The Aspen Food & Wine Classic is a welcome return to the summer calendar over the weekend of June 17-19. As always, the essence of the game was to adapt to yourself, as well as to adapt as much as possible. After attending workshops and toasting at grand tastings, participating in brand revitalizations and attending house parties, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites from this year’s Classic.
Favorite kickoff party: Aspen Magazine unveiled a harbinger of celebration at the Limelight Hotel Aspen on Wednesday with a range of partners providing drinks, food, socialite photos and DJ Naka G.
Favorite Gift Pack: The American Express and Resy Night Market party at Ajax Tavern on Thursday featured local produce such as Jus pieces, Antedotum skin care products and Aspen Crunch gluten-free muesli.
Favorite brunch: Minuty Rosé, founded in 1936 in Provence, introduced a superb private residence brunch with Clark’s Oyster Bar as a purveyor of lobster rolls, crab cakes, burgers and more.
Favorite lunch: Aspen Street Lodge has been taken over by Justin Sutherland, Joe Susto and Brady Lowe with various events including a Ribera y Rueda wine lunch paired with Spanish apps.
Favorite snack at Grand Tastings: Poolboy tacos from Phoenix have been on a rampage all weekend with street tacos filled with flavor.
Favorite workshop: Mark Oldman’s Grand Hotel du Vin, a fictional five-star hotel, was a popular option with large-format bottles, super-cool loot, and a host in a bellhop suit who shared wine wisdom with approachable humor.
Favorite rooftop party: Kemo Sabe’s outdoor stairs leading up to One Cool Rooftop was the way to get into One Cool Rooftop Friday Party with a live musician and a full bar.
Favorite dance party: On Friday night, Hendrick’s Gin hosted an exciting dance party in the space next to the living room with DJ Dylan on deck.
Favorite new event: Celebrating June at Aspen Meadows was the perfect way to end the weekend with food from Chef Kwame Onwuati, wine from the McBride sisters and a live house band that even put on a dance party with an electric slide.
Favorite new friend: I had the pleasure of chatting with Filipino chef Paolo Dungka, whose dish graces the cover of the current issue of Food & Wine magazine – two heavily seasoned pork patties on a bright purple ube bun and a secret sauce.
This is my summary for this year. Now I need to recuperate after the weekend and look forward to 2023 when the classic in Aspen turns 40 years old.