[photos in order] Tomato Water Martini with Basil Oil, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozz with Michael Chiarello in the background / Chef Michael Symon / D19 logo image courtesey of d19aspen.com
Food and Wine Classic 2009 in Aspen was a couple weeks ago, but I'm still riding the high off of it. I know it's so celebrity focused sometimes, but it almost always reinstills a fresh passion in me. I think it's just being around all these vendors, consumers, and yes, celebrities, whose entire careers and most of their lives are dedicated to food. Whether they are in it for an intention other than passion, so be it, but they are in a career path I hope to cross someday. [http://www.foodandwine.com/ext/classic/]
First off, I went home that weekend not at all expecting to attend anything F&W related. I just like the crowd and atmosphere. The morning kicked off waiting in line for Giada's demo, which sold out, so I went to Michael Chiarello's Farm to Table talk/demo. It was fun in that we got to sit down, have a glass of wine, and sample his unique 'tomato water martini with basil oil, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh mozz cheese'--I must say, weary at first, but that tomato water was so fresh and pure, I can't find the right words to describe it. (I know, food blog = talking about food = need to master that 'description' part. Working on it, thanks.)
I hurried thru the Grand Tasting Tent sneaking in samples of basically everything but wine and liquor (ya, ya, I don't wanna hear it) but so typical of me. The tent really isn't my stye--well, except the 'free' samples part--it's just too crazy in there for how short of a time I get to sneak in for.
And the highlight...Michael Symon's 'Praise of Pork' demo. Who the heck cares what he was cooking--kidding! Obsessive-one aside, he was another chef who I enjoyed watching in that sort of situation--the raw, live cooking demo. He may be in the spotlight, but I felt like he was a bit unnatural during parts of the demo and where he really shined was when it was just about cooking or the food. Not the camera, advertising plugs, etc. Still goes down in the books as memorable. [http://symonsays.typepad.com/] I really like his blog even though 'he' doesn't really keep up with it anymore.
Finished the fabulous day at one of my favorites, D19, with co-workers who came up for the event. [http://www.d19aspen.com/] Love the restaurant from day one til now, but the menu has definitely changed--for the better, but unfortunately, out of my 'common folk, anytime restaurant' rating. Handmade fetticcini was absolutely amazing--soft like fresh pasta is, but perfectly al dente paired with a simple but deeply flavored tomato sauce.
Such a hard life.