If the free WiFi at the Denver airport had just worked, we'd have filed this yesterday. But, so it goes and here we are.
Thus ends another year of debauchery at 7,908 ft. (11,200 ft. at the summit). The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is over and most attendees, via an excruciating day of delays in Denver and, if you were like us, two hours of circling above Philadelphia, have returned to sea level. It was a weekend of wines and mimes—and Prada booties. Before we let the past four days fade into the back reaches of our memory, some final items for the register:
1) It is worth noting that, now a veteran of the festival and his Top Chef notoriety, Ilan Hall seemed much more composed and mature this year. The hipster garb was significantly toned down, as was his aura in general. Hat tip to you, chef.
2) Speaking of Top Chefs and hat tips, we'd be remiss not to send big ups out to Sam Talbot, who skipped the festival so he could keep his Montauk restaurant The Surf Lodge on the rails.
3) Roy Yamaguchi, did you get on a plane with all that ganj or did you roll locavore style?
4) The weekend's best dispatch from the Grand Tasting Tent, courtesy of David Lynch. "Dude, it is like Sodom and Gomorrah in there."
5) Speaking of biblical shitshows, let us for a second turn to the matter of the Pool Party on Sunday afternoon. If you ladies who so aggressively splashed about the pool could send along your hourly rates, that's be swell. Just curious.
6) Richard Betts, using the weekend as your grand exit from The Little Nell and a launch for your own tequilla company, Sombra. Smooth as that new Mezcal of yours.
7) So, here's a way around the Ko reservations system, if you're Food & Wine EIC Dana Cowin. Quietly see to it that Dave Chang gets the condo next to yours and then mention to him that former inhabitants of said condo, including Mario Batali, have traditionally cooked for the editor's family on Thursday of the festival. See if he doesn't play along, even making some noodles for the kids.
8) By Dave Chang & Friends, they meant Dave Chang and Wylie Dufresne, Josh Eden and Quino Baca. That's how they get the Aspen bo ssam to be as good as the one in NY. And where all the beer went.
9) Nonofficial official Eater list of the 2008 big dogs about town: JGV, Tom Colicchio, Bobby Flay, Daniel Johnnes, Michael Symon, Dave Chang, Wylie Dufresne.
10) At $10K-plus the average civilian couple has to spend to attend this thing, it's no wonder they get so absolutely hammered.