Perhaps we should use the age-old "what I did on my summer vacation" construct, with the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen standing in for "summer vacation." Or, to borrow a phrase from Commis chef James Syhabout, who was being honored as one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs, "It's like spring break for rich, old people." Indeed. By 5:45 p.m. on the first night, women in staggeringly high heels clutched to their mates and to the banisters of each stairway, the effects of French 75s and altitude (Aspen is at about 10,000 feet above sea level) conspiring to make them a bit tipsy.
A line made up of hundreds of mostly breathless, 30-something women snaked three floors down and out the door of the Williams-Sonoma in Union Square yesterday. They were all clutching copies of the new 'wichcraft cookbook by Tom Colicchio in anticipation of getting the royal Top Chef judge's autograph. "My friend would be sooo jealous if she knew I was here!" confided one woman to another waiting in line with her. "Will you take a photo of me with him when it's time?" she asked, proffering her iPhone.