My Aspen Food & Wine Classic officially started at City Market on Thursday afternoon, when I bumped into NYC's Momofuku All-Star team (sans David Chang but including Rusty Knot's Quino Baca) coming out of the grocery store with cartons of cigarettes, cases of beer, dozens of frozen pizzas and a token grapefruit and apple they said was for the bartender. I decided to put a tracking device on them because, no doubt, the late-night party would be happening in their vicinity. Unfortunately, I lost them.
But this isn't going to be the eleventy-millionth post about David Chang (as awesome as he is). This is about his good friend Wylie Dufresne of Manhattan's wd-50, who I'm calling out as the star of this year's Food & Wine Classic. He was everywhere last night: hanging out in the kitchen near the monster paella pan at DC chef José Andrés's party with Chang, Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who's got to be the funnest superstar chef in the world) and Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi; making a guest appearance at Food & Wine's Magnum Party; and then anchoring a ridiculously over-the-top dinner that übersommelier Robert Bohr of NYC's Cru threw at the Little Nell (with almost all of the above plus assorted other star partiers and a table littered with bottles and decanters of unbelievable wines). Then Wylie was at the late-night mezcal party hosted by another phenomenal som, Richard Betts, who makes the supersonic Betts & Scholl wines; if I hadn't drunk so much of it, I would remember the name of Richard's mezcal which is about to come on the market. Look out for it: It's beautifully smooth and smoky and a welcome change for anyone who associates mezcal with a bad worm experience in high school. And that was just Wylie on night one.
I'm hoping I can keep up with Wylie during this whole crazy weekend. I do know where I can find him on Saturday night. He'll be a surprise guest star chef at David Chang's pig roast on Saturday night. (And not just one pig: there are crazy rumors that there are five pigs, twenty roasted pork shoulder bo ssäms, a crab boil and a Grateful Dead cover band.) And I know that's also where I can finally catch up with the Momofuku All-Stars.