All weekend, Eater will be coming to you live from the lovely Viceroy Snowmass hotel to report on all things Aspen Food & Wine Classic.
We're underway at the 2010 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Thursday night was dominated by a José Andrés Wines of Spain party, Mario Batali's Tequila & T-bones dinner with special musical guests Tom Colicchio and Joe Bastianich, but mostly, really, the Lakers/Celtics final.
Friday the panels kicked off in full, New Orleans great John Besh served an insane eight course crawfish lunch to promo his new TV show, while across town Batali teamed up with Tim Love for a pasta and steak throwdown. The crowds lined up for blocks for the wine- and booze-dominated Grand Tasting tents, the demos from Masaharu Morimoto (knife skills) and Batali (Ligurian cooking), and a triple-threat book signing of the aforementioned heavy hitters plus one David Chang.
Oh, and last night's big event was held on top of a mountain, accessible after a 20-minute gondola ride.
1) The place is crawling with Top Cheffers (both the Harolds and the Voltaggios and the Elis, the Jens, the Mike Isabellas) and Baltz Co. pr minions.
2) Big names on site: Batali, Chang, Keller, Cosentino, Andrés, Bastianich, Love, Besh, Morimoto, Bayless, Colicchio. Noticeably absent: Flay, Boulud, JGV, Samuelsson. Update: Nevermind. Samuelson is here.
3) The surprise hit of the weekend: a taco truck, raved about by those who have had it, mystical to those who have yet to find it.
4) We were surprised to hear the cover band at last night's Publisher's Party (the one on top of a mountain) was imported from New York after they launched with Dave Matthews and Eminem. But around the time they started mashing up Prince and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs we realized this was the best wedding band of all time, ever.
5) Our cabbie last night (fun fact: the buses back out to Snowmass stop at 2 AM) said he heard it would be crazy, but the fleet was not prepared for this onslaught in the least.
6) Two unrelated rumors. That Chang and the Kogi truck's Roy Choi are considering a project together. That actress Allison Janney will be at tomorrow's Quickfire event.
7) The question we've heard most often so far: "Where's the weed at?"