The cognoscenti of the food world -- 5,000 strong -- descended upon Aspen this past weekend for the 29th annual Food & Wine magazine Classic, one of the most heralded culinary jubilees in the country. It was a whirlwind weekend of unparalleled gluttony, hangovers, pig parties, celebrity chef sightings and wine and cooking demonstrations, and we were there, often staggering, to capture the highlights. Herewith the weekend in photos:
Andrew Zimmern, chef, food writer and star of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World, doubled as a bartender at the Grand Cochon, pouring, inconceivably, non-alcoholic drinks.
Top Chef runner-up Angelo Sosa, who was recently in Denver as part of the Celebrity Chef Tour with Lon Symensma, the chef/owner of ChoLon.
There was plenty of food in the grand tasting tent to soak up the grape juice, including these terrific sweetbreads from Sosa.
Food & Wine's Stephanie Izard snagged the People's Choice Award for her goat sausage in XO broth at the Best New Chefs dinner.
Kevin Willman, chef of Farmhaus in St. Louis, Missouri, served bacon-wrapped Berkshire pork and meatloaf at the Best New Chefs dinner.
Denver star-tender Bryan Dayton poured cocktails at a poolside affair chefed by the Denver FIVE.
The crew from Boulder's hot-pink Comida truck pulled up curbside to dole out tacos for a wine-and-taco-pairing seminar led by Frasca Food & Wine sommelier Bobby Stuckey, Ben Parsons from the Infinite Monkey Theorem, and Master Sommelier, mezcal producer and author Richard Betts,
Brandon Biederman, Matt Selby, Paul Reilly and Mark DeNittis, all part of the Denver Five, cooked for a private party hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits.
Matt Selby's chicken wings, studded with onions and jalapenos, were some of the best finger food found at this year's Classic.
Matt Selby puts the finishing touches on his chicken wings.
There were hundreds of parties at the Classic, but the best of them was the pig roast, hosted by Spanish chef José Andrés.
A plump pig getting prepped for the spit at José Andrés's party.
Even Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford pigged out at the José Andrés swine soiree.
Throughout the night, José Andrés was grilling leeks, most of which he wrapped in newspapers to let rest, but he wasn't about to let Jacques Pépin go hungry, so he fed him.
The air in Aspen, at least for one night, was scented with the char and smoke of pig.
Top Chef champion Hosea Rosenberg and ChoLon chef/owner Lon Symensma at the Food & Wine Classic welcome party.
Marcus Samuelsson and Mario Batali inked their cookbooks with autographs during a book signing in the grand tasting tent.
Chefs Mark Tarbell and Claudine and Jacques Pépin.
Showman and wine personality Mark Oldman unbuttoned his robin's-egg blue shirt down to his navel and accessorized his neck with gold chains for his book signing -- and yes, that mustache is real.
Michel Nischan, owner and chef of Dressing Room in Westport, Connecticut, led an inspiring seminar on sustainability and local agriculture.
Chef, TV host, cookbook author and Emmy Award winner Ming Tsai cooked for a full house at this year's Classic.
At the Grand Cochon, which took place on Sunday, heritage breed pigs took center stage.
Fruition Chef and owner Alex Seidel, who won the Denver Cochon 555 competition earlier this year, along with twelve chef and owner Jeff Osaka, prepare to do battle at the Grand Cochon.
For the Grand Cochon, Seidel created a "Fruition farm stand deli," which included everything from a fenel-curred porchetta di testa club sandwich to bacon-wrapped "dirty rice" pate with kidney and spleen confit.
While Seidel didn't clinch the Prince of Porc title at the Grand Cochon, the three dishes he served to the judges were superb -- and the presentation was by far the best in show.
The bacon waffles, fried trotters and pork buns from chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart, who command the line at Zazu in Santa Rosa, were enough to win over the judges and the voting public at the Grand Cochon, earning them the Price of Porc title.
Winemaker Francis Ford Coppola got his swine on during the Grand Cochon.
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There was never a dull moment in the grand tasting tent, which swelled with foodniks and oenophiles.