By Murat Oztaskin | May 23, 2017 | Lifestyle
As world-class chefs, artists, and bands all come to town, here are Aspen's five can't-miss events for summer.
CAN’T-MISS #1: GASTRO-HUB
Always the official kickoff to Aspen’s summer season, the annual Food & Wine Classic celebrates its 35th year in town with more than 80 seminars, talks, and tastings featuring culinary all-stars from all over the country, including Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer (Boston and New York), Chris Cosentino (San Francisco), and Stephanie Izard (Chicago), as well as first-time participants Ludo Lefebvre (LA) and Jonathan Sawyer (Cleveland). Special programs for this year include a brunch at the Hotel Jerome, panel discussions at the Wheeler Opera House, and a custom ice cream flavor from Brooklyn’s Ample Hills Creamery. Time to start fasting… June 16–18
CAN’T-MISS #2: LATIN HEAT
Fernando Allende takes multi-hyphenate to another level. The Mexican recording artist, movie star, and telenovela mainstay, who lived in Aspen for 18 years, has also expressed his talents as a painter, which are on view this summer with an encore exhibition at Gallery 1949 (July 11–31, 402 S. Hunter St., 970-710-7138). The show coincides with his musical performance at Aspen’s first annual American Dream Award Gala benefiting English in Action (July 12, Belly Up Aspen, 450 S. Galena St., 970-785-8500). “This cause is extremely important,” says Allende. “Language is what will really allow the Hispanic and Latin youth to [integrate into] the mainstream.”
Drawing big crowds (and even bigger acts), JAS’s Labor Day Experience puts an exclamation mark on the end of Aspen’s summer.
CAN’T-MISS #3: EAT YOUR ART OUT
Thirty top US galleries, including Nancy Hoffman Gallery (New York City) and Yares Art (New York, Santa Fe, and Palm Springs), will feature at Art Aspen, one of the “must-attend art events of the summer for collectors, artists, and art patrons looking for modern and contemporary works,” says Donna Davis, VP of Urban Expositions Art Group, which stages the annual fair. Expected to attract more than last year’s record 6,000 attendees, this year’s iteration will also partner with local Aspen restaurants for a luxury onsite lounge and café, and will host a local gallery walk “to introduce fairgoers to Aspen’s thriving [local] art scene,” says Davis. August 3–6, Aspen Ice Garden, 233 W. Hyman Ave.
CAN’T-MISS #4: CHUKKER UP
Live and silent auctions join world-class polo when the Aspen Valley Polo Club hosts the second annual Chukkers, Champagne & Caviar fundraiser, benefiting the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation, to help kick off the summer polo season. Just like some of the sport’s top athletes, Caribou Club will bring its A game, says AVHF President and CEO Deborah Breen, showering guests in Champagne and caviar. Game on! August 13, 970-544-1302
CAN’T-MISS #5: ROCK THE ROCKIES
If Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s June Experience (June 23–July 1) celebrates the arrival of summer, its Labor Day Experience closes it with a bang. “It’s the perfect moment when alpine summer melts into alpine fall,” says JAS founder Jim Horowitz. “The energy is amazing.” More so this year, JAS’s 27th, given the headliners: Daryl Hall & John Oates, Keith Urban, and Maroon 5, who will rock Snowmass Town Park with The Roots, Lake Street Dive, and more. September 1–3, Town Park, Snowmass Village, 970-920-4996
PHOTOGRAPHY BY OLIVIA BREEN (POLO PLAYER); © 2016, MARC FIORITO/GAMMA NINE PHOTOGRAPHY/FOOD & WINE
(FOOD & WINE CLASSIC); MARI ALLENDE (THE SKULL); RED MOUNTAIN PRODUCTIONS (ART ASPEN)