Last weekend, chefs and food folk from across the land converged on Aspen for the Food & Wine Classic. Among them were Canlis chef Jason Franey and his swashbuckling cohort Brian Canlis.
The mammoth event includes demos, seminars and lots and lots of the aforementioned food and wine. As one of this year's Food & Wine Best New Chefs, Franey took part in the Best New Chefs dinner, cooking alongside fellow magazine cover-mates like Stephanie Izard, George Mendes and Jamie Bissonnette. Franey and Canlis shared with Eater their favorite moments from the weekend.
Jason Franey: My favorite moment in Aspen was getting to really bond with the other BNCs. I think this group really connected this year. It was fun to see everyone so focused in the kitchen and doing what they do best. Another great moment was helping out my good friend James Kent (we cooked together at Eleven Madison Park) with his Bocuse d'Or lunch. Alongside Daniel Boulud, Jerome Bocuse and Thomas Keller, we all worked together to put out an incredible meal. An amazing experience.
Brian Canlis: My favorite memory was from Friday night. I was invited to dinner with twenty other passionate food and wine professionals from all over the country. My dinner-mates ranged from close personal friends to industry icons. The conversation was rich, the culmination of lives spent wildly committed to the business of bringing people together over great food and fantastic wine. At one point I disengaged and took an imaginary step back from the table. I gazed around the room and drank thirstily of the moment. This is where I was called to be. The restaurant business was no longer my parents' profession where I happened to be in the back seat. It was my calling too. This table, these people were blazing a trail of hospitality. I couldn’t wait to get home to Seattle and make my mark alongside them. Instead, I raised a glass of Champagne and impulsively toasted my nearest companion. She smiled knowingly back.