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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.

Uncorking a fine food and wine weekend in Aspen
June 11, 1999
A gastronomic treat: Preview the nation's top food and wine fest
June 7, 1999
Chat transcript: Chef Bobby Flay discusses great grilling
May 26, 1999
Culinary world celebrates excellence at James Beard Awards
May 4, 1999
Dessert book tops Julia Child Cookbook Awards
April 15, 1999
Food & Wine selects 1999's best new chefs
April 7, 1999
Food festival reveals Chinese appetite for Australian exports
October 15, 1998

Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen
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