If you ever get a chance to attend The Aspen Food and Wine Festival you should definitely go! There are several similar festivals around the country, but the Aspen festival is the oldest and most intimate. Because space is limited in downtown Aspen,the tickets are limited and usually sell out the same week they go on sale.
When you go you attend seminars as either a consumer or as someone in the food/wine business. Seminars aren’t the boring ones where some ‘sage on the stage’ lectures everyone. They’re cooking demonstrations with lots of joking, cheering, drinking, sharing tips and tricks and audience participation.
The Grand Tastings are the highlight for everyone. Tables and tables and tables of foods prepared by excellent Chefs with the finest ingredients – all who have come to impress the audience. And across from those tables are ~80 wine vendors, ~40 spirit vendors and some coffee, juice, water and beer vendors. Each and every one wants you to taste, drink, and enjoy what they’ve prepared.
Highlights this year included grilled octopus appetizers, a demonstration on how to make roasted corn ravioli with a basil sauce, a Pinot Noir ‘smackdown’ and lots & lots of Rose wines. Also, I had a chance to talk to my top 2 Chef icons: Marcus Samuelsson and Jacques Pepin. It was amazing!
Some great quotes from the week:
“cooking and eating is what connects us” – Tamron Hall, Today Show Host
“cooking and eating together is the gateway to positive and long-lasting experiences” – from a panel discussion on Americas Obsession with Food.
“in a world that wants to divide us, food connects us”
“you should excite your appetite, not control it” – Jacques Pepin
“I’m a cook, not a doctor” – Jacques Pepin
“your taste memories are the most positive memories in the world” – from a panel discussion on Americas Obsession with Food.
Next year’s tickets go on sale in January. Think about attending!