A Look Inside Last Night’s ‘Food & Wine’ Classic Gala

If it feels like most of the high-profile chefs in your city are mysteriously missing this weekend, don’t worry. The 29th Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is taking the mountain town over for the next three days, and some of the most prestigious chefs and food personalities in the business are there to give presentations, revel in the fine weather, and cook a lot of food. Jacques Pépin, Mario Batali, Thomas Keller, and Tom Colicchio are just a few of the big names that will be making the rounds.

If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, you’re unfortunately out of luck; the passes for all the events are sold out. But Grub Street will have an inside source for the whole weekend, which kicked off last night with a red-carpet gala. Food & Wine’s editor-in-chief Dana Cowin and publisher Christina Grdovic Baltz greeted chefs from all over the country, including John Besh, Marcus Samuelsson, and Michael Chiarello. There were also way more Top Chef winners and contestants than we could have imagined.

We’ll have a recap of the festivities next week, but definitely check out the red-carpet event now.

The festivities launched last night with a red-carpet gala. 
Numerous winners of Top Chef made appearances, including the recent Top Chef: All Stars champ. 
Many of the recipients of the magazine’s Best New Chefs 2011 were in attendance, including Georges Mendes, Ricardo Zarate, and Stephanie Izard. Also pictured are Baltz, Sang Yoon, and Cowin.
The hosts of the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show were also on hand.
The executive chef of Girl and the Goat smiles for the camera.
The winner of the fifth season of Top Chef hangs out with the finalist from season one. 
The New Orleans chef is always ready for a good time. 
The food personality poses with the Texas chef
The winner of season one of Top Chef chats with fans.
The self-described King of Singapore Street Food made the trek to Colorado. 
Some competitors, farmers, and organizers from Cochon 555, which is having its final event over the weekend, pose before the porky showdown begins. From left to right: Sue Zemanick (Gautreau’s NOLa), Michael Sullivan (Blackberry Farms), Mike Fiorello (Mercat a la Planxa), Brady Lowe (Cochon555), and Heather Craig (Cochon555). 
The red-carpet event was sponsored by the winery. 
A Look Inside Last Night’s ‘Food & Wine’ Classic Gala