It was a bacchanalian weekend in Aspen for the 2013 Food & Wine Classic. Google it here for the definition.
Hedonists from all over the world visited Aspen to eat, drink, network, attend seminars, party and in many cases over-indulge with food & drink. The entire weekend was over the top, a decadent display of sumptuous epicurean delights. Connoisseurs, gourmets and bon vivants from all over the planet came to Aspen to get after it in the gastro-dome.
AspenSpin enjoyed our very first Food & Wine experience as we successfully crashed the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. In it's 31st year, F & W Classic in Aspen is an extremely impressive, World class event. F & W is a well oiled machine, the production and set up are simply incredible. It's BIG business, BIG money and BIG fun. I'll admit it... The Aspen Food & Wine Classic is phenomenal...there I said it. Kudo's to American Express, Food & Wine Magazine, Devin Padgett and all the chefs, workers, staff and volunteers.
Yeah, I've taken a few pot shots at F & W in the past. I admit it... I have a NIMBY-esque & myopic viewpoint. Mainly because I love Wagner Park (my neighborhood) and hate to see it worked so hard as an event space. I'm under the impression that with all that cash and brain power that maybe they could set up on the cement...and it'd be a win /win. Now that I've actually attended F & W I have a little more perspective and about 15 extra lbs to drop.
It's impossible to do it all during Food & Wine weekend...but AspenSpin tried our best. Without a press pass, but with a little help from our friends...we kicked off the Summer with another HUGE weekend of decadence in Aspen.
Click 4 PHOTOS:
F & W is a marvelous event. Even if you're not a foodie or a wine expert...its a lavish spectacle of over-indulgence and depravity. In fact the people watching on the mall is a circus unto itself. The level of extravagance and gluttony and public intoxication is beyond my wildest dreams. I had a mental picture...but that was like a 13" RCA...the real thing is a 3D Imax. There are mountains of fine food prepared by celebrity chefs at venues all over Aspen. The side-parties are off the hook...and the free alchohol flows so abundently that its easier to find booze than a glass of water. The Grand Tasting in the main tent (Wagner Park) is an unbeleivable procession of taste treats. The lamb-chop lolli pops from New Zealand, the Alaskan sea food and the tequila popsicles were my favorites.
It's pretty well known that I don't drink much...even when its a hosted bar. So I can say with almost complete soberiety that the level of alcohol consumption that I witnessed this weekend is... off the MF-ing charts. It seems like the food part of Food & Wine is an important albeit secondary component. The Chefs, the restaurant & liquor people are a hard partying bunch and Aspen... where everything is completely walkable...is where they choose to let it loose.
After the final bacchanalian Grand Tasting the scene moved to The Grand Cochon. Grand Cochon is a 10 chef, 10 city competition & tour celebrating Pork. The giant PIG Out finally threw me into a food coma...or it might have been the tequila milkshake I pounded at the Sky Hotel's gigantic pool party to close out the classic. Either way...A.Party was spent.
It was a non-stop party for 4 days.