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2011 Aspen Food & Wine Classic Hangover Observations

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Another year of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen has come and gone. Before we turn the page on the 2011 edition, here are some final thoughts on the weekend that was:

1) Unexpected celebrity sightings: Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. More unexpected: Mario Lopez aka AC SLATER.

2) Drew Nieporent screened Paul Liebrandt flick A Matter of Taste in the private jet (shared with other luminaries like Danny Meyer and Michael White) out and pretty much kept postcards for the movie on his person at all times.

3) Chris Cosentino was a man of many shirts: First with the I am Ruth Bourdain t-shirt, and then the Hater t-shirt that he wore only for a panel.

4) At the same panel, Steve Dolinsky intro'd Danny Meyer as "The man has more Beard Awards than Todd English has licensing deals."

5) Friday night, Jose Andres getting denied entry at the 121 Club — Tim Love's trailer dance party — that ended up getting shut down by the cops. But not before the Domino's pizza showed up.

6) We heard that Jose Andres got grumpy at a panel when Steve Dolinsky tried to reign him in. And that Lidia Bastianich could not stop talking about Eataly.

7) At the Best New Chefs event, the People's Best New Chef Jamie Bissonnette was sent to the basement. Bissonnette, known for his nose-to-tail cookery — there are many, many photos of him with a pig slung over his shoulder — was asked (told) to make dessert. Still did a fantastic job.

8) We hear Mario Batali's pilot was running around town on Saturday — specifically to a dive bar or two — looking for Bloody Mary mix that was required to be on board for the flight out the next day.

9) Spotted outside the Best New Chefs party 30 minutes prior to opening: a certain unnamed restaurateur cutting down a lilac bush for his floral display, because his vase had broken to pieces in transport.

10) Aspen's hottest club was the 646: This party had everything: Jim Meehan-designed punch, Robert Bohr-provided wine, New York Pizza, bathrobes. Attending: White, Lafrieda, Pastore, Dieterle, Canlis, Guidara, Krader, Nieporent, Meehan, Leventhal, and more.

11) Rando restaurants world tidbits: A chef under Iron Chef America star Jose Garces says he looks to be moving closer to opening three, count 'em three, restaurants in forthcoming Atlantic City casino Revel. And, when Shake Shack opens in Kuwait next month, their culinary head Mark Rosati will spend an entire month there training and overseeing the new spot.

11) After careful research done this weekend, we've confirmed what we've long believed to be true—Kate Krader has a clone.

For more coverage, see:

· Kathie Lee and Hoda's Report [NBC]
· Grand Cochon: 10 Pigs, 10 Chefs [Food Republic]
· A Glimpse at Aspen's Grand Cochon [Yum Sugar]
· A Day in the Life of Kate Krader [Yum Sugar]
· Andrew Zimmern Says "Bizarre" Is All Relative [Eatocracy]
· Chef Michel Nischan on Curing an Unhealthy Food System [Eatocracy]
· All of Plum TV's Coverage [Plum TV]
· Aspen Food and Wine Classic 2011 [Metromix]
· Steve Dolinksy's Recap [WBEZ]
· José Andrés and Places Other Than New York Ruled the 2011 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen [The Feast]
· A Look Back at the 2011 ‘Food & Wine’ Classic in Aspen [GS]

· All Aspen Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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