People enjoying food and wine.

Food & Wine Classic in Aspen 2024

JUNE 14-16, 2024

THE SHORT VERSION

In the Rockies of Aspen, Colo., this is the event for rubbing elbows with the glitterati of the food world while wearing bolo ties and expensive denim.

Every summer, Aspen trades skis for snacks at the Food & Wine Classic. Set against the dramatic peaks of Aspen, Colo., this event has been running for over 40 years now — and is a top destination for those eager to indulge in fine wine and rub elbows with the glitterati of the food world.

Capped at 4,000 people and with a steep price tag of $2,950, exclusivity is part of what you’re paying for — think self-proclaimed “chef whisperer” Tyler Florence showing off his latest creations while attendees clad in bolo ties and Gucci sunglasses clink champagne flutes. Over 40 cooking demos and beverage seminars will be held with a star-studded roster of chefs including esteemed wine writer Anthony Giglio, Claudia Fleming of New York classic Gramercy Tavern and Fauchon in Paris, and James Beard Award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi. On the schedule so far are classes such as Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs & Juice: Classic & Modern Cocktails, How Iconic Restaurants Build a Legacy, and Fine Wine Meets Crunchy Cravings.

The Grand Tasting Pavilion is the heart of the action — it’s open five times throughout the weekend — and serves bites and pours from over 150 brands. It’s included in the consumer ticket and is an Instagram goldmine for those who like their meals meticulously plated and perfectly lit. Last year some highlights were stuffed parathas, potato-stuffed kulcha, and barbecue shrimp washed down with ginger, lime and Meyer lemon mezcal margarita rimmed with lime leaf salt. 

Feeling fancy? Or should we say, fancier? For a cool five grand, the Food & Wine Gives Pass throws you into the VIP stratosphere. This gets you access to swanky parties like the Welcome Party and Top of the Mountain Party, and a ticket to the Classic Cookout, Aspen Mountain’s fanciest al fresco nosh-up. A portion of the proceeds from this higher tier pass will be donated to charitable organizations such as Southern Smoke Foundation and No Kid Hungry. This is an event for those who take their gourmandizing seriously—and have the bank account to match.

Here’s who is set to attend the culinary event this year: Tyler Florence, Kristen Kish, David Chang, Danny Meyer, Stephanie Izard, Andrew Zimmern, Maneet Chauhan, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet and Nancy Silverton, as well as the winner of the Bravo’s upcoming Top Chef season 21. Also among the more than 70 figures expected at the culinary festival are Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs’ class of 2023. From the drinks world, you’ll see Tiffanie Barriere, Anne Becerra, Julia Coney, Ray Isle, Wanda Mann, Gary Obligacion, Mark Oldman, Sabato Sagaria, and Toni Tipton-Martin.

The Specs

  • The food and wine classic is capped at 4,000 guests.
  • The “Consumer” pass is priced at $2,950 and the Food & Wine Gives Pass starts at $5,000.
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s Guide to Aspen.

FAQs

What is the closest airport to the festival? 

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is the easiest and just a few miles from the city center. 

Who can attend?

Adults 21+ are welcome—Glitterati, especially. 

When is this ‘“unofficial kick-off” to summer (their words)?

This fest runs June 14-16.

Who is Food & Wine’s editor in chief?

Hunter Lewis.

Where should I stay? 

Aspen, Colorado is packed with ritzy hotels and home rentals, though Stay Aspen Snowmass is the festival’s official reservation center. Folks there will help you navigate the festival.

It’s my first time attending. What should I expect?

Well, lots of food and wine set against a Rocky Mountains-backdrop, for starters, along with three days of cooking demonstrations, panel discussions, wine tastings and spirit seminars. The element that differentiates the Aspen Food & Wine Classic is the exclusivity and the appearance of celebrity chefs, some of the best new chefs in the country, wine experts, and prominent winemakers, and others who could be deemed influential figures in these worlds.

When is the inaugural Food & Wine Classic in Charleston?

That food and wine festival is set for September 27-29, 2024.

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BY Logan Davis