With its star-chef presence and around-the-clock offerings of food and drink, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen  is quite possibly the best place to spot the latest culinary trends. Last year, we eyed plenty of fruity-spicy cocktails, sea urchin, and Spanish croquettes , all of which proved to be huge over the past year. When we looked into this year's Classic crystal ball, what did we see? Find out when you keep reading.
Meat-free eating has been talked about in the food community for a while, but I think this is the year in which everyone, from celebrity chef to commoner, is putting it into practice. Michael Symon's seminar topic this year was Meatless Monday, and in his demonstration, he offered up recipes for gnocchi with peas and fava beans and a shaved asparagus salad.
"There will be a vegetable focus that will downplay animal protein," Tom Colicchio said  of his upcoming Bridgehampton restaurant (and the future of food in general). On Sunday, even our producer Donna vowed that "meatless Monday starts tomorrow."
Andrew Zimmern's seminar, Game On! , kicked off the F&W Classic seminars for us, and he showed us how to cook with everything from antelope to elk to even African kudu. The class set the tone for the rest of the food served over the weekend, whether it was Blaine Wetzel's venison with spruce or Beaver Creek chef Dianel Joly's wild Colorado lamb gnocchi.
Top Chef Just Desserts  didn't prompt the trend of taking pastry to the next level; the show merely reflected it.
For the first time ever, Food & Wine named a Best New Pastry Chef, Chris Ford, who was in the tents not far from the Best New Chefs  serving up a pistachio rocky road pudding. A new Friday night event this year? Last Bite, a late-night dessert party hosted by Gail Simmons. Even Grand Cochon was spilling over with desserts, like the porky-chocolate pudding with whipped leaf lard buttercream and cinnamon (shown here), by Naomi Pomeroy of Portland's Beast.
Rabbit has joined the ranks of duck, geese, and other animals that seem too cute to eat yet stun gourmands with their tender, succulent meat. Case in point: the rabbit crepe tacos  prepared at the Stella Artois luncheon and a fork-tender rabbit "cassoulet" served at the Lexus tasting tents.
The first time I tried Greek wines , it was a revelation, but I wasn't yet convinced that Assyrtiko and Moschofilero were on the fast track to becoming mainstream. After seeing both Andrea Robinson's It's All Greek to Me! seminar and the massive Greek wines booth in Aspen, my mind's been swayed. Maybe we'll be seeing bottles decked out with Dafni  after all.