Anyone who's ever attended the craziness of Aspen's FOOD & WINE Classic knows that come Monday, festival goers are in need of some detox and a green smoothie. Between the parties, the charity events, the damn good food, and of course all the drinks, the Classic is one of our favorite weekends of the summer. We've rounded up the top highlights, from the best chef quotes to the baller late-night shin-digs of 2015.
Best quotes of the weekend:
1. Jamie Bissonnette, co-owner of Toro NYC, Toro Boston, and Coppa: "Saffron is a lot like kissing, too much tongue makes it uncomfortable."
2. Mark Oldman, wine expert: "Wine is a vampire shield against the mind-numbing vicissitudes of life."
3. Anthony Giglio, wine expert, on preparing for FOOD & WINE: "I tasted 5,000 bottles between January and May. You know why I did it? I did it for you!"
4. Dana Cowin, Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine: "At Food & Wine, we obsess over the next ingredient, the next flavor. Sometimes a neighborhood is an ingredient. It's not always kale."
Best tastes/bites of the weekend:
1. The Appleton Rum slushies in the Grand Tasting Tent. Enough send.
2. The pork dumplings by Washington D.C.'s Danny Lee at Grand Cochon in Snowmass. Everyone we know went back for at least three. Overall, the chefs at Grand Cochon really pulled out all the stops in Aspen.
3. Food & Wine Best New Chef Carlos Salgado, owner of Taco Maria in Los Angeles, presented what might have been the best bite of the whole festival: a scallop aguachile with cucumbers, Serrano chiles, squid ink and hoja santa. Excuse us, we're hopping on a plane to LA right this second.
4. At the Infinite Monkey Theorem Wine at the Mine party, chefs from Basta and Cart-Driver impressed with a wood-fired pizza topped with clams, oysters, octopus, kimchi, and red pepper.
1. Jordan Salcito's Champagne seminar: Nothing starts a Classic seminar off right quite like when a presenter takes the stage dressed as Austin Powers. But that's just what Jodan Salcito did, right before she threw the spit bucket off stage and proclaimed, "We won't be needing these." The seminar also debuted a 2005 Dom Perigean for the first time. Now that's how you do FOOD & WINE.
2. Wines for IPO Billionaires by Mark Oldman: How was Mark Oldman supposed to top last year's seminar, Wines for IPO Millionaires? By upping the ante and doing a seminar on wines for IPO Billionaires. With each person in the tent drinking about $2,000 (retail) of wine during the tasting, the lineup was stellar. And the only thing that topped the quality of the wines was Oldman's over-the-top performance. This guy always makes wine fun.
1. Dancing Bear's First Crush rooftop kickoff party: While the St. Regis always throws a fun welcome reception, this year Curbed Ski headed to the Dancing Bear's rooftop party to start the Classic off right. With cheese curated by Laura Werlin, grilled delicacies from 7X beef, and wine from Wren Hop Cellars, the party was the perfect way to start our weekend of decadence.
2. The Little Nell's Red Light Lounge: If the Little Nell throws a party, you want to be there. For 2015, the hottest ticket in town was for the Red Light Lounge, a party hosted by famed sommelier Carlton McCoy and held in the 20,000 bottle wine cellar. An exclusive list of who's who in the food world gathered for some serious wine debauchery. Bloody Mary's were a must the following morning.
3. The Open Table Champagne + Sushi Party at Matsuhisa: The second edition of this banging party debuted this year and it was just as good as last year. Can you really go wrong with food this good and champagne that flows like water?
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