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Mountain Mayhem: Food & Wine Classic Favorites

Gary Obligacion, Alicia Towns Franken, Robin McBride, host Kwame Onwuachi, Fariyal Abdullahi and Victoria Russell gather at a Juneteenth celebration at the Aspen Meadows.
May Selby

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen was a welcome return to the summer calendar over the weekend of June 17-19. As always, pacing oneself was the name of the game, along with fitting in as much as possible. After making the rounds from attending seminars to toasting at the grand tastings to taking part in brand activations and hitting up house parties, I’ve compiled some of my favorites from the Classic this year.

Favorite kick-off party: Aspen Magazine presented a precursor to the festivities at Limelight Hotel Aspen on Wednesday with a selection of partners providing drinks, food, Socialite Photos and DJ Naka G. 

Favorite gift bag: The American Express and Resy Night Market party at Ajax Tavern on Thursday featured a takeaway with local products like bites from Jus, skincare from Antedotum and Aspen Crunch gluten-free granola. 



Favorite brunch: Minuty Rosé, founded in 1936 in Provence, presented a fabulous brunch at a private residence with Clark’s Oyster Bar as the caterer serving up lobster rolls, crab cakes, burgers and more.

Large format bottles of Minuty rosé were on tap at a fabulous brunch hosted by Sebastien Nore and Anne Victoire Matton with Minuty and importer Craig Collins, MS.
May Selby

Favorite lunch: Aspen Street Lodge was taken over by Justin Sutherland, Joe Sasto and Brady Lowe with various events, including a Ribera y Rueda Wine Lunch paired with Spanish apps.




Favorite bite at the Grand Tastings: Poolboy tacos out of Phoenix were the rage all weekend with street tacos packed with flavor. 

Favorite seminar: Mark Oldman’s Grand Hotel du Vin, a fictional five-star hotel, was a popular option with large format bottles, super cool swag and the host in a bellhop outfit dishing out wine wisdom with his approachable humor.

Favorite rooftop party: Kemo Sabe’s outdoor stairwell, which leads to one cool roof, was the way to get to one cool rooftop party on Friday, with a live musician and full bar. 

Favorite dance party: Hendrick’s Gin hosted a riveting dance party on Friday night in the space just off the Living Room with DJ Dylan on the decks.

Dancing the electric slide to a live band at the Aspen Meadows’ Juneteenth celebration.
May Selby

Favorite new event: The Aspen Meadows’ Juneteenth Celebration was the perfect way to wind down the weekend with food by Chef Kwame Onwuachi, wine by the McBride Sisters and a live house band that even spawned a dance party with the electric slide.


Favorite new friend: I had the pleasure of connecting with Filipino Chef Paolo Dungca, whose dish graces the cover of the current issue of Food & Wine magazine — two highly-seasoned pork patties on a bright purple ube bun and a secret sauce. 

That’s my round-up for this year. Now I need to recuperate from the weekend and look forward to 2023, which will mark 40 years of the Classic in Aspen. 

Filipino Chef Paolo Dungca serves up his picturesque dish of pork patties in a purple bun with secret sauce and more, also the cover photo of the current issue of Food & Wine magazine.
May Selby
Scott Kotchko and Mandi Meng with Hotel Jerome at Codigo Tequila’s tasting party at Felix Roasting Co.
May Selby
Tracy Eggleston and Cari Kuhlman toast with a cardboard cut-out of the Rock, whose Teremana Tequila Blanco was a hit at the Classic.
May Selby
Chef Tyler Florence of Food Network fame poses at a Grand Tasting.
May Selby
Alicia Joines of Citizens of Humanity with Lindsay Mark of Calirosa Tequila have a little fun at a courtyard pop-up party with AGOLDE and Jenni Kayne.
May Selby
Chicago chef Stephanie Izard with Greg Biggers at the Classic’s opening night party at Hotel Jerome.
May Selby
Wine expert Mark Oldman and Coravin founder Greg Lambrecht after a blind tasting challenge at The Wine Bar at The Little Nell (filmed by Jason Wise with Somm TV).
May Selby
Little Nell chefs Oscar Carrasco, Megan McGarvey, Matt Doyle, Rob Horch, Eric Wateski and Matt Zubrod at the Father’s Day Grand Tasting.
May Selby
Dustin Rowe whips up Dustino’s Pizza Strada for hours at the Lift Vodka party at Lance Armstrong’s house.
May Selby
Julie Young, Colbi Corbett with Casa Del Sol Tequila and James Young gather at a Grand Tasting.
May Selby

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