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Entries in Grand Cochon (2)


Food & Wine Bacchanalia in Aspen.


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. 

Starpants servin' it up at F & W Classic in Aspen.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:

Food & Wine GRAND TASTING (The Bacchanal)

Food & Wine SEMINARS




Day drinking with NEGRONI




SKY / KIMPTON / William Grant & Sons

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.

Intoxication at F & W Classic in Aspen.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.

Courtesy Photo: American Express Publishing.Welcome to Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.A.Spin's first ever F & W Seminar....call security.The off-site parties never stop during F & W Classic in Aspen.Patron created the Mojito Lab in Aspen.Thank you sir...I'll have another.

 Chef Andrew Zimmern and actress Allison Janney took home the honors at the Grand Finale Cook-Off at the the Kitchen / stadium at the St Regis.


Food & Wine: Pre-Game. a.k.a. Tent City

The Food & Wine Classic has taken over Aspen.  This will be AspenSpin's first F&W Classic...assuming we can successfully sneak in.   In the old days, blowing $1500 to drink our face off for the weekend wouldn't have required a second thought.  Now after 10 years of skiing every day and partying every night...and receiving media access to almost every event in Aspen...it's crash the party or die.

A-Spin did receive VIP invites to several off-site parties hosted indirectly from the F & W hoopla.  We're especially looking forward to the Grand Cochon at the Hotel Jerome on Sunday June 16...Father's Day.  Everybody loves pig...right?  The Grand Cochon will crown the King and Queen of Porc. 10 chefs in 10 cities will compete for the crown.  Click: PIG for tickets and info.

Food & Wine is BIG Business.  Most people don't realize that event host Food & Wine Magazine is owned by American Express.  5000 guests, thousands of volunteers and staff and an estimated 15,000 man hours of set-up time go into the Food and Wine Classic.  Wagner Park was closed for 3 months in preparation for F & W and its been fenced off for the past week paroled by security guards protecting the tents.  F & W classic is a big deal...but when do the benefits outweigh the good?  I've asked local politicians about the "true economic impact" F & W brings to Aspen. Their eyes roll back in their heads...and they act like they dont understand the question.  Unless I'm mistaken American Express is the big winner from F & W.  Another blip on their income statement, while the town and Wagner Park are held hostage.  No matter if the turf gets trashed every year for a 2 day event.  I'm sure some of Aspen's businesses thrive during the weekend.  F & W puts heads on beds, so thats good...but can't they find a more suitable location to monopolize other than the best green space in town?  Wagner Park is the centerpiece of Aspen...and we rent it out to the highest bidder. Another personal pet peeve, my street is closed and 50% of the parking spots in the A & B sectors of town are reserved for two weeks. The town is over-run with 18 wheelers and heavy equipment bringing in food and gear.  That's in addition to the 15 unrelated major construction projects clogging up the Aspen core right now.

What ev's...hopefully F & W will be HUGE fun. All the alcoholics love it. I'm not really a drinker...but I'll document the scene.  A photo essay about the substance abuse may not win me any awards.  I'm told that  F & W is the hardest drinking weekend of the year, and Aspen is a hard partying town.  Just have one question for ACRA and The City...how does AXP's a$$ taste.

In honor of AspenSpin's first F & W Classic we have penned a little diddy. 

Sung to the tune of Mickey Avalon's, My D*@k:


my tent look like a city  / your tent so itty bitty

my tent all HUGE & white /your tent, a Coor's Lite

my tent all over town / your sh*t look like a clown

my tent, security guards / your tent, right,filled with tards

my tent got a designer /  your tent takes selfies like Anthony D. Weiner

my tent pose like George Clooney  / your tent look like Tim Mooney

my tent a full on metropolis / your tent... Zach Galifianakis

my tent filled with booze & ho's /  your tent got nuttin' to show

Time to let the world know/    Dude, ya gotta let the park grow.    Aspen,  the best in the business / P.S. we got tents like Jesus.

Time to let the world know/    Dude, ya gotta let the park grow.    A-Spin is the best in the business / P.S. we got tents like Jesus.

my tent sized like a dinosauer / your tent, a reoccuring cold sore

my tent dunk like Shaq  / your tent go quack quack quack

my tent got a BIG giant Afro /  your tent cant get a pube to grow

my tent flies private on a G / your tent drives a gremlin from AMC

my tent has cash like Goldman / your tent folds like Lehman

my tent do pilaties /  your tent be sandy like Saudis

my tent squats 550 /  yout tent shops at thrifty

my tent party at da club / your tent nuttin' but a scrub a scrub

my tent, doin shots with shorties / your tent paper bags & forties

Time to let the world know/    Dude, ya gotta let the park grow.    Aspen is the best in the business / P.S. we got tents like Jesus.

Time to let the world know/    Dude, ya gotta let the park grow.    A-Spin is the best in the business / P.S. we got tents like Jesus....tents like Jesus.