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It was one of those Cinderella moments as I descended Independence Pass into Aspen for the Food & Wine Classic. I had dreamed of going to this event for years and I was finally here. After checking into my modest hotel with Becky we wondered over to the patio at Ajax Tavern. Snuggled against Aspen Mountain and part of the Little Nell, Ajax Tavern is the place to people watch. Within minutes Chef Matt Selby from Vesta Dipping Grill and his beautiful wife Gina joined us. Also hanging out on the patio was Kelly Kingsford, chef from Mateo in Boulder. We snacked on pate, truffle fries and mussels and watched Mario Batali amble by. Could it get any better than this?

Apparently it could. Later that evening we enjoyed at pig roast at Jose Andres house. We moved on from that fabulous party to the magnum party at the Little Nell. Here we met Caleb Foster, winemaker at Buty Winery in Seattle. We drank his amazing Syrah and then met up with local chef Ryan Hardy for the caviar party. Housemade blinis’ and potato chips tasted amazing with the salty caviar they were dishing up. We ended the night with Becky’s favorite beverage, mezcal at Jimmy’s.  What would be in store for us in the morning?

More to follow about Aspen Food & Wine – a tramp stamp sunburn, Giada De Laurentiis and an impromptu dinner with the chefs from Lark.