I’m not sure how I got so lucky to attend the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, but somehow I got invited. (And it was everything I had always dreamed of and more!) If you were following along on Instagram, you got to see all the BTS footage of my weekend at the Classic. If you weren’t following along on Instagram, here is the recap…
If you aren’t familiar with the Classic, it’s basically the fashion week for foodies and winos. Every year, the Food and Wine Classic takes Aspen by storm for one weekend. The Classic itself is comprised of many different events: seminars and live cooking demos by celebrity chefs, and tastings with master sommeliers – Brandon and I attended a course of Cabernet Francs, and one about what wine to pair with tacos, because, well…that’s definitely something I need to know! Twice a day, there is a huge event called the Grand Tasting – where thousands of food and alcohol vendors come out to let you taste their goods. You could not imagine how big this Grand Tasting is, but let’s just say if you tried everything in those tents, you would have to get your stomach pumped.
American Express invited me to hang out at the American Express Platinum House all weekend. Stephanie Izard (celebrity chef and owner of the hottest Chicago restaurant The Girl and the Goat) was cooking up food for the house all weekend. The food was incredible! It was so fun to get to watch the chefs in action, as the kitchen was open for us all to view their work. Beyond that, the American Express Platinum House was a dream! And, if you are a Platinum card holder, you are invited to hang out there. Soulcycle started us out each morning at the house (detox to retox baby!). Then, the AMEX house hosted an afternoon of treats and tastings, each day, filled with specialty cocktails, DIY Apron making with Hedley & Bennett, Olive & June manis, DryBar Style and a Balm Dotcom Bar by Glossier. It was the place to be! They even through a poppin’ after party Saturday night, to close out the weekend. It was everything!
As if the weekend itself wasn’t amazing enough, I got to hang out with my girl’s Abby of Denver Darling and Lacey of My Boring Closet – and we even got to bring our boys along for the fun! Juli of PaleOMG joined us, and it was my first time meeting her, but I quickly developed a girl crush. She is seriously one of the nicest humans I have ever met!
We all stayed at the Molly Gibson, who were so kind to host us! If you are not familiar with the Molly Gibson, they are one of the most budget friendly options in Aspen (without having to skimp on quality). Their sister hotel, the Hotel Aspen, is directly across the street from them – and you can even use both facilities no matter which you are staying at, which is awesome because the pool at the Hotel Aspen is pretty sweet! They serve breakfast each morning (which was delicious!) and the staff is super sweet! They even throw weekly barbecues in the courtyard for their guests! Hotels in Aspen are already pretty expensive, but during the weekend of the Food and Wine Classic, you can’t count on them being $1000/night most places. The Molly Gibson and Hotel Aspen are a fraction of that! We stayed in a nice 1 bedroom apartment that was comfortable for us to share, and it adjoined to another room, so there was plenty of space for 4 girls and our 3 boys. Beyond that, the Molly Gibson was such a great location! It is walking distance to everything, but they even have the cutest bikes for you to borrow to get around town.
Tips for attending the Aspen Food and Wine Classic for the first time:
– Bring comfortable shoes! We walked 19,000 steps in the first day along, so you’ll want to wear flats or sneakers so you’re feet aren’t too tired when it’s time to throw heels on in the evening. I’m totally eyeing these white espadrilles for next year!
– Pace yourself! You are going to be eating and drinking A LOT this weekend, so be sure to take small sips and don’t start out too strong, or you will have a rough weekend ahead of you, my friend!
– If you get invited to an event like this, ask the PR company what other bloggers are attending. It’s so nice when you can band together with a group of friends! Although it was amazing, I don’t think it would have been nearly as fun, if I didn’t have my girl’s with me!
– Attend the parties! There are so many different parties happening each evening, each offering a different flare. We attended the Glenlivet Sensory Tasting dinner, where we got to try a 25 year old scotch which goes for about $100 a shot! We also attended the Patron party, which was a blast! Reach out to the brands you think will be there, and ask if they are having parties to see if you can get an invite!
– Visit Maroon Bells. If you’re going to be in Aspen at any point, be sure to check out Maroon Bells. I’ve been wanting to go for years, and it simply did not disappoint. You park in a parking garage and take the shuttle up to the base of the mountain. Beyond that, you can either leisurely walk around and hang out, or you can choose to hike from there. (After the long weekend, we opted for leisure, but I’d love to go back later in the summer and hike it when the flowers are in full bloom.)
I honestly feel so blessed to have been able to attend this event, and hopefully will be lucky enough to get to attend next year. Thanks again to everyone who followed along, and continues to follow along. I wouldn’t be able to attend these events, and live out my dreams, if it weren’t for you and your support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!