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Annual Food & Wine Classic Comes to Aspen

Beginning this Friday, June 14, the town of Aspen will be brimming and brewing with excitement as the 31st edition of the FOOD & WINE Classic begins its 3-day celebration of fine food and wine. This annual celebration brings the biggest and best names in the culinary world together with vintners and food editorial experts for the quintessential food and wine festival, June 14-16, 2013. What makes the festival especially unique, aside from its status as the biggest and most revered status among food festivals, is its incredible setting in Aspen during the beautifully lush, vibrant beginning of our summer season.

There are several highlights to this year’s festival. Here’s a run down of what’s new and noteworthy for the 31st installment of the FOOD & WINE Classic:

25th Anniversary of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs
Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs is a coveted title for up and coming culinarians on the US Restaurant Scene. Each year the magazine dedicates an issue to honors a handful of these talented chefs and their exciting culinary style. Past and present recipients of the award will gather this year at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Best New Chefs. An Aspen mountaintop celebration at the Sundeck will celebrate these acclaimed chefs in high style!

Last Bite Dessert Bash
FOOD & WINE and Top Chef celebrity host Gail Simmons takes charge of this sweet event that is the icing on the cake of this 3-day culinary extravaganza. Guests and guest chefs come together to party and sample an incredible spread of every dessert you can dream up!

Grow for Good Charity Auction
Grow for Good is Food & Wine’s national initiative dedicated to supporting local farms and encouraging sustainable agriculture. This year FOOD & WINE’s Grow for Good campaign will benefit Wholesome Wave, an initiative helping to increase attainability of fresh, locally grown food to demographics in urban and rural communities. New this year in the Grow for Good effort at the FOOD & WINE Classic is an online charity auction from May 30-June 27 where you can bid on items like 2 Passes to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Plus a 
3-Night Hotel Stay, or an autographed chef's jacket from Jacques Pepin.

Seminars Galore
As always, the schedule for the Classic is peppered with a myriad of culinary and wine seminars all day, every day. Some of this year’s standouts: In the Kitchen with season 10 of Top Chef winner Kristen Kash; Sicilian Summer Supper by super chef Mario Batali; Next Superstar Value Wine with Mark Oldman; Entertaining: Global Vegetarian; Napa Reds: Better with Age; and Andrea Robinson’s Mac & Cheese Please!

The 3 days of the festival each culminate in an incredible grand tasting, showing off the wines and culinary creations of over 100 food and wine exhibitors. These take place in the Grand Tasting Pavilion, the epicenter of the festival. Tickets for full access to the events sold out in March, but there are single access tickets still available to many events happening throughout the weekend. For more information on tickets and a full schedule, visit the event website.