What makes dining in Aspen so special? According to chef Mario Batali, it’s because of a “kind of hippy, laid back approach to local and serious food.” Known for colorful television appearances, best-selling books, signature Orange Crocs, and a sophisticated coterie of Italian eateries in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, I caught up with Batali via e-mail before touching down in Aspen to attend the 27th Annual Food & Wine Classic.
Shelly, Byron, Whitman and the Wax Poetic Chime of Maroon Bells
In summer of 1816, famed Romantic poet Percy Shelly penned the words “The secret Strength of things / Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome / Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!” about the sublime grandeur of France’s 15,400-foot Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. As a symbol of nature’s majesty, mystery, and awesome power, Mont Blanc became somewhat of a meat-cleaver for the Romantic literary movement. Other acclaimed writers of the time such as Samuel Taylor Coolridge, Mary Shelly, and Lord Byron followed lead by scribbling rhapsodies about the mighty mountain. Lord Byron even declared Mont Blanc as “The monarch of mountains.”
Aspen, CO I’ve been taking it really easy since all my hoopin’ and hollerin’ Friday night at the Michael Franti concert. This is definitely a good thing. I’ve been cranking out some work, and admittedly, I’ve been recuperating from the over-indulgence.