FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen (photo credit: FOOD & WINE)

The annual FOOD & WINE Classic (June 15-17) is undoubtedly Aspen’s tastiest…and toughest ticket of the summer.  This year marks the legendary festival’s 30th anniversary and more than 5,000 foodies will indulge in a three-day culinary celebration.  The Grand Tasting Pavilion is the epicenter of the weekend, with endless food and wine tastings, lively cooking demonstrations, interactive seminars and panel discussions. Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Giada DeLaurentiis, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Tom Colicchio are just a few of the epicurean masters who are FOOD & WINE Classic regulars.  There’s also an eager crop of up-and-comers who get to showcase their talents, including Bravo’s most recent “Top Chef” winner, Paul Qui.

Despite the hefty price tag (just over $1,000 per pass!), access to the tent in Wagner Park is long gone.  But, if you’re a local sans pass or decide on a last-minute weekend getaway, you can still be a part of the action.  Lucky for you, the FOOD & WINE Classic folks have added a few new events this year open to the public with tickets still available:

Charity 5K hosted by Bobby Flay
Friday, June 15, 6:30 am
Rio Grande Park
Registration: $30 (general), $225 (run with the chefs)

Earn those extra calories with an early morning run through downtown Aspen.  Proceeds from registration benefits Wholesome Wave, the national non-profit dedicated to supporting small and midsize farms, and making fresh, healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables available to under-served communities.

Last Bite Dessert Party
Friday, June 15, 10:00 pm
Hotel Jerome
Tickets: $95

Hosted by Gail Simmons of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts”  this decadent event will feature an over-the-top spread of cakes, pastries, meringues, parfaits, tarts and petit fours – all paired with innovative cocktails.

30th Anniversary Concert
Saturday, June 16, 6:30 pm
Benedict Music Tent
Tickets: $350

Elvis Costello & The Blue Beguilers will perform a special concert benefiting the Chefs Make Change initiative, which supports all the chefs’ charities of choice. Ticket also includes dinner on the lawn from acclaimed chefs José Andrés, Mario Batali and Michel Nischan.

Grand Cochon presented by Le Creuset
Sunday, June 17, 3:30 pm
Hotel Jerome
Tickets: $150 (general admission), $200 (VIP)

It’s the grand finale of ten regional heritage pig competitions from around the country,   which includes more than 30 chef dishes, butcher demos, reserve wines, beer, artisan cocktails and pig-infused desserts.  The audience and panel of 20 expert judges will crown the “King or Queen of Porc” at this ultimate celebration of swine.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit:

Check back with us throughout the weekend for live coverage of the 30th Anniversary FOOD & WINE Classic.  Until then, follow FOOD & WINE on Facebook and Twitter (#fwclassic)!


Katie Shapiro is one of Denver’s (and now Aspen’s) resident gals about town. A “Jill” of all trades, she is a freelance writer, blogger, and PR guru. She likes skiing, drinking Manhattans, scarves, recycling, to-do lists, Gittel, and putting pins in the map. Check back often for the latest in travel, music, fashion, culture, and happenings. @kshapiromedia