FOOD & WINE Classic In Aspen Tickets On Sale Now, Discount Before March 15

Seems like just yesterday Gadling was announcing the 30th anniversary of the prestigious FOOD & WINE Classic at Aspen, and already the next is almost upon us. Have you scheduled your annual cholesterol screening yet?

This year, from June 14-16, Food & Wine magazine will celebrate 31 years of incredible food and drink in one of the most glorious locations in the Rockies. Join the nation’s top chefs including José Andrés, Jacques Pépin and Marcus Samuelsson, as well as internationally renowned winemakers, master sommeliers, brewmasters, mixologists and food crafters at the most legendary culinary event in the nation.

The three-day weekend also features over 80 cooking demos, wine and interactive seminars, panel discussions, tasting events and classes on food and wine pairing, as well as twice-daily Grand Tastings featuring over 300 winemakers, craft brewers, distillers and specialty food vendors.

New this year are “DIY Sausage” from offal king Chris Cosentino; a “‘Top Chef’ Leftover Challenge” with Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons; “Next Superstar Value Wine” by wine expert Mark Oldman; “Great Cocktail Party Drinks” with über-mixologist Jim Meehan and F & W editor Kate Krader, and “Dim Sum at Home,” with Andrew Zimmern.

Tickets for the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen are $1,150 before March 15, and $1,250 thereafter. There will be also be a la carte ticketed events, including the Last Bite Late Night Dessert Party; additional details will be released in March. To get your tickets (hurry, hurry; it’s always a sell-out), click here.

[Photo credit: Food & Wine magazine]

Raw Fusion popup brings sustainable cooking to Orange County, California

Beginning in January, 2012, residents and visitors to Orange Country, California, can enjoy Raw Fusion cooking at the PALMO kitchen popup restaurant every Monday night.

Raya Belna, the creator of the popup as well as a Food Network award-winning Raw Foods and Vegan chef, is passionate about locally-grown, organic ingredients. The popup will feature a menu consisting of uncooked foods as well as cooked gluten-free vegan cuisine. Each week, a new venue will be used as well as an original menu created based on what produce was picked that week.

“I want to give our guests as much information about the ingredients as possible, where they were picked and what day they were picked on, in hopes of creating a strong connection between farm and table,” explains Belna. “Our mission is to bring awareness to the natural beauty and abundance that surrounds us here in Southern California and to really connect with our food source.”

The first evening of the PALMO kitchen will take place Monday, January 2, 2012, from 5PM-9PM at the TEE Room at the Newport Beach Golf Course. For more information, visit the PALMO kitchen website or e-mail Raya Belna at

The Chocolate Show comes to New York

Did you know that the largest chocolate bar on record weighed 9,722.39 pounds and was created by JV “Grand Candy” Co Ltd., on September 10, 2010?

The 14th annual Chocolate Show will be held in New York from November 10-12, 2011, at the Metropolitan Pavilion. This show is the largest event in the world dedicated to chocolate, featuring more than 65 fine chocolate companies who will present an array of various chocolates and chocolate-inspired products. There will also be book signings by award-winning authors, workshops, cooking demonstrations, lectures, and fun chocolate-related activities for children, such as cupcake decorating, chocolate art & drawing, and creating delicious chocolate pasta.

A few of the many chocolate exhibitors you can expect to see include:

And, many more. Tickets are $30-$35 and can be purchased by clicking here.

Daily Pampering: Master Chef classic in Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek is more than just fancy slopes and skiing. This January, celebrity chefs will convene in Beaver Creek for the 13th Annual Beaver Creek Master Chef Challenge, and you can have up-close-and-personal seats with some of your favorite chefs (for a fee, of course).

Bon Appétit is sponsoring the a yummy three-day epicurean affair, which takes plans Jan. 27-29. The event includes an awe-inspiring Master Chef Challenge, intimate cooking classes, an après-ski cocktail seminar and a Grand Tasting at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

In the kitchen:
John Besh – Chef: August, Besh Steak, Luke, La Provence, American Sector, and Domenica (New Orleans)
Joey Campanaro – Chef/Owner, The Little Owl (New York); Chef, Kenmare (New York), Owner, Market Table (New York), Village Bele (Philadelphia)
Stephanie Izard – Executive Chef/ Partner, Girl & The Goat (Chicago)
François Payard – Pastry Chef, FPB (New York, Las Vegas, Japan and Korea), Payard, François Chocolate Bar
Jacques Van Staden – Chef, London Club (Las Vegas); Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises
Jose Garces – Executive Chef, Mercat a la Planxa (Chicago); Owner/ Executive Partner, Garces Restaurant Group (collection of restaurants in Philadelphia)
Marco Canora – Co-Owner/Chef, Hearth and Terroir (New York); Finalist on”Next Iron Chef”
The price? Master Chef Classic lodging event packages are available starting at $522 per person, which includes two nights of lodging, two days of lift tickets and one ticket each for the Master Chef Challenge and the Grand Tasting. This package is available Jan. 27-31, 2011.

Event-only ticket packages are also available including a Master Chef Package for $475, which provides one ticket to the Master Chef Dinner, Master Chef Challenge, Grand Tasting, one Seminar (choice of Chophouse/Wine Seminar or Osprey/Cocktail Seminar) and one Cooking Class (Marco/Splendido or Joey/Park Hyatt).

The VIP package is $575 and includes the Master Chef Package offerings plus early admittance to the Grand Tasting for exclusive access to the Chefs. The Just a Taste Package for $165 includes tickets for the Master Chef Challenge and the Grand Tasting.

Oregon Truffle Festival

Here’s something I didn’t know. Truffles are at the peak of their season this time of year in Oregon. Frankly, I didn’t know truffles grew in Oregon. The word truffles actually makes me think of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh. Didn’t Piglet search for truffles? Or is that something else?

Truffles do grow wild in Oregon in large amounts and for the third year, this mushroom delicacy is being celebrated by the Oregon Truffle Festival in and around Eugene. Here it is being honored by its presence as an ingredient in many culinary delights, among other things. There is a Grand Truffle dinner which is already sold out. Curious how much it costs? $150. Truffle growers are the main focus on Saturday, but on Sunday the general public has their truffle time.

The main open to the general public event is the Festival Market Place on Sunday, January 27 . It’s $15 to get in, or $20 and a wine glass if you want to add wine tasting. There is a mix of wineries, other gourmet food producers and truffles to savor. You can buy truffles, watch truffles being cooked, listen to talks about truffles and taste truffles. This looks like an event that is perfect for warming up a cold day. Quite lush and elegant, I’m sure. I’d bring a wine glass.