Marcus Pop Food: Why I Love Aspen Food and Wine

One of my favorite events in the food industry is Aspen Food and Wine Classic. All year long, I love going to all the food events, but this one in particular, the Classic, is fantastic.

The event is very special and feels intimate. I love getting to spend time with industry colleagues and hearing what other chefs are up to.  It's not on a world stage with hundreds of people, but you actually get to interact with each other and learn. This years group of Best New Chefs were all there, and meeting them, seeing what they're doing, and tasting their food was a great experience.

One of the best aspects of the Classic is getting to see what the new generation has to offer.  I'm really impressed by what all these chefs are doing, and especially the geographic diversity represented in the group. The best new chefs are from all over the country this year. It used to be that chefs were really concentrated in San Francisco and New York, and now you see someone fantastic cooking out of Birmingham, Alabama or Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the Classic, one of the dishes by a Best New Chef really stuck out to me. Stephanie Izard's dish at the event was spectacular. I ate at The Girl and the Goat last time I was in Chicago and really loved it.

It was really exciting to see all the emerging talent. I want to wish this years Food and Wine Best New Chefs congratulations-it's an amazing honor.