No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016

[su_heading]No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016[/su_heading]

We made a lot of new friends again during the Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016 and guess what? No pass was required.

Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016

This year’s intoxifying satiation took place without ever even stepping into the Grand Tasting Pavilion. With an approximately $1,450 ticket price we were happy to zoom in on the local micro-culture of the festival, since that is what AspenRealLife is all about. Attending everything we were invited to by the locals was more than enough for us, which of course included hanging out at the Aspen Chefs’ House, presented by HipLatina and hosted by Chef Susie Jimenez, of Spice It Up Susie, and the Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath.

No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Susie Jimenez with the Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath. Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Laressa Watlington of Telemundo Denver and Daniel J. Watlington of Denver Promo. Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Clay Wallin and Lisa Cavalli of HipLatina. Photo Credit: Alex Blanco

It’s an incredible valley we live in with such tremendous diverse and phenomenal cultural activities at our fingertips, and the beauty of being a local means that we lucky-folk who live here can dive into the scene, and out again whenever we choose. These cultural festivals that bring in incredible professionals, experts in their fields, are why many of we city/country mice can live here without procuring severe cabin fever.

For us the festival began at a wine tasting in a private home on the East side of Aspen, beginning at 10pm (oy). It was a fabulous event but for one who is not an industry professional and who loves her vino, I was quite happy to swallow what I was tasting which meant I needed to stick with Champagne…all night (or in my case just an hour before I floated on bubbly fumes to catch the bus home).

The next day I attended a book chat at Element 47 in The Little Nell hosted by Aspen Playbook’s Janet O’Grady and featuring Author of The Exes in My Glass, Lisa Mattson. Being that I had more boyfriends in my day than I could ever attempt to keep track of, I was most curious about hearing Mattson speak about the men in her book and I admired her ability to analyze the value of each relationship and how they fed into her self-discovery before finding her perfect companion, with an ultimate message of not jumping into intimacy too soon – (a big too late WOOPS for me). But If I were to do it all over again, being the Bull in the China Shop that I am, I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t navigate single-life living any differently as it was always all about the adventure for me…and the intimacy, until I realized I needed to get serious and find Baddy.

Aspen Chefs’ House

Over the week of Food & Wine we experienced Heritage Fire in Snowmass (thank you Snowmass for the love). If you have been following my blog you already read the experience written by our new contributing writer, Rob Hollis. After Heritage Fire we settled in nicely at Susie’s Aspen Chefs’ House where guests had many drink options from which to choose from, whether it be Herradura Cherry Ginger Margaritas, Lemongrass Rosemary Shooters featuring Stoneyard Distillery Colorado Rum, or silky wine provided by Michael David Winery from Lodi, CA., all paired oh so well with a seafood and wild game menu including; Braised Elk Tostadas, Quail Fried Rice and Wild Boar Carnitas. Being that I am more of a fish person I followed the girl around carrying ceviche inspired sushi, hoping that she didn’t realize that a Bull was on her tail.  And I was in heaven, with a very manageable crowd of great people enjoying our very own food and wine mecca with our very own fantastic chef, Susie Jimenez, our very own Colorado Rum Master Distiller of Stoneyard Distillery, Max Vogelman, and our very own wine connoisseurs from Michael David Winery. We were want for nothing.

No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Susie with Stoneyard Colorado Rum Distillery Photo Credit: Alex Blanco


No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Michael David Winery. Photo Credit: Alex Blanco

Food & Wine Schwag

As if all that wasn’t enough for just a $35 ticket, we were given enormous Schwag Bags that included; a mini cast iron skillet from Camp Chef; an absolutely delicious whole coffee bean “Brazilionaire” blend by Rock Canyon Coffee with smokey notes of chocolate and hints of cherry as espresso; Alaskan Salmon seasoning from Hi Mountain Seasonings; and Polish Sausage Seasoning and French Fry Dust from Weston, to be used from french fries made from an included Weston French Fry Cutter and vegetable dicer. SCHAWING!


And now, with the memories of divine food and spirits still lingering on our palates as we resume back to a life devoid of culinary splendor and premium cocktails, we come up for air only to download content and dive into the next festivals that include Areday, Ideasfest and Wanderlust. Stay tuned!

Photo Gallery Photo Credit: Alex Blanco Photography

Aspen Chefs' House Private Residence
Aspen Chefs’ House Private Residence
Susie and Jillian
Susie and Jillian. Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
No Pass Required Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016
Susie with Stoneyard Colorado Rum Distillery Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
Food & Wine Classic 2016 - No Pass Required
Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
No Pass Required Food & Wine Aspen Classic 2016
Susie’s main man! Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
Photo Credit: Alex Blanco
Photo Credit: Alex Blanco

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Trained as a hypnotist in RTT as well as a Past Life Soul Regression guide, Michelle Bryan takes her clients inward to explore their own subconscious patterns.

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