Have you ever dreamed of a place where you could drink endless sips of the finest bubbly in the world, try delicious bites created by iconic chefs, mingle with some really cool people, and enjoy some of nature’s finest views? This place does exist and we were just there last week… We’re talking about a little place called Aspen. The Aspen Food and Wine Classic, to be exact.
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The Aspen Food and Wine Classic started back in 1983 with about 300 attendees and a focus on fine wine. Today, Food and Wine Magazine hosts the whole shebang and sells it out every year with 5000+ guests. There are nearly 100 culinary classes, lectures and seminars throughout the weekend, plus five sessions of Grand Tastings in the festival’s iconic white tents. You’re likely to rub elbows with some of the food industry’s finest – past attendees include Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Marcella Hazan, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pépin, Bobby Flay, and Nancy Silverton, to name a few. The food, the drinks, the view, the talent, and let’s be real – the ticket price – make this the culinary event of a lifetime!
For the past six years, DRY Soda Co. has been one of the only non-alcoholic options featured during the Grand Tasting events. Our CEO and Founder, Sharelle Klaus, has had the honor of attending on behalf of DRY nearly every year. In 2018, we were especially excited to feature our new Pineapple and Watermelon DRY Sparkling Summer Celebration bottles along with our latest line extension, DRY Zero Sugar organic sodas.
Each year we talk to hundreds of people who are trying our stuff for the first time, and hundreds more who are mega fans. Because we are one of the only non-alcoholic beverages on site, we get really busy when people need a refreshing break from the booze! In 2018, we were excited to chat with Richard Blais who tried new DRY Zero Sugar sodas and chef Ludo Lefebvre who signed one of his cookbooks for us.
There is certainly work to be done during the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, but we are left with plenty of time for fun, too. Here are the must-see events and experiences of the weekend.
The Celebrity Chef 5k, which magically melts all the calories ingested over the weekend. We met magic-maker Chef Christina Tosi here in 2017. (And then we ate her famous crack pie, because, balance.)
Post Celebrity Chef 5k, where we tried and failed to keep up with the amazing Christina Tosi.
Milk Bar’s infamous “Crack Pie”
The Grand Tastings: Chefs are offering bites and taking them, too. And of course, there’s no shortage of fabulous beverages for anyone with a ticket. Not pictured, but a massive hit: Top Chef contestant Chef Fatima Ali’s shrimp mocktail. Scroll to check out some of our other faves.
All the sustainably farmed seafood you can get your hands on, including this beautiful salmon from 2017’s event.
Candied bacon hanging from clotheslines courtesy of Aspen Kitchen, aka the sexiest laundry we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Burrata with quinoa “caviar” from the chefs of Peru.
Boozy tiki popsicle from Patron
Chefs Curtis Stone, Anne Burrell, and Andrew Zimmern popping open a well-deserved bottle of wine.
The dreamiest french toast from Chef Michael Mina
The Cheese Plates: They serve over 10,000 bottles of bubbly during this event – and what’s a better friend to bubbly than cheese? We bet you won’t find a better or more frequent selection than in Aspen.
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The Views and the Gondola: Take a break from the buzz below and hop on the gondola for pristine views of the Rockies and the town below.
DRY Soda Co.’s Aspen crew circa 2015
After Parties and Extra Extras! It seems like every brand and association in Aspen hosts an after party or extra event – and we’re not complaining. Talk to your well connected friends to earn an invite or a guest list spot at these exclusive invite-only soireés!
“Fire in the Hole” served in jalapeños in 2015.
In 2018, the Campari Group offered complimentary Aperol Spritz mocktails at an offsite patio bar on every day of the festival. We’re not sure how they pulled this off, but we took full advantage.
We are already counting down the days until Aspen Food and Wine Classic 2019 and what new products we might have by next year. Want to see even more behind the scenes highlights from our most recent weekend in Aspen? Head to our Instagram Story Highlights to see all of the action.