"What's the best thing that you ate?" Everyone keeps asking me this question about the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. While I ate a lot, there are certain stellar dishes that stand out in my mind. From José Andrés's tomato bread to Richard Blais's butterscotch ice cream, here are my favorite bites from the festival.
Popcorn may not be the first food pairing that comes to mind when drinking wine, but Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson thinks it's time to change that.
"Popcorn is great with wine," said Robinson, who discovered the pairing when she was first starting out at New York's International Wine Center.
"I went into the kitchen to microwave some popcorn, and there was a free bottle of Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay. It was my first 'Aha!' wine pairing moment." Here are some of Robinson's favorite wine-and-popcorn flavor combinations.
- Thyme popcorn or pesto popcorn with Napa Cabernet. Pesto will bring out the Cabernet's cedar notes, and is a great meat-free bridge to big red wines.
- Wasabi popcorn + Riesling. The wine counterbalances wasabi's heat.
- Paprika or hickory with Pinot Noir. Smoky elements complement the spice notes in a Pinot.
- Aged gouda popcorn with barrel-fermented Chardonnay. "Eating aged gouda with barrel-fermented Chardonnay is like eating unsweetened crème brûlée!"
Have you ever tried eating popcorn alongside a glass of vino?
Source: Flickr User Mike Miley
At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, I sat down for a quiet chat with one of my favorite food personalities, chef and restaurateur Michael Chiarello.
The chef looked laid-back, but debonair in a yellow sweater and formfitting black pants. We talked about his participation on the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef and his other upcoming projects, which include an iconic restaurant and live-fire cookbook!
To find out what he had to say, read on.
We spotted Ming Tsai at a late-night party in Aspen for the Food & Wine Classic Friday evening — so it wasn't a surprise to find the chef roughing it a little at his early-morning cooking demo the next day. Still, the Next Iron Chef contestant and Blue Ginger proprietor managed to bring his best when it came to wit and cooking skills.
Ming made a number of dishes from his new cookbook, Simply Ming One-Pot Meals, but my favorite was his demonstration of a dish called Clams, Pork, and Jicama, in which he offered up a number of helpful tips that I wasn't familiar with. Follow these bivalve suggestions next time you cook at home, and you'll be happy as a clam. To see them, keep reading.
Although the 2011 Food & Wine Classic has come and gone, I'm still savoring all the delicious memories. One thing that stands out in my mind is the special dinner we attended on Friday evening at the recently opened rustic-chic Casa Tua in Aspen. The event was hosted by Fiji Water and featured the cuisine of chef Christopher Lee. Here's a look at the extravagant six-course meal.
- The secrets to making perfect pizza.
- The secrets to making perfect pizza. — Eatocracy
- Freaky eaters who are addicted to maple syrup. — TLC
- Must make: shrimp and grits with arugula. — Serious Eats
- How going gluten-free changed the life of one girl.— Gilt Taste
- 60 awesome images from this weekend's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. — Skollie Magazine
- Things you need to know about the food crisis. — Food Republic
- Tips for a budget-friendly destination
wedding. — The Daily Meal
- Top Chef's Dale Talde has got a new gig. — Grub Street NY
- Watermelon! 14 Summer recipes. — Kitchen Daily
When we sat down with Ray Isle at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, he not only talked value wines, he also shared tips for storing wine. Ideally, wine should be kept in a temperature-controlled room or refrigerator, but an interior closet with a steady temperature of 65-68°F is perfectly fine. Unfortunately, according to Isle, many people don't know how to properly store wine and make the common mistake of keeping it in the wrong place. If you've got bottles that you want to enjoy at a later date, read on to learn where not to store your wine.
Since the April announcement of 2011's Best New Chefs, the 10 newly anointed honorees had been prepping for a blowout showcase at this year's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. On Saturday night, the country's top talent showed their innovation and vast diversity with a range of dishes that spanned the gamut from breakfast tacos to brassica with sea lettuce. Curious to know what dishes the year's top 10 new toques created? Keep clicking to find out.
One of the most informative seminars at the Food & Wine Classic was taught by sommelier (and James Beard Award winner) Belinda Chang. She's made her name as the wine director at The Modern restaurant in New York City. The 2011 Outstanding Wine Service Award winner — whose seminar was titled "Bling vs. Bargain? Guess the Wine Price" — tackled the question of whether price makes a difference when it comes to wine.
Attendees tasted two glasses of sparkling, Chardonnay, and Bordeaux blends, respectively, and were asked to guess which was higher-priced. While we assessed each wine's value, Chang also shared details on what goes into the price of wine. Better understand why a wine costs what it does after the jump.
At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Michael Symon not only shared how his life has changed since he became an Iron Chef, but he also provided some awesome pointers for making your own pasta. If you have kids, the Greek-Sicilian chef believes you should have them make the pasta with you. He also stresses that it shouldn't be stressful; in fact, Symon says that it's "soothing to make pasta at home." To learn how to perfect pasta, the Michael Symon way, keep reading.