Party Like a Rockstar

Food & Wine Weekend Without a Pass: 2018 Edition

No lanyard, no problem–we've got you covered.

By Aspen Sojourner Staff June 13, 2018

Get ready for an evening of tantalizing wood-fired eats at Heritage Fire. 

Image: Cochon555

The annual Food & Wine Classic (June 15-17) is Aspen’s tastiest—and toughest—ticket of the summer. This year marks the festival’s 36th anniversary, and thousands of foodies will come to town to indulge in the three-day culinary celebration. The Grand Tasting Pavilion is the epicenter of the weekend, with endless food and wine tastings, while cooking demos, wine seminars, and panel discussions are held at other venues all over town.

The event itself is sold out, but if you’re a local sans pass or decide on a last-minute weekend getaway, you can still be a part of the action. Take advantage of one of the open-to-the-public events in addition to a growing list of unofficial festivities.

Follow us (and your favorite celebrity chefs) around the Food & Wine Classic all weekend for the best bites, standout sips, and chef shenanigans on social media @aspensojourner. Woman-about-town extraordinaire Lucy Lea Tucker will be taking over our Instagram account, sharing scenes from all of the best parties and other exclusive gatherings. And if you’re a lucky passholder, don’t forget to download the official Food & Wine Classic app to help you navigate the tents. 

Friends and Fellows Ride and Lunch
Thursday, June 14, 9 a.m., The Little Nell

An amazing ride, delicious food, and wine tastings? Yes, please! This 32-mile roundtrip ride takes a scenic route from the hotel through the Ashcroft valley, with bikes provided by Allied Cycle Works, ambassadors including former pro cyclists Robbie Ventura and Craig Lewis, and mechanical and SAG wagon support from The Little Nell. After your ride, enjoy a patio lunch at Element 47 prepared by executive chefs Matthew Zubrod from The Little Nell and Cassidee Dabney from the Barn at Blackberry Farm. The multi-course menu includes wine pairings from Wine Director Carlton McCoy, M.S. $200 for ride and lunch, $150 for lunch only  reservations available online at or via the RESY app, 

Bubbles, Buddhi & Beats (Haute Buddhi Yoga)
Thursday, June 14, 5 p.m., Shakti Shala

Start your extended weekend off right with a dance and yoga class led by the effervescent Jayne Gottlieb and Marisa Hallsted (be prepared to twerk!), along with music by DJ Bhakti Styler, and an opening toast to celebrate mindful drinking and meditation, featuring lavender and tequila spritzers with habanero-grapefruit Mezcal in a flower shooter or cucumber-watermelon-tea tree-Cava refreshers. $35,

The Little Nell Champagne Party
Thursday, June 14 & Friday, June 15, 10:30 p.m.–1:30 a.m, Chair 9 at The Little Nell

With its 20,000+ bottle wine cellar and award-winning cuisine, the Nell is pretty much the Classic's unofficial HQ. For the third year running, Chair 9 lounge opens for two late-night soirees presented by Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot, with DJs spinning the beats. No cover, no list, no reason not to stay up. Due to a private event prior, Friday's night party will begin at 11 pm; No cover, cash bar with drink specials and bar menu available,

Rustic Grind  
Thursday, June 14, 6:30
–8:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village

Produced by the team behind this weekend's Heritage Fire, this preview to Saturday's main event features wood-fire–grilled sausages paired with wine and hand-crafted cocktails from Breckenridge, El Tesoro Tequila, and Courvoisier. The backdrop? Self-proclaimed "world beat rock band" Elektric Voodoo (led by a former member of Grace Potter's band), playing as part of the Snowmass Free Concert Series on Fanny Hill. $40 wristband (all-inclusive), free (music only),

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Food & Wine Celebrity Chef 5K Charity Race
Friday, June 15, 7–9:30 a.m., Rio Grande Park

Earn those extra calories on this early morning run through downtown Aspen with your favorite foodies. Proceeds from registration benefit Food & Wine's national campaign Grow for Good, which raises awareness and fund for increasing consumer access to local, sustainably grown foods. Grow for Good's main beneficiary is Wholesome Wave, which helps underserved communities get access to healthy, affordable food and provides capital for regional farmers. $30 (advance), $40 (on site),

Rosé All Day & Aspen Shakti Fragrance Launch
Friday, June 15, 1–5 p.m.

Experience Aspen Shakti’s brand-new signature summer fragrance by learning about the main notes in the scent, as well as playing at the flash tattoo bar and, of course, sipping rosé all day long. No cover,

JAS Cafe Downstairs: A New Orleans Feast
Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., Cooking School of Aspen

This promises to be a memorable experience, with the energetic music of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and a tasting menu straight from Bourbon Street's Galatoire, prepared by the restaurant's head chef, Michael Sichel. $125,

Château Palmer Wine Dinner
Friday, June 15, 7 p.m., Element 47 at The Little Nell

Expect to have your taste buds dazzled by this five-course meal prepared by Executive Sous Chef Keith Theodore and paired with rare vintages representing five decades of Château Palmer. Jean-Louis Carbonnier, director of the Americas for Château Palmer, will speak during the evening. $950, reservations are available online at or via the RESY app,

Champagne Flow(s)
Saturday, June 16, 11 a.m., Shakti Shala

This 60-minute "journey of the senses" class lets you go deeper to enliven and revitalize your body during these days of excess. Taste bubbles from different regions while doing breath work and yoga postures under the tutelage of Jayne Gottlieb, accompanied by DJ Bhakti Styler. $35,

Harlan Estate Wine Dinner
Saturday, June 16, 7 p.m., Element 47 at The Little Nell

Indulge in a five-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Zubrod, paired with wines from one of the world's consistently top-rated producers. Don Weaver, director of Harlan Estate, hosts the evening, sharing insights and stories.  $1,450, reservations are currently available online at or via the RESY app,

Heritage Fire
Saturday, June 16, 4 p.m.–7 p.m. (VIP entrance at 3 p.m), Snowmass Base Village

Complementing the Food & Wine Classic, this annual ode to sustainably sourced meats and seafood roasted, smoked, and grilled over open fires is the summer feast you don't want to miss. More than 50 chefs and butchers from around the country turn Base Village into the ultimate barbecue venue, with craft wine, beer, cider, and cocktails as welcome accompaniments. $150 (general admission), $200 (VIP), 

Heaven for the Hungover
Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m., Shakti Shala

Replenishing and hydrating elixirs like rosewater, aloe, and rosemary sparkling water are paired with recovery beats by DJ Bhakti Styler and light yoga and mindful meditations by Jayne Gottlieb. $35,

Lobsters, Wolves & Angels Brunch
11 a.m.–2 p.m., Aspen Kitchen

Wrap up your weekend in style, or simply come and enjoy an amazing brunch with your favorite father figure. $100, reservations required,

Farewell Feast: F&W Restaurants of the Year
Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m., Hotel Jerome

This decadent walk-around tasting brunch features dishes from the 10 establishments voted Restaurant of the Year by Food & Wine editors. $150,  

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