Grab your best white linen pants and don't forget the sunscreen, because the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen kicks off today. Tickets for the weekend seminar and trade events have been sold out for a while now, although there are still plenty of ways to crash the event. Whether or not you've managed to score passes, Curbed Ski breaks down the top ten events at this year's Classic, from what to sip in the Grand Tasting Tents to which events you simply can't miss.
Here it is, the ten events of the FOOD & WINE Classic that we can't wait to attend, in no particular order:
· FOOD & WINE Classic 5K Charity Race: Start off the weekend right with a (very) early morning run on Friday aside your favorite celebrity chefs. This 5K charity race raises money for Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that aims to increase access to and affordability of fresh, locally grown food. The course is simply beautiful. Go here for more info.
· Heritage Fire at Snowmass: Think about making the trek over to Snowmass for the first edition of this wood-fired, meat-laden feast. Held on Friday, June 19th, guests will partake in over 3000 pounds of responsibly-raised heritage breed animals prepared by 45 top chefs. Shuttles are available to and from Aspen, and your $105.95 ticket also includes all-you-can drink booze. Head this way for tickets.
· The Classic Cookoff: A perennial favorite of festival fans for years, the Classic Cookoff pits big-time chefs against each other in a race against the clock. Expect surprise pantry ingredients and a solid dose of humor. Held on Sunday from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, this year Carla Hall and Andrew Zimmern face off.
· 101 Pépin Family Recipes: Jacques Pépin and his daughter Claudine Pépin are always entertaining, and in this seminar at the Classic they are providing guests with a glimpse into their favorite family recipes.
· Grand Cochon: Quickly becoming one of the best events at the festival, Grand Cochon brings together ten top chefs from around the country to compete for bragging rights as the 2015 King or Queen of Pork. This year, the event will be held at the Viceroy Snowmass with free shuttles to and from Aspen. Grand Cochon is our top pick for anyone who wants to experience FOOD & WINE indulgence but didn't score a ticket. Head over here for more info and tickets.
· The Blais-wich Project: As winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Richard Blais knows how to draw the crowds. Don't miss this seminar that aims to guide food lovers through Blais's best sandwich-making secrets. We bet there isn't a plain PB&J in sight.
· The Spire Collection Wines in the Grand Tasting Tent: The tasting tents are its own special breed at the Classic; it can be hard to know where to start and how to decipher the average from the fantastic. One of our favorite finds from last year is a group of wineries called the Spire Collection. They will have three tables at the Grand Tasting: Mt. Brave (try the Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder), Maggy Hawk (these pinots are delicious!), and Arcanum (don't miss the "Super-Tuscan"). You can also see their wines at two of the booze seminars hosted by Andrea Robinson, "Power Pairings" and "Sonoma Superstars."
· Wines for IPO Billionaires: In this follow up to the wildly successful Wines for IPO Millionaires from 2014, wine guru Mark Oldman offers attendees the opportunity to taste tens of thousands of dollars worth of wine.
· Gail and Hugh's Top Chef Quickfire: There's nothing quite like watching all-star chefs think on their feet, and in this seminar guests will watch Gail Simmons and Hugh Acheson take on the Quickfire Challenge in Aspen.
· American All-Star Cheese and Wine: Join cheese expert Laura Werlin to learn about America's best wines and cheeses. Yum. Laura's seminars are always a favorite.
*For a full list of seminar schedules, head over to the FOOD & WINE Classic Website.
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