Highlights: "[The festival] began with a phenomenal opening party with [Spanish chef and restaurateur ] Jose Andres' Think Food Group. The rooms were packed with aficionados, foodies and wine experts from New Zealand to Napa to Baltimore. I was at an event called the Chef's Club from Food & Wine [magazine] and bumped into Maryland's own Michael Voltaggio....I met chef Jacques Pepin and his daughter, Claudine, and [Mark Stroobandt], the world-famous master beer sommelier. I sat in a social media seminar with Andrew Zimmern [Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods"] and John Besh [PBS cooking show host] and Chris Cosentino, the "Top Chef Masters" champion known for his pork and bacon. Everywhere you looked was a stunning vista - a beautiful mountain, a clear blue sky, maybe a passing cloud. Then you look down. and there's the world's best chefs preparing wonderful food." If you go: United Airlines flies from BWI through Denver into Aspen, Colo. Tickets for the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, held each year in June, go on sale in December. A day pass is $700 per person, while a full package is around $3,500. For more information, go to foodandwine.com/classic.
Photo courtesy of Food & Wine