The St. Regis Aspen Resort Chefs Club patio became the focal point for two new events during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen: a farmers market and a Food Talk radio show.
The farmers market was presented by Source Local Foods, a Boulder-based business that specializes in bringing locally produced foods to restaurants, grocery stores, schools and institutions throughout Colorado.
It makes perfect sense for local food producers to show off their wares during this granddaddy of all food festivals where about every celebrity chef in the U.S. is hanging out for the June weekend. During the 15 or so years I've attended the Food & Wine Classic, chefs drive home the importance of getting the best food ingredients available locally. So it was refreshing to see the Colorado companies front and center. I was proud of what they were serving.
The farmers market provided the snacks for the Chefs Club by Food & Wine kickoff event June 13.
The Chefs Club is a collaboration between Food & Wine Magazine and the St. Regis. Each year, the magazine staff names 10 chefs from across the country as Best New Chefs. The menu at the Chefs Club is created by four former Best New Chefs. That menu is used for six months, and then another group of four is chosen by the F&W staff.
It was a new concept last year when the restaurant opened during the F&W weekend. The idea is to showcase the point of view of young chefs cooking in America today. It's been such a success that Dana Cowin, the editor for the magazine, announced at this year's event that another Chefs Club will open in New York City and another is planned for San Francisco.
Visit chefsclubaspen.com to find out which chefs are cooking and to see their menus.
On June 15, the Chefs Club patio became the studio for a live broadcast of Food Talk, hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian on SiriusXM. We were treated to behind-the-scenes chats with chefs and food industry leaders, including Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Andrew Zimmern, Jos?Andr?, Dana Cowin, Ted Allen, Ming Tsai, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy, Johnny Iuzzine and Carla Hall. There was a bit of good-natured joking and honest conversations about their culinary histories and experiences in restaurants and food television. For me, the most shocking story came from Zimmern. He told of being homeless on the streets, addicted to heroin and alcohol. It was an astonishing story of how he got clean and sober. He told of his amazing journey from being a total loss to becoming a worldwide traveling professional eater, television personality and cookbook author.