After three years of attending the Aspen Food and Wine Fest, I’ve learned to love the fact that you never know who you may bump into.
It almost feels like summer camp, but instead of team sports- we compete with how much pork we can consume at one sitting. (This actually happened between Me Jason Vincent and Michael Votaggio). My tight jeans are telling me I won.)
This year was a little different. My guy Jason Vincent was named 2013’s Best New Chef and I could not have been happier for the fellow phish fan.
Jason knew I would be at the event, so he asked me if I would help with his tasting on Saturday morning. No brainer. So I joined Danny Grant (best new chef last year) , and Jason Hammel ( LuLa Café) and it felt more like a party than work.
Food and Wine friends Dana Cowin and Kate Krader stopped by to say hello and Kate marveled at the fact that Chicago was so well represented and that we’d help out our friend at his table.
After the Grand Tasting I high tailed it over to the Jerome hotel to start prepping for my event with Jamie Bissonnette from Toro Restaurant in Boston. The two of us were working a pop-up tapas bar at the Jet Set store hosted by Brady from Cochon 555.
The turnout was amazing and it would have been a perfect event- except for the fact that the Hawks lost to the Bruins and Jamie wouldn’t let me forget about it.
Sunday kicked off with judging the Cochon 555 event. I got to hang with Jason again and Andrew Zimmern was chatting with us while we all tasted 30 different pork dishes from some of the best Chefs in the country. Yes 30- I disgust even myself sometimes.Adam Sobel from Rn74 in San Fran who was crowned The Prince of Pork, and it was a well-deserved win.
After three days of non stop eating, laughing and having feeling like an old man due to the crazy altitude…I couldn’t wait to come back to Chicago. Cheers Aspen, until next year.