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Food & Wine: Festival is key for up-and-coming chefs

Day two

June 13, 1999
Web posted at: 2:20 p.m. EDT (1820 GMT)

By Wendy Wolfenbarger
CNN Interactive Food Editor

ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) -- The Food & Wine Classic is more than a gathering for food and wine lovers, it's also a chance for chefs to spark their imaginations in a frenzy of culinary happenings.


Eric Caron scribbled notes as he sampled rare cheeses and matching wines at a consumer seminar.


Desserts with Torres

The 26-year-old head chef for Mama DiMatteo's restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine, said he would like to open his own restaurant in the future, and the seminars are a good way to be introduced to new foods and wine.

"Basically, I am educating myself to the wine market and pairing wine with food," he said.

John Besh, head chef for Artesia restaurant in Abita Springs, Louisiana, spent a day discovering new wines and meeting chefs he admires, including Jacques Pepin and Mario Batali.

"It's so much more than a professional trade show," he said. "The best in the business are here to share their knowledge."

Saturday night was a grand debut for Besh and nine other chefs named Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine. Each had to make one of their specialty dishes to serve a curious crowd of celebrity chefs, journalists and peers in the food industry.

The yearly dinner is no small task. Chefs must fast and furiously whip up 800 servings of a dish that should taste perfect and look beautiful sitting artfully in the center of a plate.

Many diners carefully picked apart their food before eating to uncover what's up-and-coming in the culinary world. This year's menu included maple plum-glazed caribou, sweet corn soup with crab cake, lamp chops with morel mushrooms, and cocoa crepes with chocolate espresso mascarpone.



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