and encouraging sustainable agriculture.
The run benefits Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that was founded by James Beard-winning chef Michel Nischan. The organization makes healthy produce affordable for people who need it most and was instrumental in initiating the first federally funded national nutrition incentive program. The program touches more than 500,000 individuals every year.
And who wouldn’t love to take a jaunt through beautiful Aspen? Situated within the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is a historical city that is surrounded by breathtaking mountainous views and wilderness, making it a popular retreat for celebrities as well as for tourists seeking outdoor recreation. Downtown Aspen offers an upscale shopping district featuring designer shops and boutiques, high-end restaurants, and salons.
Established in 1983 as the Aspen/Snowmass International Wine Classic by founders Gary Plumley of the Grape & Grain in Aspen along with Bob and Ruth Kevan of Chez Grand-mère in Snowmass Village, the inaugural Classic attracted approximately 300 people.
In 1986, Food & Wine magazine became the host of the event and introduced a concurrent trade program for restaurateurs in 1987. Within a few years, the Food & Wine Classic became and remains one of the most renowned events of its kind. The epicurean festival annually attracts 5,000 attendees from around the world.