Here it is – the official wrap up from my Food & Wine Classic weekend extravaganza! I made sure to throw in a few of my favorite photos from the event as well!
My five favorite moments from Aspen:
1) Cooking Demonstrations with Jose Andres. Oh Jose! Such a funny man. The sassy Spaniard brought along his daughter, Carlotta, to assist in the demos, and harassed her about throwing in too much salt. But my favorite moment was an impromptu visit from Chef Ming Tsai, where Jose commented, “You give a man a pair of chopsticks and some soy sauce, and he thinks he’s a chef!”
2) My interview with Ming Tsai. Ok, I was a bit nervous, I’ll admit, but a chance visit to the Green Room while Ming was picking up his festival swag made me feel more at ease. During our interview, when I asked about his favorite restaurant, Ming surprised me with his answers. (Stay tuned next week for the full interview!) And even better – when Tom Colicchio chimed in with his opinion – “His favorite restaurant is Craft, of course!”
3) Chateau de Grey Goose. As a festival sponsor, Grey Goose drinks were provided at nearly every event – and I loved them all. The festival included a new Grey Goose drink, a yummy ‘As The Night Falls’ featuring orange-flavored vodka and grapefruit juice. However, the highlight was certainly meeting Maître de Chai François Thibault. François was cheerful, funny, and friendly – and a wonderful face to have in the crowd.
4) ‘Farm to Fork: Creating A Sustainable World At Your Table’. I loved the sustainable presentation with organic farmer Peter Jacobsen and Chef Michael Chiarello. Why? Because it’s so encouraging to hear about the green movement and change happening in restaurants across the country (same reason I loved the Farm-to-Table event at Vegas Uncork’d). I was thrilled to see the composting and recycling stations at all of the Grand Tastings as well. Now, if we could only figure out how to get all the food stuffs to Aspen without using giant, gas-guzzling semi trucks…
5) Meeting all the folks I’ve been following on Twitter! I never imagined I’d start so many conversations with “I’ve been following your Tweets!” I had quite a good time with my new blogger friends, John of FoodWishes, Sara of AverageBetty, and Heidi of Savory.tv, at both the Best New Chefs dinner and the Patron after party. Other favorite twitter foodies had the chance to meet – @stephanieizard (finally – after our first interview!), @richardblais, @eatersf, @foodieaspen, @heyyumsugar, @sweenkat, @jeewpark, @chefchiarello, @wholefish, and @aspenalex.
Can’t wait for the 2010 Aspen Food & Wine Classic!