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How to Enjoy Aspen Food & Wine Without a Ticket This Weekend

No pass, no problem

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If you missed out on buying tickets to the sold-out Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic, or maybe you just wanted to save the two grand admission price for the three days of revelry, worry not, you can still go. The biggest food festival to happen in Colorado annually features more than seminars and grand tastings. Pop up parties, side events, ticketed runs and brunches that are officially part of the festival but require separate tickets are still an option if you are interested in mingling with culinary celebrities like Daniel Boulud, Padma Lakshmi, Andrew Zimmern, Gregory Gourdet, and so many more. Here’s how to crash the Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic:

RiNo Yacht Club + Occidental Pop-Up

When: Thursday, June 15, 11 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Where: Jimmy’s Bodega, 307 S. Mill Street, Aspen

What: Two of your favorite Denver bars are teaming up to be a part of one of the food and beverage industry’s most talked about events of the year: The Aspen Food & Wine Classic. Presented by the Big Game Preservation Society, this pop-up will bring live music from DJ Simone Says, fried chicken, and of course, killer cocktails to the scene at one of Aspen’s beloved haunts. Admission is free and all proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry and the Colorado Wildlife Federation. More information can be found at the event’s Facebook page.

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RUSTIC GRIND

When: Thursday, June 15, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Where: Fanny Hill, Snowmass Village, Aspen

What: Brought to you by Cochon 555 and Heritage Fire, along with the Snowmass Free Concert Series, Rustic Grind will be heavy on the smoked meats and funky beats. See-I Reggae Funk Band, Roots and Zeebo Steele will be providing the music, which should go very nicely with the Courvoisier cognac slushies and smoked old fashioneds. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online here or at the event.

GREAT DOMAINES OF FRANCE DINNER

When: Friday, June 16, 7 p.m.

Where: Element 47 @ The Little Nell, 675 E. Durant Avenue, Aspen

What: Presented by the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation, this five-course wine paired meal will be hosted by master sommeliers Shayn Bjornholm and Jay Fletcher. Tickets are pricey ($850/person) but can be purchased separately from the Food & Wine Classic Pass. This limited meal will be served to 20 diners on the gorgeous patio of element 47, and will feature dishes like the chilled lobster with avocado and grapefruit, and carved 72 hour short rib. For further details and to reserve your seat, contact Wine Director Carlton McCoy at cmccoy@thelittlenell.com.

FOOD & WINE CHARITY 5K

When: Friday, June 16, 7 - 9:30 a.m.

Where: Rio Grande Park, Aspen

What: Burn off calories for a cause with the Food & Wine Charity 5K on Friday morning, if you can manage the early start time that is. The run is hosted by chefs Richard Blais, Stephanie Izard, and George Mendez, and will benefit Wholesome Wave - a nonprofit aimed at inspiring underserved consumers to make healthier food choices. Runners can register for the 5K in advance for $30, or pay a $40 registration fee on-site the day of the run. For details and to register online, click here.

Heritage Fire Adam Larkey

HERITAGE FIRE

When: Saturday, June 17, 4 - 7:30 p.m.

Where: Snowmass Base Village

What: This fire was first ignited back in 2008 and continues to heat up. 50+ well known chefs and butchers will be grilling heritage breed animals en plein air at the idyllic location in Snowmass. Heritage Fire pays tribute to traditional outdoor cooking from food cultures around the globe. Boutique wines, craft beer and local spirits will be available alongside dry-aged beef, full pigs, lamb, goat, squab, rabbit, artisan cheeses, oysters, heirloom vegetables and more. Scenes from last year can be found here. Tickets can be purchased online.

KRUG CHAMPAGNE LUNCH

When: Saturday, June 17, 12 p.m.

AND LEGACY OPUS ONE DINNER

When: Saturday, June 17, 7 p.m.

Where: Element 47 @ The Little Nell, 675 E. Durant Avenue, Aspen

What: Dive into the entire Krug Champagne portfolio during a decadent lunch on Saturday, and follow it with the Legacy of Opus Dinner later that evening. For dinner, Opus One Winery will be teaming up with the much lauded wine program at The Little Nell to bring a California cabernet tasting experience unlike any other. The Krug Champagne Lunch and Legacy of Opus One Dinner are offered as a paired ticket for $2,000/person. For additional information and to reserve your seats, contact Carlton McCoy at cmccoy@thelittlenell.com.

THE CHAMPAGNE PARTY

When: Thursday, June 15 and Friday, June 16, 10:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.

Where: Chair 9, The Little Nell, 675 E. Durant Avenue, Aspen

What: No Aspen Food & Wine weekend is complete without a stop by Chair 9 at the Little Nell for one of the legendary Champagne parties. This year there will be not one, but two chances to be at the party of the year. No cover fee is required, and you basically have no reason not to attend.

Stephanie Izard
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PLATINUM HOUSE X STEPHANIE IZARD

When: Thursday, June 15 - Sunday, June 18

Where: 1011 Ute Avenue, Aspen

What: Decorated Chicago chef Stephanie Izard and American Express are bringing a four day event into Aspen this weekend for Platinum Card Members to experience. The event will feature signature dishes from Chef Izard, a pop-up greenhouse from Gotham Greens, Beauty Services by DryBar and Olive & June, exercise classes with SoulCycle, and much, much more. If you are an American Express Platinum Cardmember, you are not going to want to miss out on this one. More details can be found here.

FAREWELL BRUNCH: A BUBBLY BRUNCH

When: Sunday, June 18 at 11 a.m.

Where: Hotel Jerome, 330 East Main Street, Aspen

Eggslut creator Alvin Cailan is staring the Farewell Feast: A Bubbly Brunch on Sunday, June 18 at the Hotel Jerome and tickets are still up for grabs. Cailan’s breakfast-friendly staple at Grand Central Market in Los Angeles recently expanded into Venice, Las Vegas and Chef’s Club Counter in New York City. Tickets cost $125 per person and can be purchased online.

If you want to guarantee some culinary celebrity sightings without attending a single event, pull up a chair at the St. Regis, the Hotel Jerome, or The Little Nell and see what happens while you enjoy a meal or a beverage.

For food inspiration on the way to the mountain town, check our guide to eating and drinking from Denver to Aspen.

element 47

675 E Durant Avenue, Aspen, CO 81611 970 920 4600 Visit Website

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